The Weekly Standard just published a tribute to the computer game, Civilisation. As someone who has played many versions of this computer game, I acknowledge it can consume one's life but it is also one of the more interesting computer games around and does genuinely have some educational content. People often knock computer games from afar but I think civilisation gives the lie to that. I'm not sure about its history- but introducing concepts like feudalism, democracy and communism to a kid must be useful, no matter how problematic the definitions. There is another aspect though to the game which is its complexity, because its so complex it stimulates I think people's strategical sense- especially kids of a young age. It also helps teach them hopefully that politics isn't just left and right but is a bit more extensive than that. Having said that like all good things- if you thought politics was game play you'd be on to a nasty shock and as to the definitions of concepts, personally Marx is much more fun than managing a communist dictatorship. Overall though this is a good game- it teaches people things- its worth playing and isn't mindless, it can be addictive- you have been warned. Most of all its great fun.
(Apologies to the Inky Circus, but the topic for this had to be nicked from them- it was too good.)
LATER Matthew Sinclair has reminded me in the comments that he posted on this a couple of weeks ago- his article is well worth reading too and is here.