PRINT November 2008


Guy Debord’s Game of War and the Radical Software Group

IN APRIL OF THIS YEAR, an original silver-plated edition of the Game of War, a military-strategy board game released in 1977 by the founder of the Situationist International, Guy Debord, was displayed at the “Form as Strategy” exhibition in New York at Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for American Architecture. Installed alongside it was an online multiplayer game called Kriegspiel, designed this year by the Radical Software Group—a loosely defined New York–based collective of artists and computer programmers perhaps best known for its research into applications of tactical media theory. The pairing seemed reasonable enough: Kriegspiel was, in fact, RSG’s adaptation of Debord’s game for the digital age. Upon hearing of the juxtaposition of the original game and RSG’s version, however, a lawyer for Debord’s widow, Alice Becker-Ho, sent a fax to the Buell Center demanding that

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