Company of Heroes 2

Russian government producing games to teach "patriotic" lessons

Ian Birnbaum at

Video games produced in Russia and Eastern Europe are nothing new, what with the Stalker series and Metro: Last Light. For the first time, though, we could start seeing video games produced in part by the Russian government to teach players specifically about the glorious history of the Russian military.

“The main thing we expect from the producers of video games is the realistic and historically truthful representation of events,” said Arseny Mironov, aid to Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, according to Hollywood ReporterCompany of Heroes 2 has taken a lot of flak from angry Russians for its fictional-but-not-totally-made-up depiction of the Red Army fighting and dying on the Eastern Front. Despite the controversy, the game is popular among Russian gamers.

"A video game has to have not only an entertainment value, but it also has to teach and be conducive to patriotic education," Mironov continued. The Russian Military History Society is in currently developing the first government-funded game, which will follow the beginnings of Russian air power during World War 1. The government has not announced which local developer might be taking on that project.

Government-funded games are not a new concept, of course. Here in the United States we’ve got everything from Moonbase Alpha to America’s Army funded by the government to get young people interested in the kinds of adventures they could theoretically possibly probably never have if they decide to take a job with the government.

Things got decidedly more dystopian, however, when the culture ministry talked about their options for banning video games that “discredit the Russian soldier” and "distort historic facts." For Mironov, a "negative image of the Russian warrior" should not be allowed. At least for right now, though, all they’re doing is talking.

Thanks, Hollywood Reporter.