Civilization IV: Age of Empire

Eastwood Real Time Strategy Group

Until 5 July 2006

Eastwood Real Time Strategy Group / 2004-2006 / Serbia/Montenegro

“Civilization IV – Age of Empire” is a radical modification (i.e. “mod”) of the 2001 PC turn-based strategy game “Civilization III,” part of the Civilization game franchise (1991-present) created by Sid Meier. In their politically charged re-imagining of the game, however, the artists replace its standard nation states with global media and information technology conglomerates, in order to present a map of the relationships among cultural and industrial forces such as the military entertainment complex, immaterial labor, the pharmaceutical industry, and the Internet economy. Unlike most mods, it can be played on a computer by itself, without running the original game. By choosing a title that suggests it is the latest release in a popular franchise (recently matched by Meier’s own “Civilization IV” (Firaxis Games, 2005), the game raises questions about whether copyrighting a word such as “civilization” should even be possible. Eastwood and Firaxis are each now working on respective versions of “Civilization V.”