On the border: pleasure of exploration and colonial mastery in Civilization III play the world


Games like Myst, Civilisation and Anno 1602 are centred around the virtual travelling of the gamer through unknown worlds. The voyage s/he undertakes often hinges on notions of colonialist exploration, turning the gamer into a traveller who surveys and masters unknown domains and learns to control techno-scientific principles along the way. Since such games are related to a mentality of colonialism, questions should be asked about how such games can be located in its discursive formation. This paper will shed light on these questions by analysing Civilization III and my experiences of playing this game.