The government of Poland is making 11 Bit Studios’ anti-war indie This War of Mine available as a free download to Polish students and educators.
The first part of this story originally appeared in a report from Gamesindustry.biz in 2020. At the time, the game has been added to the official reading list for Polish schools, becoming the first video game to receive this kind of recognition. Its addition followed a 2019 campaign to get the game added to the Polish curriculum which ended with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki adding it to the reading list for the 2020/21 academic year.
Until now, it hasn’t been clear how players would be able to access it. Now, they know: it’s free to download from the Polish government’s website. Again, the intent here is to make the game available as a resource to teachers and students. As GamesRadar noted however, it is DRM-free and does not appear to be region-locked, meaning technically anyone can grab it. It is the Polish version of the game though, so if you can’t read Polish then you probably won’t be able to play it. The global version with multiple languages is currently available in the Steam Summer Sale for only $AU5.79 (or 80% off).
The Polish government website also hosts further materials related to the game and its setting, created in partnership with 11 Bit Studios. This includes an essay on the game itself and how it can be used in the classroom, along with lesson plans, associated topics, and other recommended reading.
This War of Mine was released in 2014 and explored the four-year Siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. Running from 1992 to 1996, it remains the longest siege of a capital city in modern warfare history. This War of Mine received a great deal of praise for its unflinching view of the horrors of war. It had sold over 4.5 million units worldwide as of April 2019.