In September, a new and widely advertised school opened its doors in the capital city – the Part-time Evening Elementary School. You could read in its beautifully printed brochure that the school was designed to help all those “children of wealthy parents, who are too busy to learn during the day due to the time spent on the difficult task of maintaining our country’s high ranking in the very competitive field of computer games.”
In other words: when a parent wanted to have some peace and quiet, he or she would leave the kid at home in front of the computer with a bag of chips. When the kid had enough, which normally happened in the evening, he would go to school for about two hours.
The creator of PEES and its first principal was Krzycho Jedynak, a former junior high PE teacher in Potylica, a computer games fan and the winner of, as we could read in the beautifully printer brochure, “a local Amiga gaming championship”. Understanding exactly the needs of his future students, he planned to open classes of the following profiles: platform PSP (one group), platform PC (three groups), platform GB (one) and platform Mac (cancelled due to a lack of interest).
The school received an astonishing number of applications (four for each spot), which meant that many kids spent their days playing computer games and that many parents wanted time for themselves. To be accepted, young candidates had to demonstrate their social and psychological maturity and computer instincts, evaluated according to a patented method developed by Mr. Jedynak. The parents, on the other hand, had to pass an exam in using a joystick and provide a proof of income of at least 7000 zloty per month for a young family member.
During the registration process was so competitive, it ended in violence. A disappointed father of a child who didn’t get in, shouted that only VIP brats had been accepted, for which he got hit in the face by editor Furtok, in private – a father of a kid who got in to group B2/platform PC.
The school was fully prepared to cater to its very discriminating students. Each room was outfitted with a leather sofa and three fold-out beds for students exhausted after a full day of hard work. The rooms were also equipped with the newest four-processor multi-media computers – two per student, to teach him divided attention in a modern battle field simulation. The lessons were 25 minutes long, any longer and the kids wouldn’t be able to withstand the constant stress. During PE, the exercises were designed to practice joystick skills and stretch the spine. English lessons were considered to be the most important and were held every day to allow for quick mastery of games not yet translated into Polish.
In the group A1/PSP, together with the home-room teacher it was decided that each lesson will begin with a humming of the soundtrack theme from the newest version of the “Soldiers of Call of Duty in the Blitzkrieg Return to Castle Wolfenstein” game.
Because the students were increasingly exhibiting symptoms of exhaustion and ADHD, Mr. Jedynak decided to open, sponsored by the companies where the kid’s parents worked, a fully equipped medical facility, along with a resuscitation unit, a repeated psychiatric intervention unit, and a unit for the prevention of premature sexual development.
The principal, during the meeting with the parents, had painted grand visions for the future – in two years he planned to open four more school in the city (one fully configured for gaming exclusively on Korean servers) and a school in every town where the computer user saturation level was above 23%.
In front of the entrance to the school, he planned a gigantic reconstruction of a battle field from level 3c of the cult game “Warriors of Battlefield 17” (map 4azurroknight. Pk3). And instead of a football field, which wasn’t necessary for spine stretching exercises anyway, there was going to be a replica of Omaha Beach for fans of the paintball version of “Closer Combat 4 – Ultimate Expulsion”.
Unfortunately, after three years the school was closed due to a lack of interest. The principal didn’t consider the rapid development of multi-player type games, where the users play with each other on the internet, mostly in the evening.
And some insiders even claimed that kids at PEES had surfed adult websites during classes.
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