On Monday 6th October the Institute for the Future’s forecasting game, Superstruct begins. I had to read the FAQ to find out what the game actually involves as everything else is so EXCITED that the actual mechanics are a bit lost.

There’s a “scenario” although it doesn’t seem much like a scenario to me. It describes five potential “superthreats” to the survival of the human race but doesn’t describe what the world is like in 2019, which is when the game is set.

Playing the game involves describing life in 2019:

Superstruct is played on forums, blogs, videos, wikis, and other familiar online spaces. We show you the world as it might look in 2019. You show us what it’s like to live there. Bring what you know and who you know, and we’ll all figure out how to make 2019 a world we want to live in.

It’s a fantastic idea which should (a) help create a plethora of vivid descriptions of what life could be like in ten years and (b) get people into the mindset of thinking about our futures.

So it’s a shame things aren’t clearer. Is there a standard scenario in which everyone will write their own stories? Or are people coming up with their own visions of 2019? Based on what? And what do those five “superthreats”, which could cause human extinction around 2040 to 2050, have to do with all this?

Hopefully all will become clear from Monday.

Related entries


Phil, great to see you posting here again.

Now that Superstruct's more than halfway through, I'd be interested to hear whether that initial confusion has been resolved for you. I may be too close to the project to judge it myself, but your considered opinion would be really interesting.


Sorry I didn't get round to this sooner, and now the game's over! I've just had another look at the site, but I'm still a bit mystified. I can't work out how to find anything people have contributed to the game. Maybe it would all make sense if I'd looked while the game was in process, rather than only before and after!

Recent Entries

Bye for now
I’m going to stop posting things here. When I started up again a few months ago I had a fair… More…
Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation
I’m not clear whether this is new or not but, via the Futures weblog, the Ontario College of Art and… More…
Wrong Tomorrow
It’s getting linked to from many places today but that’s no reason not to mention it here… Wrong Tomorrow is… More…
ETech 09: The Real Time City
Andrea Vaccari, from Senseable City Lab, MIT, late on Wednesday aftenroon at ETech 09.… More…