I came across this on Twitter last week: a newly compiled version of Ed Mead’s 80’s text adventure “The Warden Game“. Ed was a member of working-class anticapitalist urban guerrilla outfit the George Jackson Brigade, a group of Seattle-area organizers and militants who waged a real-world war against the institutions of late capitalism across the Pacific Northwest in the 70’s, including bombings, prisoner liberations, and bank robberies. While incarcerated for a double-life term in Washington’s Walla Walla prison, he taught himself to operate early computer systems, and used that knowledge to write “The Warden Game”. The game is a choose-your-own adventure text-based interface that runs you through the complexities of power and powerlessness within the US prisons of the 70’s. A lot has changed since then- mostly in terms of the massive and wholesale annihilation of prisoner power of any sort, and the Warden Game stands as an examination of a time when it seemed like there was a little more leverage available to those locked down.
The game was assembled by Dan Berger and Magadalena Donea, and is available to play at the website of the Washington Prison History Project. It’s fun- I heartily recommend.
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