Part of Abducting Europa

Ascent – Above the Nation State Rules

Simon Denny

Three UV printed canvases enlarge pages from a rulebook of a fictional game “Ascent: Above the Nation State Rules” produced as a part of a project unpacking the political world view of US-based right-libertarian technologist, entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel. The rules describe a gamified attempt to supersede national sovereignty in a bid for global individual sovereignty. “Contrarian Heroes” based on figures influential in Theil’s orbit, use their “attack powers” such as “deregulation” and “public outrage” to defeat “maladaptive monsters” like “Democracy”, “Transparency” or “Free Elections”. The game is based on the imagery and structure of the high fantasy dungeon crawl tabletop game “Descent”, published by Final Flight Games in 2005. The imagery and characters as well as the game mechanics synthesise an expansionist political worldview which underlines the aggressive register of one of the most influential figures in Big Tech.


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