Inside a virtual war: can video games recreate life in a conflict-ridden city?

This War of Mine follows civilians trying to survive in a war-torn city, telling a story that’s become increasingly poignant amid the current refugee crisis

In March 2014, a few months before the release of This War of Mine, the developers at 11 Bit Studios were discussing potential endings to their video game story of civilians trying to survive in a war-torn city. Wojciech Setlak, one of the writers, suggested they have a neighbouring country intervene, sending in troops to gain control of part of the weakened nation.

A month later, in the real world, militia flying Russian flags – known to the locals as “little green men” – appeared in eastern Ukraine. “It was uncanny,” says Setlak. “We had anticipated something that actually happened.”

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