Poland has officially become the first nation in the world to add a video game to their national education system. According to the independent journal Notes From Poland, the country will be adding the war survival game This War Of Mine to the official reading list for children in schools. The decision to implement the game was made by Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. The Prime Minister has stated that his reasons for implementing a video game into the official reading list are because “young people use games to imagine certain situations [in a way] no worse than reading books.”
The game in question This War Of Mine was released back in 2014 to critical acclaim, making a hefty profit in just two days of release. It was a major contrast from the majority of war-based games, showing the gritty reality of war’s effect on civilians through a survival simulator. This depiction of war as a horrifying experience, as well as its inspiration from the Siege Of Sarajevo, can be argued to be a part of the reason why Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki chose to make this game an optional part of the reading list.
This can be supported by Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki’s statement that “In contrast to most computer games – shooting, chasing, fast cars, more shooting – in this game, there is a lot of reflection, situations in which we put ourselves [in the position] of a person who has to survive war.” The CEO of 11-bit games Grzegorz Miechowski has stated that he is “…proud to say 11-bit studios’ work can add to the development of education and culture in our country.” According to gamesindustry.biz, the game will be added for the 2020/21 school year, and will only be available for free to every student above the age of 18 due to its rating in Poland.