Russian President Dmitry Medvedev thinks the popularity of World of Warcraft makes it an ideal tool for teaching kids about the history of the nation.
Oh, the kids these days, with their videogames and whatever else it is they do when adult supervision is lacking. And they're everywhere, too - even in Russia! But President Medvedev has an idea about how to handle them, or at least how to turn their gaming shenanigans to a good purpose.
"I've checked what our youth are playing with, and most games are pseudo-historical and fantasy-based," Medvedev told a joint session of Russia's culture and science councils last week.
"Take World of Warcraft. It's not all about destruction. It has a subtext about developing human civilization," he continued. "We could try to make something similar if it's so popular - not globally, perhaps, but at the domestic level."
The idea may be a little optimistic - I remember how my parents' excitement over the "Learn to Type" game they bought me in the early 80s quickly turned to ash - but it's not entirely nuts. Russia's history is long, violent and bloody; in other words, a great backdrop for an MMO. And while it'll never replace a good book, a quest to unite Russian principalities and throw off the yoke of the Mongols is bound to teach people something.
Following Medvedev's comments, Russian Premier Vladimir Putin took off his shirt, shot a Siberian tiger and made love to several women in the audience.