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By Rhizome

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Wargame is a piece that Leif Rumbke has concieved as an installation at KHM in Cologne. It refers to the 1993 game Cannon Fodder by Sensible Software. The game was highly sarcastic (although I hardly remember anyone noticing) in the way that you were in control of a crosshair, randomly cutting down soldiers that entered your view on the screen.

Wargame takes on the same aesthetics, keeps the "very high grade of graphic violence" and lets two armies collide on screen. In contrast to the original, it uses generative algorithms and sophisticated particle systems for the "fountains of blood", but this time the bloodshed develops autonomously. The only way to intervene is through "snappily reduced means of interaction" represented by a big red bumper that will after a countdown (complete with before-death snapshots of some soldiers) eradicate the whole screen so the battle can start over again.

Rumbke sees his work as a critical commentary on both classic and contemporary war-simulations and other war-related media. The contradictions that arise to gamers are especially interesting since even obviously condemnable games often still provide highly enjoyable entertainment. Don't miss the hillarious video at the bottom of the page!

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