‘A Game of War’ was designed and created by Rob Lycett, in order to perform a version of Guy Debord’s original 1965 revolutionary game at the ‘Feral Vector’ game conference in Hebden Bridge (29.05.2015). The scenario for the performance was a reimagining of the English Civil War battle of 1643, The Battle of Heptonstall (near Hebden Bridge).
Debord had originally intended the game as a training tool for revolutionary causes. The gameplay concerned lines of supply and communication (both of ideology and military supplies). He drew upon the writings of Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) in his text ‘On War’ (1832).
Rob Lycett’s version of the game board used key ideas from Clausewitz, encoded into the square grid as QR codes, which can be decoded by players with a smart phone and QR reader. The play surface acts both as a physical terrain and as a theoretical foundation. Terrain, forts and depots us appropriated fragments from OS maps as their surface pattern. The playing pieces are surfaced with art establishment advertising materials (Debord hated the art establishment). These appropriations mirror the Situationist method of détournement.