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Russian government in talks to develop “patriotic” games – report

Wednesday, 9th October 2013 02:33 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The Russian government is negotiating the development of “patriotic” video games, and is considering a ban on internationally-produced titles which “distort history”.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, an aide to Russia’s culture minister Vladimir Medinsky discussed the government’s plans with daily newspaper Izvestiya.

“The main thing we expect from the producers of video games is the realistic and historically truthful representation of events,” Arseny Mironov said.

“A video game has to have not only an entertainment value, but it also has to teach and be conducive to patriotic education.”

Medinsky is head of the Russian Military History Society, which will be put in charge of the Russian government’s video game project. The first game will be about the first Russian warplanes in World War I, and is expected in 2014. A developer has not been chosen but several local teams have been included in talks.

The government also plans to introduce grants for “patriotic” video games.

Meanwhile, internationally-produced games which “discredit the Russian soldier” and “distort historic facts” may be banned from import.

The report noted Company of Heroes 2 and Belgian indie You Don’t Mess With Putin as examples of games that wouldn’t be allowed.

As detailed on Polygon, Company of Heroes 2 was poorly-received by many Russian players, who described its depiction of Russian history as offensively inaccurate and stereotyped. Russian distributor 1C stopped selling the game as a result.

Thanks, Polygon.

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29 Comments

  1. salarta

    … So Russia is transforming itself into Nazi Germany more and more every day. Nice.

    And I don’t use the Nazi Germany comparison lightly. It’s accurate here. Actions against Pussy Riot and Greenpeace already ring alarm bells, then we get the censorship of media to gin up blind nationalism, one with a leader that is increasingly trying to promote himself as a cult of personality not unlike Hitler did. The only thing currently missing from the equation is an obvious minority in the same vein as the Jewish population that Germany had at the time, but I’m sure they have something.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. DSB

    It’s an illiberal democracy.

    Jailing a few feminists, gays and Greenpeace activists is ridiculously far short of anything that happened in Nazi Germany. It’s not good, but comparing the two is completely disregarding what actually happened.

    Under Medvedev they were actually making progress, but if Putin stays in power, and the US elects another Republican president, the West and Russia is really gonna be at odds.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Vedenov Michail

    #1, do you have any idea what are you talking about? Stop watching TV because you are being brainwashed. I’m living in Russia and I’m 100% sure that there are no reasons to compare Nazi Germany and Russia. In fact the comparison you made is abusive, because russian people were fighting against Nazi and were dying during the World War II. So please don’t judge Russia because you don’t like Putin.

    I agree that there are too many games that distorting Rissia history. And the vast majority of Russian gamers are teenagers, so it’s really a good idea to make our own patriotic videogame that will remain true to history. But as always our government is taking the wrong steps. Ban on internationally-produced titles will not help at all. It will make things worse. It’s known that forbidden fruit is sweet…

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Llewelyn_MT

    I’m confused. Are they going to ban games that distort the history of Russia or games not supporting the history decreed by The Kremlin? I doubt there is a notable country in the world beside Russia that is at odds with its own history.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. AmiralPatate

    Did someone say propaganda?

    #5 1 year ago
  6. polygem

    Patriotism is for idiots. If anything especially russia and the us need less of that. Being proud of a country you are living in? The root of all wars. Burn down the flags.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Dave Cook

    In soviet Russia, game plays you.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. OwnedWhenStoned

    I was waiting for that, Dave.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. EdgizAwesome

    @1 There’s already a minority Russia is against, Homosexuals. The laws in that country sicken me.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @9 Yeah I saw the news reports on that. Fucking disgraceful.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Dunno

    hahahahaha you, westerners are so eager to prove how stupid and ignorant you are every time. Not knowing anything or listening to your media is equally stupid.
    As for videogames. I’m fine with unrealistic depiction as long as a game doesn’t claim otherwise. Pointing at your COH2.

