In a shocking move, Poland’s government has become the first to add video games as part of a school’s curriculum. The game — This War Of Mine — will be an educational tool for high school students as part of the 2020/2021 academic school year.
The announcement came from ISFE (Interactive Software Federation of Europe) member Spidor, which represents the Polish video game industry. Lessons in the game, which is a wartime scenario that flips the script on typical war-theme video games, placing the user in the role of a civilian, rather than frontline combatant, have applications in sociology, ethics, philosophy and history.
Inspired by a conflict in the Balkans, the 2014 game, which was developed by Warsaw-based 11 Bit Studios, is based around morality and difficult situations where decisions must be made in order to secure basic necessities such as food, medicine and shelter.
“For the first time in history, a video game has been included on the recommended reading list for schools,” said Dr. Dominika Urbanska-Galanciak, Head of Spidor, who added, “We are pleased that the Ministry of Education and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki support and recognize the role of the video games sector in culture, creativity, innovation and even education. This is a great example of how video games can support education by telling stories and raising important ethical issues.”
Simon Little, CEO of ISFE, offered, “It is extremely exciting to see a European government recognize the value of video games to education in this way. Video games are an intrinsic part of 21st century society and bring enormous benefits especially when used appropriately in a school setting where they are proven to increase student engagement and learning outcomes, develop team-building, problem-solving and mental agility.”
Watch a trailer for This War of Mine directly below.
This War of Mine — Gameplay Trailer
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