Superstruct launches with Superthreats, a forecasting game for the masses!

If you are particularly fascinated by the future and enjoy playing games the following is something you should be involved and interested in. Superstruct, the world’s first massively multiplayer forecasting game started today with Superthreat scenarios by 2019. Game founder Jane McGonigal writes in a message sent to the members of Facebook Group the dedicated to the game:

Watch the news from the future, and find out exactly what dangers and challenges we face with Quarantine, Ravenous, Power Struggle, Outlaw Planet and Generation Exile.

Here is the Outlaw Planet video for instance:

The game is part of The Ten-Year Forecast Program of The Institute for the Future. You can find details in the Superstruct FAQ and as Jessica Hemerly summarizes it:

With Superstruct IFTF introduces a revolutionary new forecasting tool: Massively Multiplayer Forecasting Games (MMFGs). MMFGs are collaborative, open source simulations of a possible future. Each MMFG focuses on a unique set of “future parameters,” which we cull from IFTF’s forecast research. These parameters define a future scenario: a specific combination of transformative events, technologies, discoveries and social phenomenon that are likely to develop in the next 10 to 25 years. We then open up the future to the public, so that players can document their personal reactions to the scenario.

Back in February I participated in a workshop held at Palo Alto where we actually played a Superstruct like game from within the IFTF’s X2 site. (Later I became the steward of the Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology Group). We figured out possible technological advancements for the year 2019 and bet on these scenarios that are probably going to happen or are not going to happen by 2019. I especially liked that we had the options to create best and worst-case scenarios too and I think that people’s abilities, motivations and skills might be different along best and worst case lines. Also we had to write down a plan on how we imagine our career path and what kind of position we think we would be in by 2019 and that personal part is also an attractive way to get people involved in the game.
Before the workshop I hadn’t heard of the concept of prediction markets at all but I instantly understood and embraced the idea of it, as the inkling platform says:

“a prediction market is a way to ask for people’s opinions and average them all together to predict something happening in the future.
The term “market” is used because possible answers to a question are represented as stocks. If you think an answer is correct, you buy stock in it. If you think it is incorrect, you sell. People buying and selling shares makes the stock prices go up and down. Each stock price represents the consensus opinion on what the chances are of that answer being correct. For example, if an answer (stock) has a price of $30, we say that answer has a 30% chance or 3 in 10 chance of happening.”

When playing the game people can use their technological imaginations, i.e. their creative ideas backed by their knowledge of different fields and also their analytical, critical skills when evaluating the stocks.

Though Superstruct is not based on prediction markets as far as I understand if organized and designed well a game like that can truly have an impact on the future and that is why it really worth playing.

5 thoughts on “Superstruct launches with Superthreats, a forecasting game for the masses!

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