A new Civilization 3 mod intended to serve as a teaching tool for students of early Canadian history is now available for download.

Entitled HistoriCanada: The New World, the mod lets players assume the role of the English, French, or one of several First Nations. Gameplay takes place through the years 1525-1762, allowing players to follow the historical paths of competing nations, or take all-new paths in an attempt to rewrite history. The game is billed as “exploring the parameters of history rather than the events,” giving gamers the opportunity to examine quintessentially Canadian questions such as, “What if the Huron had displaced the Five Nations Confederacy?” or, “What if the French had retained Canada?”

HistoriCanada’s million-dollar budget was funded by Telefilm Canada, with support from Canada’s National History Society. Although designed primarily for high-school students and history teachers, the designers believe that the mod will appeal to all Civilization fans, as well as anyone with a passing interest in North American history.

Speaking during the mod’s development, retired Canadian Senator Laurier LaPierre said, “HistoriCanada is an immersive, interactive experience that allows players of all ages to create the destiny of the nation Canada. It allows those who play it to experience in a visceral manner the dynamics and the variables of nation building. It is not about memorization; it is about the experiential quality of actually being able to determine the outcome of your nation’s history by playing the game as if you went back in time and became a settler in the North America such as a French Canadian in the 18th century. With the HistoriCanada game, you are empowered to actually be one of the civilizations – French, English, native, colonist – in one of the most innovative educational methods available today. We are all aware of the power of computer games and the vast reach they have in our modern media diet, especially among our youth. HistoriCanada is a way for our youth to experience the history of our country in a fun and educational manner, without them ever realizing the game is actually a teaching mechanism.”

HistoriCanada: The New World is available as a free download from the HistoriCanada website, and there are also plans to package the mod with copies of Civilization 3 to be donated to over 100,000 Canadian high school students. The mod requires Civilization 3, as well as the Conquests add-on.

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