    @3 don’t waste your breath, comrade! hahaha

    #11 1 year ago
  12. KineticCalvaria

    @11, that’s amazing. Your first sentence sounds exactly like every Russian antagonist in a game ever.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Lord Gremlin

    It’s all because of CoH2. I was pissed myself (being Russian and all). I mean, by all means make up any crazy history you want but don’t label it as based on true history. Put a warning at the start – events taking place in this game are a work of fiction.
    @3 and 11 I think sometimes it’s worth wasting your breath just a little. Analogy to Nazi Germany, lemme think…
    An aggressive country that wages wars and commits war crimes to try and gain dominant position… That’s United States of America. Except instead of Jewish it’s native Americans they put in concentration camps. Other than that, yup.
    Should be a game about that. Something cyberpunk.
    @10 Good sir, our views on the matter may be fundamentally different. There’s lots of stuff in western countries that I find outrageous and/or insane, but I respect the right of each nation to shape their homeland the way they like. I fully support those Russian laws you dislike so much – bear in mind that we don’t jail homosexuals or anything. Only public propaganda of homosexuality as something normal is banned. Which is fair.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Ireland Michael

    @3 “I’m living in Russia and I’m 100% sure that there are no reasons to compare Nazi Germany and Russia.”

    I don’t know about you, but deciding the right and privileges of an entire minority group (in this case, gay people), is pretty damn Nazi like. Okay, nobody is being gassed alive, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re being targeted and criminalised simply for being different.

    I *don’t* like Putin, and I don’t understand why anyone with a moral conscience would.

    @11 You arbitrarily insult the intelligence of a whole sector of the planet, and then proceed to call others stupid? The irony is lost on us.

    You two are not doing much to present your country in any sort of positive light.

    ——

    That said, the average American really cannot criticise anyone about the concept of a “patriotic game”, considering that’s what almost every warfare based first person shooter in the past decade has been – American patriotic wank fantasies, where Americans are the saviours and everyone else is the villain.

    Russia. Germany. Middle East. China. Take your pick. It’s easy pickings when you’re Hollywood or a video game.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Lord Gremlin

    @KineticCalvaria Well, sometimes people can’t help it. Maybe if westerners grew just a wee bit smarter…
    Oh boy, the next generation war is the war of information and propaganda. My advise – don’t trust any media of any country.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. KineticCalvaria

    @15, yeah okay. Russians are clearly the smartest people in the world…

    #16 1 year ago
  17. YoungZer0

    @1: Oh boy, so shortsighted. Most of the things you complain about apply to other countries as well. Putin is imprisoning terrible musicians, Obama so called “traitors” that inform their country of what the government is doing. Russia is hateful towards gays, America towards muslims.

    E-Fucking-CETERA.

    THAT SAID, the amount of neo-nazis in russia (and … america) is really worrying.

    @4: “I doubt there is a notable country in the world beside Russia that is at odds with its own history.”

    What exactly do you mean?

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Old MacDonald

    From Ben Johnson…”Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

    Similarly, from Thoreau, “Patriotism is a maggot in their heads.”

    George Bernard Shaw has said…”You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.”

    Oscar Wilde said “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.”

    Leo Tolstoy described patriotism as “the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers”.

    http://www.skeptic.ca/meaning_of_patriotism.htm

    #18 1 year ago
  19. KineticCalvaria

    Old MacDonald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o and on that farm he spoke the truth!

    #19 1 year ago
  20. absolutezero

    Its really quite odd that Russia seems to seriously believe that no one outside of the country can know its actual history. That anything fucking negative they did throughout the past was actually just distortion.

    The Red Army was the heroic liberation army of God-men and not at all a rabid mess of rape rolling through Berlin.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Ireland Michael

    @18 America is one of the few countries I can think of where the concept of patriotism is generally considered a positive character trait and not a derogatory insult.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. Dunno

    @12 hahaha Now I think about it, kinda true LOL except this time you’re not gonna win this (the arguement, in this case) cos it’s not a game :P

    @13 No it’s not :P You can when people know something about the subject in question. This is clearly not the case. Look at the comments haha

    @14 blablaba My opinion is the only right one, yeah? hahah We’ve been there already, kiddo with an arrogant attitude

    LOL Weeeel on the contrary I don’t need to call you or anyone else stupid. You do it yourself by saying the things you do.
    Moreover, you’ve presented your country very well indeed. hahahaha and you’re talking about irony hahaha

    #22 1 year ago
  23. absolutezero

    You aren’t making any sense Cheeki Breeki.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Dragon

    LOL JAPAN.
    LOL RUSSIA
    LOL “Insert country here”.

    Do I see a trend? Is this another “bash this country” thread by pointing out non-essential things?

