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Class Warfare: Radical French philosopher Guy Debord’s Situationist board game


Guy Debord and Alice Becker-Ho playing Kriegspiel in 1977. Photo by Jeanne Cornet via Cabinet
 
After he disbanded the Situationist International in 1972, one of the obsessions that consumed Guy Debord was a board game he invented. Kriegspiel, or Le Jeu de la Guerre—German and French, respectively, for “war game”—was based on Debord’s reading of the military theorist Carl von Clausewitz. The London-based group Class Wargames describes Kriegspiel’s purpose concisely:

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.

So convinced was Debord of the game’s utility and revolutionary potential that, in 1977, he founded Les Jeux Stratégiques et Historiques (Strategic and Historic Games) to produce a limited run of Kriegspiel sets. Ten years later, Debord and his wife Alice Becker-Ho published a book about Kriegspiel, Le Jeu de la Guerre. Debord opens the sixth chapter of his memoir Panegyric with these reflections on his game:

I have been very interested in war, in the theoreticians of its strategy, but also in reminiscences of battles and in the countless other disruptions history mentions, surface eddies on the river of time. I am not unaware that war is the domain of danger and disappointment, perhaps even more so than the other sides of life. This consideration has not, however, diminished the attraction that I have felt for it.

And so I have studied the logic of war. Moreover, I succeeded, a long time ago, in presenting the basics of its movements on a rather simple board game: the forces in contention and the contradictory necessities imposed on the operations of each of the two parties. I have played this game and, in the often difficult conduct of my life, I have utilized lessons from it – I have also set myself rules of the game for this life, and I have followed them. The surprises of this Kriegspiel seem inexhaustible; and I fear that this may well be the only one of my works that anyone will dare acknowledge as having some value. On the question of whether I have made good use of such lessons, I will leave it to others to decide.

The Atlas Press English-language edition of Becker-Ho and Debord’s book, A Game of War, comes with a board and punch-out pieces, but Board Game Geek warns that this edition “has a faulty translation of the rules, making it more or less unplayable.” The Radical Software Group’s web version of the game has been down for some time. So if, like me, you enjoy using things without paying for them, the best bet seems to be Class Wargames’ printable boards, pieces, and battle maps. Their website also has the free book Class Wargames: Ludic subversion against spectacular capitalism, plus information about such radical board games as Imperialism in Space, which promises to give players “a critical understanding of the political and theoretical arguments of Vladimir Lenin’s famous 1916 pamphlet Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism.”

After the jump, an explanation of Kriegspiel’s rules….

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Motörhead’s Orgasmatron War Pig: The ultimate stocking ... stuffer
11.23.2016
03:04 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Games
Music
Sex

Tags:
Motörhead
sex toys


 
The field of sex toys with an explicit rock music tie-in is a relatively new one, but if you think about it, it would be odd if a band who released an album called Orgasmatron and a song called “Vibratordidn’t have a line of sex toys. Clearly, this was the kind of thing Lemmy and the gang gave serious thought.

My colleague Ron Kretsch introduced readers to Lovehoney’s line of Motörhead-themed vibrators last year, so this isn’t exactly a new topic for us. The four products that were made available last year were tributes to Ace of Spades and Overkill—all of them vibrators—with prices ranging from $26.95 to $54.95.

But when they come out with new Motörhead models, well twist our arm, it’s our pleasure, nay our responsibility to let you know. Not for nothing, but the Orgasmatron thing was just lying out there waiting for something to give. Sure enough, Lovehoney has three new products, a glass dildo in both clear/black and black/gold which is a tribute to Bomber, and an “Orgasmatron War Pig Wand Vibrator.”

Here they are, beauties all:

 
Much more after the jump…....
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Wonderful Japanese kaiju playing cards
10.14.2016
11:07 am

Topics:
Art
Games

Tags:
playing cards
kaiju


 
I have almost no information about these marvelous Japanese playing cards featuring some of the most fearsome kaiju monsters, blithely exposing the naked hubris inherent in all of our fancy industrial structures (mostly by tearing them apart).

Judging from the typeface and so forth, it can’t be much later than the mid-1960s, can it? Anybody out there know?

The source for these images is Flickr user ToadLickr, who indicates that these cards may have been made by the Alaska card company.

You can see quite a few more of these great cards at the endlessly rewarding blog Monster Brains.
 

 

 
More of these excellent kaiju playing cards after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Pinball machine featuring the Stones, Elton John, The Who, AC/DC, KISS and many more

003rollingstonepinball1.jpg
 
The pinball arcade was where the boys in leather jackets hung out. The guys into Heavy Metal, Hell’s Angels and books by Sven Hassel. That’s what I recall from growing up. The pinball machines were always situated at the far end of the arcade—past the lines of slot machines with itchy-fingered retirees spending their hard-earned cash and the whey-faced office clerks on their lunch break in off-the-peg suits and white socks.

