Sid Meier talks Facebook's Civilization Network, human nature

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During his keynote speech today at the Game Developers Conference, Civilization creator Sid Meier touched on some of the key gameplay ideas he's thinking about for the upcoming Civilization Network, and at least one idea that definitely won't be in the game.

"There's a lot of fun game concepts that we get to play with here," Meier said of the upcoming Facebook game, among them dealing with players on "interesting schedules, maybe with only a little bit of time a day" to play. Meier said he's looking into making the game playable and fun whether you're playing simultaneously or separately from other players, and including options for competitive, cooperative and solo play.

But there was one feature Meier said wouldn't be included in the game: the ability to give gold to other players. Meier said he initially thought the idea would lead to interesting diplomatic gameplay, with players paying other to perform certain actions, or donating money to a friend they feel sorry for, or even publicly begging for gold on their wall, for instance. During testing, though, "what we found is no one ever gave gold to anyone else," Meier said. "The thought just never crossed their mind to give gold to other people. I don't know what this says about the human condition or the future of mankind, but it's kind of a sad commentary."

It got us thinking... if you actually had to give up your hard-earned cash and items when sending gifts in games like Farmville, would you still be as generous? Let us know in the comments.
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