In societal perception, video games and studies/career usually don’t go together (yes, we have excluded combining both). In many ways, a passion for gaming acts as a distraction in studies and other more serious pursuits. And yet, there has happened a case that has curiously tried to bring the opposite poles together, officially.
In Poland, the
War of Mine
’ has been included in the school curriculum, after getting a nod from the prime minister of the country Mateusz Morawiecki himself, as per a report by gamesindustry.biz. The game has got the green signal to be added to the school reading list in the country and is probably the first video game ever to be recognised in such a way on a national level.
Why a video game? More importantly, why this video game and what’s so special about it? This War of Mine is developed by 11-bit Studios, a Polish video game company. The game, as per the report, is based on the plight of the Bosnian people during the Siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s. It is the recipient of numerous game of the year awards.
This War of Mine is different from the typical war games where you either role-play as a soldier (Call of Duty, Battlefield, Medal of Honor etc) or take command of armies (Company of Heroes, Supreme Commander etc). Instead, This War of Mine focusses on how civilian lives get impacted by the wars. As a civilian, the only thing you can do in this game is to survive and for that, you maintain your hideout, scavenge for supplies etc.
Maybe the game is very real when depicting the horrors of war on the general populace. When you pick a weapon not just to fight for your country but to save yourself and others. When you are hungry and helpless and there is no glory in survival. Maybe there is a lesson there that the Polish government thinks is important for the future young men and women of the country.