    On patriotism, its supposedly a thing were I should be grateful to a piece of land which has been demarcated randomly by someone. Sorry, but I would much rather be grateful to living human beings than a piece of land.
    That said, patriotism has its quirks. Human history has progressively moved towards larger and larger associations, and countries are a natural evolution of that concept. I wont be surprised if few decades/hundreds of years down the line, patriotism for country is replaced by something bigger.
    From a sanskrit sloka – The world is my family.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Ireland Michael

    @22 “blablaba My opinion is the only right one, yeah? hahah We’ve been there already, kiddo with an arrogant attitude.”

    1) You’re practically a walking poster child for the definition of arrogant.
    2) I’m very likely your senior, “kiddo”.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. salarta

    @3: I know what I’m talking about better than you think I do.

    There are plenty of reasons to compare Russia to Nazi Germany, as long as you remember one very important thing: I said transforming. As in, it’s in the process of becoming, not that it has already turned into that. Nazi Germany did not become the monstrous country it did out of the blue, it was a gradual development across time that included locking up groups deemed too dissident to state aims, massive amounts of propaganda which included the construction of Hitler youth, censorship of material based on how it affects perception of the state and its goals, the building of a cult of personality around their leader, and increasing prejudice toward the Jews.

    Russia is not as bad as Nazi Germany was… yet. But it’s getting further along on that path every day. I already mentioned Pussy Riot and Greenpeace, both dissidents to state aims that are getting excessive punishments (“undermined the moral foundations,” yeah right). The Nashi youth group, while being pro-Putin, initially began (at least according to them) as a defense against Nazism and skinheads, but over time it’s transforming more into a youth propaganda wing for Putin, which lends it the dangerous direction where a few more turns could change it from simply being a youth group heavily supportive of Putin to a youth group made for indoctrinating youth to Putin. And I couldn’t remember it at the time of my post, but what @9 points out is the clincher: prejudice against homosexuality to the point of laws specifically aimed at punishing people for even talking about it.

    Saying “the public supports these things” is irrelevant; the German public supported the Nazi party and the transition of the country into becoming Nazi Germany, after all. And saying it’s “abusive” to say these things because Russians fought in World War II is also irrelevant, because what a country did 70 years ago is not the same as what it does today. Not to mention, the only reason Russia actually fought Germany in World War II was because Germany broke the anti-aggression pact between the two countries, just like the U.S. really only fought World War II because of Pearl Harbor and the U.S. people didn’t really want to fight Germany until after the war effort got going.

    The solution to “video games don’t paint Russia in a way accurate to history” isn’t “let’s ban video games that don’t make Russia look like a golden ray of sunshine.” The answer is to allow the games to continue to be made and purchased as they are part of the media, BUT to also provide means of understanding actual Russian history by other means. We don’t ban Inglorious Basterds because idiots might think Hitler got shot up in a movie theater by American forces, we let the film go out there but try to make sure they know what actually happened through the education system. It’s not the job of government to decide how fiction is allowed to depict people or groups. That’s for the public to decide, through what they’re willing to buy and what they choose to protest against. If the government is censoring media for “distorting historic facts” (which basically everything in fiction does, unless you believe 300 is a proper representation of Sparta and Persia) and trying to enforce only media that is “patriotic,” then it’s that much closer to becoming Nazi Germany. The limiting of perspectives of any sort, especially perspectives that can make the country look bad and do not propagandize the state, is critical to the framework that creates such a country. Ignorance is power.

    The only plus I can say about Russian government at the moment is that it’s somewhat sheltering Snowden, because Snowden’s reveals are critical to keeping the U.S. government in check as the government is overstepping its bounds here. But that’s really only happening because of U.S.-Russia conflict, not because Snowden did the right thing.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. absolutezero

    http://youtu.be/afP71xwLI8Y

    #27 1 year ago
  28. polygem

    @24: wow, i could actually totally relate to your post. a premiere :)

    #28 1 year ago
  29. DSB

    It’s just amazing that people can be so oblivious about what actually happened in the 1930′s and 40′s.

    In Nazi Germany you had a state that was built on race. Annihilating all others, while purifying and furthering the one. It’s mindboggling that people can somehow equate Russia with that.

    Russian policy isn’t based on race, it’s just a corrupt, illiberal banana republic with a superiority complex dating all the way back to Tzarist times. It isn’t even a dictatorship, it’s just a corrupt democracy.

    There’s a huge, huge, huge difference. All you’re doing is proving Godwin’s law.

    #29 1 year ago

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