In those days smoking was permitted indoors—so the back of the room where the pinball machines and the boys in denim and leather hung out was always thick with blue cigarette smoke. Just go down to the back of the room and inhale a few breaths—it saved you on the cost of buying smokes.

For some reason pinball machines were associated with being tough. I was never really quite sure why. Manliness and the ability to use flippers dexterously meant—obviously in some secret code I was unable to fathom—that you were a tough guy. These boys sneered at punk. Tolerated Prog. Hated Glam and Mod—which was strange as most liked Slade and The Who. What they did like was Black Sabbath. Deep Purple. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. AC/DC. And The Rolling Stones—post 1968.

Their bravado was all front—like the flashing lights and bells of the pinball machines they played. The pinball was a totem for their nascent identity. In a few years time, some of these boys would be in their own off-the-peg suits playing slot machines during their lunch breaks.

Pinball has always had that macho outsider image—which probably explains why certain hard rockin’ bands and artistes have opted to merchandise their product through pinball machines.
 
003Arollingstonespinball.jpg
 
More rock and pop pinball machines, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Notable airplane crashes recreated in flight simulator program
08.29.2016
09:01 am

Topics:
Games

Tags:
airplanes


Aftermath of the 1986 Cerritos mid-air collision—this is not going to end well…..
 
A young man in the Philippines named Allec Joshua Ibay has developed an interesting—and morbid—hobby. Using Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, Ibay likes to recreate noteworthy airline crashes from the past.

Ibay’s dedication to this hobby is impressive, with upwards of 30 such crashes now documented on YouTube. The tone is uniformly elegiac, with lachrymose music cues, but the videos also attempt to foreground useful information such as the actual dialogue between the doomed pilots and the control tower.
 

 
On some level Ibay knows that what he’s doing is creepy. The default video on his YouTube user page is a 9/11 tribute—not to worry, Ibay has done simulations of both UA Flight 175 and AA Flight 11. He seems to have gone out of his way to find FS2004 topics that are a bit less unsettling, as for instance this tribute to Heathrow or this compilation of safe landings on the island of Sint Maarten, where the airport is notoriously much too close to the beach, which has led to some fairly hilarious pictures of volleyball players confronted with a 747 jet landing almost right on top of them. (Last year we took a look at Jet Airliner: The Complete Works, a memorable book of such photos.) Ibay is currently 18, and some of these videos are more than a year old—I’d feel a little more squicked out if Ibay were in his thirties.

After the jump, some of Ibay’s greatest, er, “hits”......

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Go directly to Castro Street: ‘Gay Monopoly’ an absolutely fabulous vintage board game from 1983
08.03.2016
08:51 am

Topics:
Amusing
Games
Queer

Tags:
1980s
Gay Monopoly


Gay Monopoly, a very gay board game from 1983.
 
Like many people I have a love/hate relationship with the Internet. Which is a problem if you happen to be in the line of work I’m in. Today, however, is a day that I am in LOVE with the Internet and I don’t care who knows it. Check out this absolutely fabulous board game put out in 1983 that took the Parker Brothers staple Monopoly and gave it a drag queen style makeover. I present to you one of the greatest board games ever to be pulled out of a closet—Gay Monopoly.

An idea conceived by the cheekily named company Fire Island Games out of (natch) West Hollywood it’s hard to say what I like most about this whole riff on Monopoly. Like the game pieces that include a leather cap, high-heeled pumps, handcuffs, a hair dryer and a teddy bear. Or the properties up for grabs on the game board of notable gay destinations and landmarks such as Castro Street in San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, and good old Tremont Street—and of course Provincetown—in Massachusetts. And of course instead of building hotels on your property in Gay Monopoly you build bars and bathhouses. Of course since this is Gay Monopoly that we’re talking about here, the railroads have been replaced with discothèques. Yes. As I was reading through the insert that helps explain the game I came across some tongue-in-cheek text detailing the “rules” for Gay Monopoly:

Remember that nothing in the rules is sacred. They are not carved in Quiche. Rules are for people “living” in Straight City. When you play GAY MONOPOLY be inventive like gay people always are.

