The Polish Computer Game On School Curriculums

Over the past decade, Poland has established itself as a major European computer game development hub, with one of the biggest development studios in Europe being based in Warsaw that initially did polish translation work on western games but is now best known for adapting one of Poland’s most successful literary exports.

Whilst the substantial achievements of companies such as CD Projekt Red are acclaimed, Poland also has an exceptionally well-regarded game development scene, which was perhaps best highlighted by another Warsaw-based studio that made the first game in the world to appear on an official government-recommended school reading list.

This War Of Mine was a 2014 game released by 11 bit studios, a company created in 2010 by people who used to work at both CD Projekt and Metropolis Software.

A fictional story very heavily based on the 1996 Siege of Sarajevo, one of the central flashpoints of the Bosnian War, This War of Mine has the player take control of a group of survivors who need to survive during the intense conflict of the war, maintaining health, hunger and mood until a ceasefire is declared.

What makes it different from a lot of games based on war released before and since is that it centres around civilians trapped in a besieged city, and the physical and psychological toll this takes, as well as the almost impossible moral choices people in war-torn areas must make to survive.

Whilst other games have been used in education in the past to teach programming, scientific, and mathematical principles, This War of Mine was the first to be added to a reading list at a national level, albeit as an optional text.

This has made the game available on the Polish Government website alongside a lesson plan discussing many of the often stark themes of the game.

In response, 11 Bit Studios noted on the game’s Steam page that they were very proud of the decision.