Civ For Change

Fall 2012 || Semester Team Project || 2K Games & Firaxis Games || Entertainment Technology Center


Working with 2K Games and Firaxis Games, the objective of this project was to devise inspiring and innovative methods to raise awareness of real world issue of Human Trafficking and Child Labor in a virtual environment through a conceptual mod design in Civilization V. The mod will engage and challenge the player’s creativity with multiple ways of playing and winning. The player’s choices made over the course of the game will determine the magnitude of the resulting impact on the cause being highlighted.

Mod Design

In the mod, our goal is to raise awareness by giving the player the choice of playing as a human trafficker or the opposition to human trafficking. We’ve created a new layer upon the existing gameplay by modifying unit interactions. Furthermore, by adding a completely different social policy and child unit management gameplay, the player will be able to explore the causes and consequences of child labor.

The mod design introduces a new child unit, which can be sold/traded, educated, or sent to war, completely overhauled social policies, conversion of city states into organizations and a dialogue driven diplomacy system. Making these decisions in the game demonstrates real-world consequences of Human Trafficking and Child Labor.


In order to show the players the experience that we originally intended to provide with the full mod, we condensed the mod into two short scenarios through which the player can explore and learn about the flow of the game in a short amount of time. The original mod would have required the player to play the full game with the events spread out over the course of the game, but the two scenarios allow the guest to see what we are trying to

The two scenarios are as follows:

Scenario 1: The player is in danger of being attacked by the country to the west. However, his or her small army is currently not able to defend it. In order to defend his or her city, he or she must build an army through using child labor. In Scenario 1, the player can upgrade his or her child units into child soldiers and use them to prepare defenses against an impending invasion. In Scenario 2, we used the pre-existing in-game models and made them into child units.


Scenario 2: The player’s army is dependent on iron, but there is no iron in his or her territory. The player needs to trade for iron with a neighboring country.

Social Design

Creating a mod addressing world issues is only the first step in raising awareness among a small group of people.
Therefore, 2K Games and Firaxis Games asked us to come up with a social design, a vision to connect both players
and non-players and create a bigger impact over a larger community. This social design will be bold and innovative,
trying to capture people’s attention and spark their curiosity through their passion for social causes and Civilization 5. We will be presenting a concept that will stimulate intrinsic motivation to create, share and support world issues and user generated content. Lastly, our innovative design will serve as a platform for players, non-players, organizations
and charities to create meaningf l communities and use Civilization 5 as a vehicle for change.

By playing our mod, Civ5 players will use Facebook to spread experiences, information and raise awareness about
world issues to non-players. Through common interest, they will be able to create Civ5 World Issue Maps together
through our Map Generation Web Service and Google Maps, and share those to raise donations for charity.