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'Superstruct' findings could help us prepare for grim future

created over 6 years ago | Tagged: entertainment, technology, safety, belonging, games, virtual forest, guarding, pessimistic, superstruct, game designer, institute for the future, iftf, jane mcgonigal, jamais cascio, worldwide community,


Now, the IFTF has issued its first findings from the 1,000-plus stories, 500-plus discussions, and 500-plus "superstructures" created by the worldwide community of the game's players, and while there's some reason for hope, there's also a lot to be pessimistic about.

In a report issued Wednesday evening, Superstruct's program director, Kathi Vian, lead scenario designer, Jamais Cascio, and lead game designer, Jane McGonigal, that they had crunched the community's collective submissions and settled on three main scenarios.

First, "The Long crisis," which "plots a path of slow response, resistance to change, and attempts to maintain current power relationships."

Second, "Emergence," which "follows a course of rapid adaptation from the bottom up, without much unifying direction.

And finally, "The great transition," which "envisions a world remade by technology, a challenge to the planetary dominance of humans as a species."

"All these scenarios are troubling," the report concluded. "They challenge us to ask hard questions about the choices we're making today and are likely to make tomorrow. They disabuse us of utopianism. But perhaps they also inspire us to think beyond our current tracks, to search for the breakthrough ideas that will provide a fourth, fifth, or tenth scenario."

The conclusions are varied, but the IFTF summed them up in five pithy, bullet-pointed sections that are expanded upon in the report's summary. Briefly, though, the report's authors wrote:

"You'll know you're superstructing when you've achieved: More and different participation."

"You'll know you're superstructing when you begin to implement what once were: Nearly inconceivable possibilities."

"You'll know you're superstructing when you're inventing and testing: Smaller and bigger practices."

"You'll know you're superstructing when you are creating: Stranger and more shareable products."

"You'll know you're superstructing when you are designing and participating in: New and world-changing processes."

Still, while purely fictional, the point of Superstruct, and the value in the findings, is that we should now have a little bit better sense of what's coming, and perhaps, how to stave off the things we don't want.

And today, we are pleased to share with you the first round of findings. These Superstruct findings are the first in the IFTF Annual TYF: Superstruct Series. With these we present to you the first 50-Year Scenario, "The Long Crisis". and "Superstructing Outcomes", five ways "you'll know you're superstructing when..." Over the next few months, we will be publishing additional Superstruct results online, including the next in the series: "Superstruct Strategies"— 7 actionable strategies that emerged during our game analysis. You’ll be able to follow the series and download the materials at our 10 Year Forecast RSS feed.




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