Culture is a resource generated by cities. As culture is generated, Great People appear and enemy cities may join the player's civilization. Notifications as to the state of one's civilization's culture are given periodically by the Domestic Adviser.
Culture is automatically generated as cities grow but can be boosted by the construction of certain buildings and wonders. Choice of government also affect this, Communism stops all culture generated by Temples and Cathedrals. Great People appear when culture points produced by a civilization reach thresholds. The type of Great Person received is random. Great Persons can boost the production of culture, Gold, Science or Population Growth. Others lower the cost of construction or can provide upgrades to newly constructed ground forces. Buildings such as the Temple or Cathedral as well as certain Wonders also increase culture in a city. Some of the Wonders can be rendered obsolete as other civilizations discover certain technologies.
Cities may "flip" to another civilization if its production of culture is higher than the other civilization's. This can be prevented by building city Walls or raising the output of culture. (City walls will no longer protect cities if another civilization builds the Hollywood Wonder. Building Hollywood first protects one's walled cities.)
Culture is marked by the culture icon: a picture of a purple mask with a happy face, the traditional theatrical icon for drama. Flags showing this symbol appear when a Culture Great Person is in a city.
Culture allows Great People to be produced by highly-cultured cities. You can choose to settle a Great Person into a city, or you can have them perform a single act to benefit your civilization. Achieving enough Great People will lead you build the United Nations Wonder and win a Cultural Victory.
A city lacking culture allows it to be taken over by another, more cultured civilization by way of City Conversion, regardless of faction. If you produce enough culture in your cities, your Great Artists/Thinkers will eventually be able to convert less-cultured cities of other civilizations as their one-time use. And sometimes cities will be converted automatically.
You can make wonders, Temples and Cathedrals to increase culture as well as Great Artists/Thinkers.
- Capitals will not flip as long as they are held by their original civilization. A Capital that has been captured by another civilization may flip, however. The city then counts towards the total of Capitals held/captured by the new owner.