Koko: Russia’s President Wants Educational Games

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Russia’s President is on to something, with the observation that the best history games would not focus on what was, but on what might have been had true cost information been embedded at each point in time.

Russia’s prez wants educational World of Warcraft history game

DVICE.com, 29 July 2011

While the Chinese love World of Warcraft so much they’re using them as punishment in labor camps, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev wants to make a similar game to teach people about Russian history.

Somebody give this guy a chest-bump and a double high-five. Unlike most Presidents, Medvedev is a young guy. He’s in tune with pop culture and “what’s in” and “cool” and aims to aggressively use new mediums such as MMORPGs as an educational tool.

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Speaking at a gathering of Russia’s cultural and science councils, Medvedev said:

“I’ve checked what our youth are playing with, and most games are pseudo-historical and fantasy-based.”“Take ‘World of Warcraft.’ … It’s not all about destruction. It has a subtext about developing human civilization.”

“We could try to make something similar if it’s so popular — not globally, perhaps, but at the domestic level.”

Medvedev’s idea comes as Russia prepares to celebrate its 1,150th anniversary of statehood next year.

Using video games to drill historical facts into heads? If we had a WoW knock-off when we were still in high school, maybe we’d have been less apt to cutting class to hang underneath the football field bleachers where the “evil” lurked.