Polish government provides free copies of This War of Mine to high school students
If you’re a Polish student or teacher, the government is now providing free copies of the anti-war indie game This War of Mine, along with lesson plans on how to use the game in classrooms.
This mine warfare was added to the recommended reading list for Polish students last year. Like GamesIndustry.biz (opens in a new tab) reported at the time, the game would only be recommended for students over the age of 18, due to its age rating. The developer’s CEO, Grzegorz Miechowski, said in a statement that “I am proud to say that the work of 11 Bit Studios can contribute to the development of education and culture in our country.”
Today, English-speaking players find out how the game is distributed: it is simply a free download from the Polish government site. (opens in a new tab). The download is intended only for students and teachers in Poland, but it is DRM-free and not region-locked. The only real restriction is that this is of course a Polish version of the game. (You can currently grab the worldwide release at 80% off (opens in a new tab) during the Steam Summer Sale.)
In addition to the game itself, the website also features educational materials created in conjunction with 11 Bit Studios. There are basic setup instructions, as well as a longer essay on the game and its educational uses, and a lesson plan that recommends the game be taught alongside the Pożegnanie z Marią short story collection from the Auschwitz survivor, Tadeusz Borowski, known in English as This Way. for Gas, ladies and gentlemen.
Some of the nuance may be lost here due to machine translation, but the government site explains that “telling the story through the player’s decisions helps to understand the atrocities that civilians are exposed to in armed conflict.” The tone of the game and the fidelity in portraying harsh realities make it a useful tool for talking to students about wars, their history and nature, as well as ethics, psychology, the value of dignity human behavior or human behavior in situations that directly threaten life.”
Earlier this year, 11 Bit Studios pledged seven days of proceeds from This War of Mine to support the Ukrainian Red Cross.