The upcoming video game Civilization VI is met with enormous expectation. Central to its game play is Norwegian viking culture, stave churches and a famous king.
The Viking Age was a defining time in Norwegian history and is to this day an important reason for many tourists to visit Norway. The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Lofotr Viking Museum and Borrehaugene burial mounds, the largest Viking graveyard in Scandinavia, are amongst the popular attractions.
Now, Norway’s reputation as a Viking nation is about to get a major boost.
Our small country is in fact a playable civilization in the upcoming major release Civilization VI from Firaxis Games.
A trailer for the Norwegian part of the game was recently released.
Civilization is a long-living and extremely popular series of turn-based strategy video games, with more than 33 million total units shipped since the first game was launched by the legendary game maker Sid Meier in 1991.
The goal is to build a mighty civilization, by going to war – but also by promoting research, trade and negotiations.
The Norway we meet in Civilization VI is a seafaring nation, controlled by the Viking king Harald Hardråde (in real life, he ruled Norway from 1046 to 1066).
Norway’s unique building is the stave church, a medieval wooden Christian church building that was once common in north-western Europe. Today, most of the surviving stave churches are located in Norway.
Our warriors in Civilization VI are called berserkers, driven by uncontrollable rage and clad in animal skins rather than armour. In the game, they are excellent attackers, but have their weaknesses when it comes to defending the civilization.
In any case, it’s the warrior part of the Viking culture that’s most prominently featured in the game. However, they were not just ruthless warriors, but also skilled traders, administrators and craftsmen in metal and wood, producing beautiful jewellery and artefacts that survive to this day.
Civilization VI is available for purchase from October 21.
By the way, if you are into gaming you should check out the exhibition Game On 2.0 at Oslo’s Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology.
According to the museum, it’s the world’s largest exhibition of its kind, and visitors can test their skills on 100 of the most popular computer games of all time.
The Vikings have earned their place in history as a seafaring warrior culture with a fine eye for design and a good ear for storytelling.
Not for 1000 years has there been a Viking journey this ambitious.