A Speculative Documentary

By way of example of how design fiction might work. Peter Watkin’s 1965 documentary The War Game. This is what I would also call a design fiction, or speculative making. It was not shown on BBC television until 1985, as it was thought too horrifying for broadcast, even though all it does is play out the possible consequences of a nuclear strike upon Britain. It does so in the way that design fiction advocates. It isn’t fiction (the film is a documentary), but by using argument, reason, and rationality. All it does it think with the consequences and the implications of these as a very reasonable and logical ‘what if’ and ‘therefore’. It is, genuinely, horrifying without being scary. And yes, it is now on YouTube – The War Game (1965 – dir. Peter Watkins).