Russia will award state grants to video game developers to create patriotic games about World War II, the Znak.com news website reported Sunday.
Domestic firms developing games about the war that is referred to as the Great Patriotic War in Russia, as well as famous Soviet intelligence officers and special forces, will be able to apply for grants.
The initiative is led by the Internet Development Institute, a nonprofit which distributes government funding for online “spiritual and moral” content targeting young people. Last year, the Internet Development Institute received an extra 7 billion rubles in funding from the Kremlin to be used toward producing such content.
Via a competitive bidding process, the institute will award grants not only to creators of video games but also to other developers of “national content in the digital landscape,” Znak.com reported, citing the institute’s press service.
The exact grant amount will depend upon the recipient’s proposal and business plan.
Lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein, head of the State Duma’s Information Policy Committee, touted the “political potential” of video games in a Jan. 28 column for the Kommersant business daily.
“I believe that the political potential of video games cannot be ignored. A far more far-sighted step would be to use them to promote honest values — patriotism, interest in the country’s history, the ability to think independently and accurately assess the political situation,” Khinshtein wrote.
“I am sure that over time, such products (Russian patriotic video games) will have every chance of outshining Mortal Combat and other well-known franchises,” he wrote.