Friday, 12 September 2008

Superstruct: 10 days to go

Jane McGonigal's new project (in league with the Institute for the Future), Superstruct, is set to launch on the 22nd Sept and I'm getting pretty excited.

For those who don't know, Jane McGonigal masterminded World Without Oil, a project which asked participants to place themselves in an oilshock scenario and tell their story. The result was a massive, and I mean incomprehensibly gigantic, body of blogs, vlogs and podcasts, revealing an incredibly deep, detailed and vivid developing scenario. The quality of work submitted is astonishing, creating an alternate reality that is far more realistic and encompassing than any one person could imagine. Check out the concept and archive of work at The game received a significant amount of praise in the media and awards for raising awareness on an important issue, and doing so in a uniquely engaging way. The accuracy of the predictions made in the game have also been noted. More information can be found on the game's Wikipedia page.

Superstruct looks set to build on this format. Set 11 years in the future, a supercomputer has just predicted the human race's demise in 23 years time. The game is going to ask people to think about potential causes and how we might avoid them. The list of 'honorary gamemasters' that has been anounced is impressive:
  • Tim Kring, creator of the NBC TV series HEROES
  • Warren Ellis, superhero comic book author and novelist
  • Tara Hunt, social network expert and author of The Whuffie Factor
  • Bruce Sterling, science fiction writer and essayist
  • Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Wikia
  • Ze Frank, funniest person on the Internet
  • Chris DiBona, Open Source program manager for Google
  • Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media
There is currently an introductory mission going ahead here, inviting people to begin their story in the future, which is already looking pretty interesting, and somebody has even gone so far as to set up an in-game website: The Weather Project 2019 (read about Jane's amusing encounter with this site on her blog)

Anyways, more information at the Superstruct site, Jane's Avant Game blog, the Institute for the Future site and of course, ARGnet.
UPDATE: There's also a Facebook group, here!

I'm pretty interested to see how they're going to be running this, whether specific global in-game events will occur to guide the game, or more specific missions in a more ARG vein. Either way, it's going to be awesome.
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