Superstruct: Crowdsource the Future


Based on the results of a year-long supercomputer simulation, the Global Extinction Awareness System (GEAS) has reset the “survival horizon” for Homo sapiens – the human race – from “indefinite” to 23 years.SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

This is the premise for Jane McGonigal’s newest game, Superstruct. The game’s goal is to crowdsource forecasting for the Institute For The Future. And based on that premise the IFTF is hoping that participants will do no less than help them find solutions to super-threats (climate refugees, water, carbon quotas and more are listed).

peanut crisis

The game will launch September 22nd and will last for six weeks. During that time players will learn more information about the world in 2019. The players will share how they would deal with this new world. They’ll be able to use a network of sites to write their thoughts, find examples in their town or upload a short documentary. A nice example of this is Mr. Judkins‘ photo of an empty shelf and a sign from a supermarket announcing a peanut shortage.

As with (almost) any game there is a point system. In this case participants with the most insight will get high-ratings and an ever increasing audience. Of course the points will also help the IFTF find some of the trends they are seeking. You can learn more about the game in Discover Magazine.

Jane developed the game in collaboration with Jamais Cascio and Kathi Van. Kathi is the IFTF’s Director of the Ten-Year Forecast. This is an annual exercise done by the Institute and is funded by their many corporate customers.

Jane worked on a similarly-structured game entitled World Without Oil last year (Radar post). In it participants made pretend that they lived in a world with increasing oil costs. They shared energy-saving schemes with each other via blogs and forums. Others modified their lifestyle and did not use the car as often so that they could keep within their new gas budget. I am sure that some of those tips are coming in handy now. I hope Superstruct’s scenarios don’t also come true.