Come to GDC for an inside look at a secret game that helped win WWII

The story of how young women designed a game to help the Allies win WWII is remarkably well-told in Simon Parkin's new book, and now he's coming to GDC to share rare insights into the game's design!

During World War II German U-boats plagued the British forces, and so a grand strategy game was devised by Captain Gilbert Roberts and a group of ten Wrens (members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service) assigned to his team in an attempt to understand and reveal the U-boat's tactics.

The story of how these young women designed a game that helped the Allies win WWII is remarkably well-told in New Yorker journalist Simon Parkin's new book 'A Game of Birds and Wolves', and now he's coming to GDC next month to share behind-the-scenes insight into the game's design!

In a special GDC 2020 Design track talk titled "Designing the Secret Game that Helped Win World War II" Parkin aims to show you how a group of young women and a retired naval Captain designed a game to expose a fatal flaw in Allied anti-U-boat tactics (and develop effective countermeasures) using balls of string and nubs of chalk.

Their little-known work was fundamental to victory in the Battle of the Atlantic, and this session examines the unique power of games to affect the world in tangible ways, as well as the important role of gameplay at the highest levels of militaries and governments around the world. It promises to be one talk you won't want to miss!

Register now for GDC 2020

GDC 2020 runs from Monday, March 16th through Friday, March 20th. This will be the 34th edition of GDC, and now that registration is officially open, you'll want to take a look at the (ever-expanding) session schedule and your GDC pass options -- register early to lock in the best price!

For more details on GDC 2020 visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent company Informa Tech

Latest Jobs

Xbox Game Studios

Redmond, Washington
Technical Lighting Artist


Hamburg, Germany
Game Designer - Elvenar

Six Foot

Houston, TX
Six Foot Director, Player Relations

Hometopia Inc.

Lead Engineer
More Jobs   


Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter


Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more