So the next time your boss tries to tell you what to do like “make sure you’re not late again tomorrow” or to “not to drink a bottle of wine at lunch” you tell them that unless those rules are carved in quiche then no dice. As you might imagine this game is a difficult one to track down as Parker Brothers came hard for Fire Island Games and sued them for copyright infringement. As it turns out Fire Island donated the vast majority of whatever profits they made for the fifteen-dollar game to AIDS research and support organizations. I did find a few going for multiple hundreds of dollars over on Etsy and Ebay if you’d like to add this fantastic artifact to your board game collection.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Pokémon Go-inspired dildos are finally here!
07.28.2016
12:10 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Games
Sex

Tags:
Pokemon


 
Is this the final nail in the coffin for Pokémon Go? If not, can it be? Please? When you think or least hoped you’ve heard the last about Pokémon Go, lo and behold someone goes and designs Pokémon dildos. Yes, Pokémon dildos.

Etsy shop Geek Sex Toys is making these and has appropriately called them PokéMOANS. We now have Pokémoans on this planet, folks.

A description from the Etsy listing:

‘Bulby’ - A grass type Pokémoan. Bulby has a large seed tip making it a very pleasurable friend to have. It’s seed is 5cm wide and 4cm tall and its body is 16cm tall and 3.5cm wide.

‘Charmy’ - A slightly thinner, fire type Pokémoan with a flaming tail. Standing 18cm tall and 4cm wide at its widest point Charmy gives intense orgasms everywhere it goes.

‘Squirty’ - A water Pokémoan. Squirty has a smooth round head with a large grooved turtle shell on its back. Its bubbly head measures 4cm wide whilst his body measures 6cm wide and 14cm tall.

‘Piky’ - This small electric type anal Pokémoan is a perfect size for the average Pokémoan trainer. Piky is an extremely cute yet essential addition to your team. Its insertable size is 2.5cm wide by 4cm tall and his tail is 8cm long.

Apparently there are only 100 left in stock. So you gotta get ‘em all while you can! A limited-edition set of four will set you back about $270.00 or each one sells for around $68.00. A bargain indeed.


 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Giant Raven Costume
07.05.2016
09:14 am

Topics:
Design
Games

Tags:
Dungeons and Dragons
raven


 
Wow! I really like this giant raven costume by illustrator and video game artist, Rah-Bop. It’s incredibly well-made and the details are impeccable. The costume was designed after Rah-Bop’s D&D character, Rue.

There’s really no additional information about this costume to report that I was able to find. But it’s amazing isn’t it? I wonder how long it took to make?

Hollywood needs to hire this Rah-Bop stat!


 
via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Grand Theft Auto vs COSMOS: Carl Sagan’s narration over GTA scenes is actually pretty amazing


 
An Irish YouTube user by the name of Duggy uses the Editor function in Grand Theft Auto V to create his own short video works, or as he puts it, “I attempt to put scenes from my head onto GTA’s world.” His most successful pieces are three shorts, created over the course of the last year, that drop GTA scenes under Carl Sagan’s narration from the original 1980 mini-series Cosmos.

These work surprisingly well, and probably not in the way you might be thinking—rather than relying on a collision of Sagan’s optimistic, wonder-filled exposition against the game’s notorious violence to achieve a cheap, ironic laugh, Duggy plays these straight, and the results are actually quite poignant! So yes, some of their effectiveness derives from a holy-shit-this-is-from-GTA frisson, there’s a bit more more going on than that.

I’d love to see some of these with voice-overs from the 2014 series hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Play ‘Thoughts and Prayers,’ the video game that allows you to feel good about doing nothing!


Painting via @pattkelley
 
It’s become a ubiquitous cliché following any national tragedy, and wouldn’t we know it in light of the fact that we seem to have a new national tragedy every couple of weeks: some devastating act of human misery is unleashed and the instantaneous response is a collective dash to the Internet to offer “thoughts and prayers.”

Finally, someone has taken that narcissistic, attention-seeking desire to engage a tragedy without actually doing anything of tangible value, and turned it into an action-packed video game.

One of our favorite Tumblr accounts, Christian Nightmares, hipped us to Thoughts and Prayers: The Game, a mindless exercise in which you do your best to offer both “thoughts” and “prayers” in response to an ever-increasing epidemic of mass-shootings.
 

 
Gameplay consists of hitting “T” for thoughts or “P” for prayers as a U.S. map lights up with shooting spree after shooting spree. What happens when you hit the “ban assault weapon sales” button? You’ll just have to play to find out. Is there a secret trick to winning the game? You’ll just have to play to find out.

How many thoughts and prayers can you rack up? Play Thought and Prayers: The Game HERE.

In a bit that’s become a modern comedy classic, Anthony Jeselnik breaks down the value of “thoughts and prayers”: “When you offer your ‘thoughts and prayers’ you are doing nothing. You’re doing less than nothing. You’re not giving any of your time, money, or even your compassion. All you are doing… ALL YOU ARE DOING is saying: ‘don’t forget about me today.’
 

 
Via: Christian Nightmares

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
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