Final Iteration – Artwork 2 – Diplomatic Deathmatch

by | Feb 24, 2016 | Artwork #2: Appropriate, Projects


Diplomatic Deathmatch


Starting Materials:

Nerf Guns

A deck of 52 playing cards

Index Cards (for rules)



  1. Four players sit around a table with a deck of cards and two guns
  2. Each player draws a card and does not show it to other players
    1. Diamonds = Russia
    2. Hearts = France
    3. Spades = Germany
    4. Clubs = America
  3. Each suit has its own win conditions
    1. Diamonds = Win if Germany and America are killed
    2. Hearts = Win if they’re the first to be killed or are the last to survive with Russia or America. If there are more than one French players and one is first to be killed, only they win.
    3. Spades = Win if all non-Germans are killed
    4. Clubs = Win if Germany and then Russia are killed
  4. If a player wants to reveal who they are without taking the gun, all other players must agree to reveal who they are as well.
  5. If a player wants to kill another player, they must reveal their card before taking the gun.
    1. If a player reveals their card and goes for a gun, another player may go for the gun if they plan to shoot the revealed player, and may flip their card after shooting.
  6. A player may only shoot once before returning the gun to the table.
  7. If a player shoots an ally, they lose.
    1. Russia may ignore this rule.



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Artist Statement

This version of the game is wholly very similar to the original game that I put out, but that’s because I was really happy with what I wound up creating. What I did change were some of the rules, adding a few more factors into how the game can evolve during play. I really liked the idea of games like Werewolf or Mafia where there’s the aspect of blind play and guesswork involved, as well as intuition and just raw luck. So, I wanted to create a more kinetic and physical version of that involving some of the objects laying around my room. From finding my old nerf guns to figuring out a good way to use a deck of cards, I was immediately drawn to warfare and decided that I wanted to adapt that in a fun way while also trying to use the Dada views of conflict. What happened was that I wound up with a game where every round a room of diplomats are trying to figure out alliances with everyone in the room before having a frantic shootout with whomever they think are their enemies. I think that my idea embraces the idea of Dadaism where ultimately most of the conflict players will be having will be ultimately futile because they’re always just as likely to kill an ally as they are their enemy and ultimately the best way to play the game is to always agree at the start to reveal who everyone is.