Playing Nuclear War: Learning Postmodern War from Modern Physics

  • Jenni G. Halpin
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)


Both Steven Dietz and Tom Stoppard have written plays that enact modern physics to rupture the ordinary logics of spatio-temporal causality within their plots. Viewed together, the two plays suggest a gamification of nuclear warfare and, more generally, international relations. As the stakes had been elaborated throughout the Cold War, both plays turn from those to concerns with the players of these games and the effects not of winning or losing but of the game itself. Ultimately the limitations of knowledge experienced by the characters, limitations created by the disarrayed space-time accepted and created within the plays, work to alter both the decisions the characters can make and the judgments audiences might cast on those characters.


Gamification MAD Wave-particle duality 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenni G. Halpin
    • 1
  1. 1.Savannah State UniversitySavannahUSA

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