Random War is the result of an early computer model trying to predict the outcome of an imaginary battle with few variables. As the 1968 Motif Edition text sheet describes it: “A drawing was made of one toy soldier which provided data for the basic element of the composition. A random number generator was used in the programme to determine the distribution and position of the soldiers on the battlefield. One side is red, and other black, and the name of real people were given to each soldier. Their military ranks were assigned by the random number generator. The programme also had an automatic control for perspective. A picture 30×100 inches of the battle was produced, and the printout gave the following information : Total number of dead and wounded in alphabetical order – The survivors in alphabetical order.”
Charles Csuri (born 1922) is an artist and one of the pioneers of computer art. Together with James Shaffer he created quite a few iconic works of early computer art at Ohio State University. In 2012 Csuri developed an online game based on Random War, which is available for facebook members.