“World Game” (aka World Peace Game) was a strategy simulation tool inspired by war games, but Fuller, visionary, architect and systems theorist, instead aimed to “make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone,” on a planetary scale through nations co-operating not competing.
Created in the early 1960s, in the cybernetics era, the “World Game” embodies the promise of computation and mathematical models for solving socio-political and ecological problems such as overpopulation, energy, consumption, access to services and resources. Today with the arrival of supercomputers, the multiplication of data and the advent of artificial intelligence, the realisation of such a project might be achievable.
Swiss collective Fragmentin’s work for ‘G80’ consists of a matrix of 80 motorised sliders on a console, reminiscent of a control room. Each slider corresponds to a named variable, with + and - signs measuring their scale. Some variables are directly inspired by those set by Buckminster Fuller and his students, while others have been redefined by Fragmentin to reference the major issues of our time, such as ecology, migration, gender equality or the development of technological innovations. In this device, the sliders act as both inputs and outputs.
Visitors are invited to interact with the work and playfully stabilise the world by changing the value of each variable. While making an initial change, they soon realise that all the sliders correlate with each other and that the variables are forming changing patterns without the players’ intervention, suggesting the interference of other agencies.
Notter + Vigne
mudac – Museum of Design and Applied Arts, Lausanne (Switzerland)