The Game of War (2007)
The Game of War, 2007, Class Wargames: Dr. Richard Barbrook, Alex Veness, Ilze Black, Fabian Tompsett, Rod Dickinson, Stefan Lutschinger, Elena Vorontsova, Mark Copplestone and Lucy Blake
A series of live events, an installation of a pewter sculpture and video
The Game of War is a recreation of Guy Debord's 1970 military strategy board game 'The Game of War'. The project is a collaboration by Class Wargames. The game is reproduced in hand cast solid pewter.For Debord, The Game of War wasn't just a game - it was a guide to how people should live their lives within Fordist society. By playing, revolutionary activists could learn how to fight and win against the oppressors of spectacular society.
The Game of War is a Clausewitz simulator: a Napoleonic-era military strategy game where armies must maintain their communications structure to survive - and where victory is achieved by smashing your opponent's supply network rather than by taking their pieces.
Guy Debord is celebrated as the leader of the Situationist International and as the author of the searing critique of the media-saturated society of consumer capitalism: The Society of the Spectacle. What is much less well known is that after the May 68 Revolution, Debord and his partner - Alice Becker-Ho - quit Paris and went to live in a remote French village. Over the next two decades, Debord devoted much of the rest of his life to inventing, refining and promoting what he came to regard as his most important project: - a military strategy board game... The Game of War.
The Game of War has been played at numerous live events, including:
The Summer of Dissent, Plan 9, A season of covert actions and overt operations, Saturday 25 July, 19:30hrs, Plan 9, Bridewell Street, Broadmead, Bristol BS1
Cold War Modern, An evening to celebrate the exhibition, Cold War Modern: Design 1945-1970, 31 October 2008 18.30-22.00, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, SW7
The Pumphouse Gallery, 'The Institute of Psychoplasmics', Curated by Pil and Galia Kollectiv, 9 April 2008 - 26 May 2008, Battersea, London
London Games Festival Fringe 7pm on 23 October 2007, 01zero-one, LondonFurther information and images on the project web site: