Computer game ‘This War of Mine’ to be put on school reading list

Produced by Warsaw-based company 11bit Studios, the elevation of the game to the optional reading list is also an affirmation of the burgeoning reputation of the Polish computer games industry. Klapi/ CC BY-SA 4.0

A popular computer game that looks at war through the eyes of civilians will be added to the optional school reading list by the education ministry, the prime minister has announced.

The adding of ‘This War of Mine’, produced by Warsaw-based company 11bit Studios, marks a radical departure from the traditional books that generally comprise school reading lists.

The adding of ‘This War of Mine’, produced by Warsaw-based company 11bit Studios, marks a radical departure from the traditional books that generally comprise school reading lists.11 bit studios

“By incorporating games into the education system we will expand our imagination and bring something new to culture, not only in Poland but also the whole world,” said PM Mateusz Morawiecki.

He added: “It shows young people how to follow a good path. I want to thank all the game’s creators for spreading the name of Poland around the world.”

During a visit to 11 bit studios in Warsaw, PM Mateusz Morawiecki said: “By incorporating games into the education system we will expand our imagination and bring something new to culture, not only in Poland but also the whole world.”Piotr Nowak/PAP

The game, which has had a positive reception from gamers, is a far cry from the traditional shoot-them-and-blast-them products that have often dominated the computer gaming market and drawn criticism for their violent and sexist content.

Instead of being a soldier, according to 11bit, “you are a group of civilians in a besieged city struggling with a lack of necessities and constant danger.

The PM added: “This is an excellent creative industry that makes Poland famous around the world.”Piotr Nowak/PAP

“Make life-and-death decisions driven by your conscience,” the firm continues. “During war there are no good or bad decisions; there is only survival. The sooner you realise that the better.”

In a review of the game, Gamespot, a video game reviewing website, described ‘This War of Mine’ as a “long-form exercise in empathy, a sobering piece of work that fills in the blanks left when all we see of war are the headshots.”

Instead of being a soldier, in This War of Mine players “are a group of civilians in a besieged city struggling with a lack of necessities and constant danger.11 bit studios

The elevation of the game to the optional reading list is also an affirmation of the burgeoning reputation of the Polish computer games industry.

The country is fast becoming one of the leading forces in the gaming industry thanks to the global success of games such as the ‘The Witcher’, which has gone on to become a feature film.