‘Atrocity – The game all the family can play – often against their will’
One of my favourite games as a wee boy was a top trumps card deck of show-cars and prototypes – all 60’s curves and super low 70’s wedges. ‘Atrocity’ is an artwork by Steve Allbutt in the form of a pack of trump cards, only instead of showstoppers, it documents Man’s inhumanity to man. Limited to 50 packs, the game functions just as my pack did as a kid, though much more terrifying. Atrocity is a subject that Steve has returned to though this time in a pocket sized ‘family friendly’ edition.
I couldn’t work out which nation was tops – the British Empire did a sterling job, as did China throughout its history, though the Europeans as a whole with their conquest of the Americas and the African slave trade does take some beating. The Nazis were incredibly efficient in such a short, but then so was Churchill, and he’s only in for one specific instance where there are many more of his decisions that seemed to take no account others suffering.
The definition of ATROCITY employed for this game is as follows: Genocide, ethnic cleansing, mass ethnic/ religious persecution, political purges/repressions (politicides), forced labour, slavery, abuse of workers, slave trade’s, war crimes, ancient war atrocities actions of’ individual leaders, anthropologically exacerbated famines and discase outbreaks.
There are other historical atrocities other than those contained within this pack, but we have employed a minimum threshold of a geometric mean estimate of 1 million deaths which has in some cases precluded categories such as human sacrifice, ritual suicide, riots, political unrest, prisons, concentration camps and extermination camps -with the one notable exception of Auschwitz – also covered here by “The non-Jewish Holocaust”, “The Jewish Holocaust”, “Hitler” and other related atrocities.
War and armed conflicts in and of themselves are not counted here and neither are the multiple historical conflicts within China completely covered (Est: between | 10m and 240m deaths). Please keep in mind while playing this game, that nearly all of the statistics we have used are based on estimates of estimates, but you have to start somewhere and as Uncle Joe may or
may not have said: “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic”,
Artwork © Steve Allbutt, text and images © Steve Allbutt and moderneccentrics