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42 computers are trying to destroy one another in Civilization V

Some civs just want to watch the world burn.


Matt Silverman

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 19, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 12:13 pm CDT

A Civilization V game of epic proportions has begun, but there are no human players. Forty-two AI-controlled civs will battle for supremacy on one enormous, Earth-shaped map, and you can watch it all unfold in real time on Twitch.

There will be no global age of peace and prosperity here. The victory conditions are set to “Domination,” which means each civ is out for blood and will not rest until its 41 rivals are wiped off the map.

Redditor /u/TPangolin has launched the game and is providing updates on Twitch, Reddit, and Steam, but if you thought the Grammys ran a little long, settle in for a haul. Computing the economic, military, and technological decisions of 42 AI players takes a good while, especially in the mid and late game. The match is also set to “Epic Speed,” which means it takes more resources to accomplish goals, thus you can count on an even longer match.

As you might suspect, there are a handful of mods at work that make this battle royale possible. TPangolin has listed them here, for the curious.

The inspiration for this live battle comes from another Redditor, /u/thenyanmaster, who has been documenting his own 40+ AI match on Imgur for about a month.

So, place your bets. Rome? Australia? India? Which civ will ultimately sit atop a global, burning empire? See you in six months.


Image via /u/thenyanmaster.

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*First Published: Feb 19, 2015, 4:27 pm CST