The Tomorrow Children

The Tomorrow Children would fail a history exam

The Cold War refuses to separate itself from the West’s understanding of the Soviet Union. Decades of apocalyptic rivalry have painted its immensely diverse citizenry as, by turns, dispassionate murderers or buffoonish caricatures. On one hand is Stalin, casually signing the paperwork that ordered the mass killings and deportations of the Great Purge; on the other are the workers and soldiers of the Union, imagined as simple-minded enough to follow the suicidal directives of their leaders. One of the most staggeringly unusual empires in human history has, in popular consciousness, been watered down to a collection of non-thinking laborers, power-hungry…

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A videogame dedicated to the stray dogs of Russia’s subways

In the Mendeleevskaya station of the Moscow Metro there is a bronze statue, often decorated with flowers, titled “Compassion” which was erected in 2007. This statue is of Malchik, a stray dog that lived in the subway and was a friend of the railway workers. Malchik is the most famous, but to this day there is a population of stray dogs in the Moscow Metro in search of food. Russian Subway Dogs by Spooky Squid Games draws inspiration from these dogs in all their adorableness and complexity. Originally made as an entry for the GDC Pirate Kart game jam (which…


Soviet City will turn urban planning into terror control

City building games are rarely exercises in democracy. The player’s agency stems from her role as a central planner; she designs cities that hopefully please their residents, but this is not a consultative, bottom-up process. Considerate urban planning in the city-building game is an act of benevolent dictatorship. Soviet City, a forthcoming strategy game for PC, takes this association between city builders and central planning to its logical extension. Instead of being set in the deracinated utopia of most city builders, the game is set in soviet Russia, a place that may have wanted to be seen as a utopia…