Let me tell you a little about my day today.
11:13 - Finally roll out of bed
11:14 - Boot up computer
11:15 - Play Civ V for the next SEVEN HOURS.
You might think I'm kidding. I'm totally not. I literally played that game for hours. And I don't mean I played a bunch of different maps or difficulty levels in that time. I mean I started a game and it took that long for me to finish it. I just had to have that cultural victory.
If you're sitting there scratching your head, wondering what I'm talking about, Civilization V is a turn-based world simulation game that you'll swear you have only been playing for minutes but in reality hours have passed. (If you've played any of EA's The Sims games, you know exactly what I mean.) You start out in prehistory, and you upgrade, research, and conquer your way through to modern times - or, you know, earlier if you defeat all of your opponents before then.
Conquest is not the only way to win the game. You could also win with a science victory (space race, anyone?), a diplomatic victory involving the United Nations, or a cultural victory. And yes, those other victories can take a long time to achieve, but it can be fun to try to outdo your opponent in ways other than brute strength.
There are also leaders for each civilization, and each leader has his or her own strengths, so you can choose who to play as based on who matches your personal play style. These leaders are usually famous generals, kings, or other important people from history. For instance, George Washington can go up against Alexander the Great, while Queen Elizabeth I decides where her loyalties lie when they need assistance taking each other out. It's not historically accurate by any means, but at least it makes you familiar with the names, which could come in handy. For instance, next time someone mentions Suleiman, I can smugly say, "He was a great leader of Ottoman Empire."
But I better not mention his mighty air fleet which helped me take out Pachacuti and the Incas....