I came across this phrase in a Flaubert book and wondered what it meant. It's referring to some children playing in a very quiet village. Does it mean something like they're playing make-believe games? Thank you!
"Le jeu de barres" is a game that consists in capturing members of the opponent's camp. I can't really remember how to play it but the winner is the team with most "prisoners". The word "barre" is the same as in English, it means "bar" as is "ban".
It is supposed to have strong social implications, as you have to work as a team to release the prisoners who belong in your camp.