GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, topic, and format. You will be able to build your personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021.

Designing the Secret Game that Helped Win World War II

Simon Parkin  (Author & Journalist, Independent)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

New Yorker journalist and author of ‘A Game of Birds and Wolves’, Simon Parkin explores the design and deployment of a wargame that had a decisive effect on the outcome of the Second World War. Using balls of string and nubs of chalk, a group of young women and a retired naval Captain designed a game to expose a fatal flaw in Allied anti-U-boat tactics, and develop effective countermeasures. Their little-known work was fundamental to victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. This session examines the unique power of games to affect the world in tangible ways, and the important role of gameplay at the highest levels of militaries and governments around the world.

Takeaway

Attendees will come away having been inspired by the unique power of games to affect the world in tangible ways, and with a new understanding of wargames both contemporary and historical, and the role they play at the highest levels of militaries and governments around the world.

Intended Audience

Game designers, history buffs, anyone with an interest in the role of play in the government and military.