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Author Topic: Fulda Gap (SPI, '77) and West German Peace Protests  (Read 4898 times)

bayonetbrant

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on: August 15, 2022, 12:18:17 PM
Wargame History – An anti-nuclear wargame in Fulda Gap: The First Battle of the Next War (SPI, 1977)

https://www.armchairdragoons.com/articles/research/fuldagermany77/


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Another Fulda Gap History

The journal article that caught my attention is “Fulda Gap: A board game, West German society, and a battle that never happened, 1975-85” by Adam R. Seipp, Professor of History at Texas A&M. The article appears in the June 2022 issue of War & Society, DOI: 10.1080/07292473.2022.2087401. The abstract tells us:

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“This article explores the reception of the American-made board game Fulda Gap: The First Battle of the Next War in the Federal Republic of Germany in the early 1980s. The German peace movement used the game, which depicted conventional, chemical, and nuclear war on German territory, as a potent symbol of what they believed to be American and NATO disregard for German lives and sovereignty. The controversy over the game reflected the changing character of German-American relations during the ‘Second Cold War’ and increasing concerns among Germans about the possible consequences of superpower conflict in Central Europe.” (Seipp, Abstract)

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mcguire

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Reply #1 on: August 15, 2022, 05:13:06 PM
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Regardless of how wargame designers and players look at our hobby, Professor Seipp rightly points out the reactions of non-players is powerful and important. I can see how the “message” of a game can be lost on wargame designers who are often focused on building game mechanisms to recreate history or to create a plausible future.

I hate to be all post-modern (Not really, he says obscurely), but there's always a message even if the designer or someone else claims there's no message.

Anyway, can I recommend Games of History: Games and Gaming as Historical Sources by Apostolos Spanos? Or at least I think so, I've got it but haven't read it yet. It's on the near-term list, though. Really.

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Games of History provides an understanding of how games as artefacts, textual and visual sources on games and gaming as a pastime or a “serious” activity can be used as sources for the study of history.

https://www.routledge.com/Games-of-History-Games-and-Gaming-as-Historical-Sources/Spanos/p/book/9780367358907
« Last Edit: August 15, 2022, 05:27:40 PM by mcguire »

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bayonetbrant

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Reply #2 on: February 11, 2023, 08:57:49 PM

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Tolstoi

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Reply #3 on: April 06, 2023, 02:06:50 PM
Anyway, can I recommend Games of History: Games and Gaming as Historical Sources by Apostolos Spanos? Or at least I think so, I've got it but haven't read it yet. It's on the near-term list, though. Really.
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Games of History provides an understanding of how games as artefacts, textual and visual sources on games and gaming as a pastime or a “serious” activity can be used as sources for the study of history.

https://www.routledge.com/Games-of-History-Games-and-Gaming-as-Historical-Sources/Spanos/p/book/9780367358907

Interesting book McGuire, thanks for sharing this with us. After a quick inspectional reading, this book might be useful. Spanos barely mentions wargaming; however, from other examples, such as boxing and games of chance, (mainly with dice), there might be a way to extrapolate perceptions of wargames by different groups and cultures from games that are not wargames, or possibly other games that use war as their backdrop, like first person shooters.  I'm not going to be able read Games of History anytime soon, so I can't be sure. Have you been able to read it yet?



mcguire

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Reply #4 on: April 06, 2023, 02:29:03 PM
Interesting book McGuire, thanks for sharing this with us. After a quick inspectional reading, this book might be useful. Spanos barely mentions wargaming; however, from other examples, such as boxing and games of chance, (mainly with dice), there might be a way to extrapolate perceptions of wargames by different groups and cultures from games that are not wargames, or possibly other games that use war as their backdrop, like first person shooters.  I'm not going to be able read Games of History anytime soon, so I can't be sure. Have you been able to read it yet?

Unfortunately, no.  :-\ I've been on a medieval naval warfare binge.  :biggrin: (Geography, Technology, and War by John Prior is a strong recommend, and War at Sea in the Middle Ages and Renaissance edited by Hattendorf has some really good chapters.)

But really, it's next along with a couple of other gaming books I've picked up recently. Honest!  :-[

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Tolstoi

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Reply #5 on: April 08, 2023, 10:41:50 AM
Ha! No worries, those other books sound super cool too. Not wanting to hijack the Fulda Gap thread with medieval naval warfare and logistics, (sorry admins!) I'll bring this back on topic by stating the original article posted by Brant should be available in most EBSCOhost databases near you by July of this year. You might get it via interlibrary loan sooner; however, I know not all libraries offer that service.