Information Fall-Out: Buckminster Fuller's World Game
Buckminster Fuller's humanitarian take on the war gameInitially proposed for the US Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, Buckminster Fuller's World Game was an educational simulation intended to create solutions for overpopulation and the uneven distribution of global resources. An alternative to war games, it uses Fuller's Dymaxion map and requires a group of players to cooperatively solve a set of metaphorical scenarios, thereby challenging the nation-state perspective with a more holistic "total world" view.The World Game was played for the first time in 1969 in New York, and evolved over the next decade. Proposals for World Game centers described a vast computerized network that could process, map and visualize environmental information drawn from (among other sources) Russian and American spy satellites. Fuller claimed that their optical sensors and thermographic scanners could detect the location and quantity of water, grain, metals, livestock, human populations or any other conceivable form of energy.Despite Fuller's plans for a photogenic, televisual and cybernetic form of mass participation, through Fuller's life the World Game remained largely speculative and pedagogical. It appeared primarily through copious research reports, resource studies and ephemeral workshops. The book tracks this textual dimension by assembling documents related to various instances of the World Game conceived, proposed and played from 1964 to 1982, examining the World Game as a system for environmental information and as a process of resource administration.