"In war, not everyone's a soldier." A Review of This War of Mine

  • Charles Ecenbarger North Carolina State University


This article works to critically engage This War of Mine as a radically different style of war game that is rarely seen today. War games often glorify what it means to be in battle and have the player, essentially, saving their country or the world. This War of Mine, on the other hand, puts the player in the role of a survivor, someone simply trying to make it through the turmoil. This article examines the ways in which the game creates empathy for the avatar through aesthetic and narrative devices. 

Author Biography

Charles Ecenbarger, North Carolina State University
PhD student @ North Carolina State University. Studying virtual reality from a media ecology perspective. Background in communication studies, critical studies, and intertextuality.


11bit studios. (2015, November 14). This War of Mine Launch Trailer - The Survivor. Retrieved
November 1, 2015, from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gotK5DLdVvI

Kuchera, B. (2014, November 18). Dealing with pirates? Give them free copies of your game.

Retrieved November 1, 2015, from Polygon:

Maiberg, E. (2014, March 13). Survive the horrors of war as a civilian in This War of Mine. Retrieved November 1, 2015, from PC Gamer: http://www.pcgamer.com/survive-thehorrors-of-war-as-a-civilian-in-this-war-of-mine/

Tulleken, H. (2015, July 29). Color in games: An in-depth look at one of game design's most useful tools. Retrieved November 1, 2015, from Gamasutra:
http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/HermanTulleken/20150729/249761/Color_in_games_ An_indepth_look_at_one_of_game_designs_most_useful_tools.php
December 7, 2016
Critical Insights