Lecture Series Presents: Mary Flanagan

Hippies, Hackers, & Wargames (A Secret History of War & Peace)

721 Broadway, Lower Level, Room 006
7PM
Thursday, 3/14

What do Call of Duty and the Parachute playground game have in common?  How did Alan Turning affect computer games?  These phenomena may not be as disparate as they seem.  The 20th century bore witness to opposing yet dominant threads that led to what we know as the indie game movement today.  First was the invention of the computer and the games that emerged as an entertaining byproduct of the military industrial complex.  Second were the physical games from the New Games Movement which brought revolutionary ideas about play and its role in society to the mainstream.

Flanagan will weave the history of computer gaming and the clandestine birth of computer science in with the peaceful play of hippie visionaries who saw games as a means to get in touch with one’s essential humanness. Exploring the complicated relationship between games, war, and peace, Flanagan will draw connections from these historic phenomena and demonstrate their influence the present moment.  How are the radical ideas from computer science and the optimism of generations past being realized in experimental games of today and tomorrow?