Sunday, October 12, 2008

Posted by Pantopicon

For those of you who have not heard yet: Superstruct is live! Our colleagues over at the Institute For The Future have launched the world’s first massively multiplayer forecasting game.

“By playing the game, you’ll help us chronicle the world of 2019–and imagine how we might solve the problems we’ll face. Because this is about more than just envisioning the future. It’s about making the future, inventing new ways to organize the human race and augment our collective human potential.”

Superstruct is developed by the IFTF’s Ten-Year-Forecast team led by Kathi Vian. Jamais (Cascio) is scenario director. Jane McGonigal (cf. iLoveBees) watches over the gaming aspects. Game interaction is a perfect match to the ‘what if?’ question central to futures studies: people are presented with challenges, they make choices which have consequences leading to new challenges. Several have advocated tapping into the opportunities that games offer to explore, learn about, envision and prepare for futures and future-oriented action (e.g. Eliane Alhadeff at Future-Making Serious Games ).

While gaming in general is getting more serious attention, especially so called serious games are on the rise within educational, corporate and policy contexts (e.g., see here). As such, the timing of Superstruct probably could not be better. In a recent blogpost Jamais notes how once again we are ‘flirting with the boundaries of the participatory decepticon’, as also Superstruct uses the fakes-as-real strategy (e.g. news items, commercials, blog posts, etc.) to bring the future to life. Yet again, these ‘alternative realities’, even infused in real reality (e.g. ARG’s), are exactly what attracts people as well. Considering its massive size as well as its develop-as-we-go approach, as a learning tool - not only for the IFTF - but also for their player audience, Superstruct offers lots of potential.

Stay tuned for more reflections …

Everyone could help to invent the future, this game is so attractive cause we all curious about tomorrow. The more people join in this game, the better we can augment our collective human potential. Also this game has serious meaning to evoke thinking of changing the world.

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