Ah, the good old days when playing video games used to get in the way of homework, or so parents say. But in 2020, that preconceived notion is about to change completely.
This War of Mine, the 2011 critically-acclaimed indie game by Polish devs 11 bit studios, has made gaming history by being officially part of Poland’s high school education system as recommended reading for students. This was kick-started by Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland, back in early 2019, and will officially be part of the high school curriculum in the academic year of 2020/21.
“Games are a work of culture. Modern ones, natural and attractive for the young generation,” said Grzegorz Miechowski, CEO of 11 bit studios. “Games speak a language instinctively understandable by them – the language of interaction. Using this language, games can talk about everything – emotions, truth, the fight between good and evil, humanity, suffering. They are similar to literature in that regard, however, they use the aforementioned language of interaction.”
“Of course, games are already being used in education for teaching maths, chemistry, and developing cognitive abilities, but I don’t think we’ve ever encountered a game being officially included in the educational system on a national level as a school reading. I’m proud to say 11 bit studios’ work can add to the development of education and culture in our country. This can be a breakthrough moment for all artists creating games all around the world.”
For the uninitiated, This War of Mine is a game about post-war civilians trying their darnedest to survive, by scrounging for food and supplies in a war-torn city, while dealing with moral dilemmas along the way. The game was critically-acclaimed for tackling themes such as the consequences of war and PTSD, and has since won an award for “bringing substantial value to Polish national cultural heritage.”
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.