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Russian defence ministry criticised for spending $1m on Tetris, Battleship

Ministry planned to counteract contemporary gaming in which Russians are the ‘bad guys’.

Anyone for Battleship? A still of the game from the Russian Ministry of Defence site.
Anyone for Battleship? A still of the game from the Russian Ministry of Defence site.

QUESTIONED HAVE been raised in Russia after it emerged that the defence ministry spent $1 million in developing simple computer games for its website.

Russia Today reports that the games had been planned to counteract some of the more popular contemporary computer games in which Russians are the ‘enemy’, such as Call of Duty.

However, people were surprised to discover that instead of promoting a game of similar calibre in which Russians were the WWII heroes, the ministry website instead offers camouflage-coloured versions of the classics Tetris, Battleship and Minesweeper. The blocks in Tetris, originally a Soviet-developed game, feature tiny military-themed symbols.

The defence site also offers a ‘test for rank’ in which a series of multiple choice questions determines your military rank.

The ministry says that the games are part of a wider web project, but its $1 million spend had sparked suspicion of corruption given the low-quality of the games on the site.

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