Modern gaming in Russia: a call of duty?
”In the modern age of videogames, Russian officials have repeatedly stressed that the country shouldn’t rely exclusively on foreign games and called for more patriotic, domestic equivalents.
In 2010, then-President Dmitry Medvedev said that the computer game industry “has an enormous educational significance” and Russia should develop its own products. Competitive gaming has even been recognised as a sport by the Russian government. Since then, the Defence Ministry has expressed interest in developing military-themed games, while Education Ministry officials have said that games could be a means of teaching younger generation about the wars of the twentieth century.
So far no major state-sponsored projects have come to fruition, though the Defence Ministry’s website offers three games – including a militarized version of Tetris.
At a round table on the use of video games for educational purposes in February 2016, then-deputy of the lower branch of parliament Alexei Kuznetsov complained that “according to 90% of computer games, the Second World War was won solely by the Americans and the British.”
Kuznetsov said that one of the few games to give “an objective picture of history” is World of Tanks, a best selling MMO (massively multiplayer online game). The game, which was developed in neighbouring Belarus, currently logs around 12 million daily users.
The game has even attracted the attention of Russia’s Defence Ministry, which was backing World of Tanks tournaments in the country in 2015.