Dawn of Discovery
If you think of computer games as mainly a realm of blasting and annihilating, Dawn of Discovery may change your view. Set in the 15th century, the game requires the player to begin with a group of peasants in the Occident, build a village, amass resources, expand the middle class, construct ships, then go explore the Orient. Conflict and battles may happen, but they are not essential to the vast work of building a society.
Dawn of Discovery, a real-time strategy game, lets players either pursue specific missions or engage in an open-ended continuous game. The contest is for one player, but that person can and must interact with other factions controlled by the game's artificial intelligence. Alliances can be as important to winning the game as battles. The game was released in 2009 and is available for PCs, as well as for Nintendo DS and Wii platforms [source: Petit].
The mind-bending aspect of this game is that it allows a player to win without combat, simply by creating a successful society. Instead of the shooting and bombing that are the foundation of many digital strategy games, a player can focus on sending emissaries to trade with other civilizations while making sure the conditions are in place to manufacture leather jerkins and other goods needed by his population. In doing so, Dawn of Discovery can give insights into real-world economics.