By Mike Masnick
A few weeks ago, we ran a little experiment, with our first ever Copia Gaming Hour. We brought together (virtually) a group of people to test run a fun future scenario planning game we created called Hindsight 2030. The game involved players dividing up into teams, having to pick a “target” 2030 headline (each table had a list of 3 to choose from out of a giant list we created), and then create a narrative through five headlines to explain how we reached that 2030 headline. For example, the demo version we created used the following headline:
Massive lawsuit threatens Pirate Party’s satellite broadband network
And the demo example of the headlines we created leading up to that headline was:
If you can’t read those, the headlines read:
2021: Copyright bill compromises DNS system, adds harsh new penalties for file-sharers
2023: Can copyright infringement disqualify you from UBI? The courts are split
2025: Pirate Party wins first US victories on promises of open internet revival
2027: Invalidation of SpaceX patents ushers in age of hobbyist nano-satellites
2029: SatTorrent protocol sparks panic in Hollywood, author still a mystery
2030: Massive lawsuit threatens Pirate Party’s satellite broadband network
Each team then also had to create an “epilogue” headline for some event happening after 2030 (we left it open to each team to come up with how far in the future that would be). After teams presented their five headlines leading up to their target, we had everyone in the audience take guesses on what the epilogue headline would be — which resulted in some pretty hilarious suggestions. For our sample one we had:
2033: Satellite-killer missiles disrupt Pirate Party network, scientists fear collision cascade
This whole thing was an experiment in general about whether or not we could create (1) some quick and easy group games for smart people around topics of interest to us, (2) whether or not people would like them, (3) whether or not the whole process would work, and (4) whether it could be a fun way to get together with people virtually that wasn’t yet another “Zoom Happy Hour.” As some of you know, over the last few years we (in partnership with Randy Lubin from Leveraged Play) been creating a variety of different games to explain the present or explore the future — including our big online disinformation election simulation game. But most of those are very involved and complex. We wanted to create a more informal and casual environment to test out some ideas and to have some fun on a Friday afternoon.
Given that this first one was a clear success, we’re planning to do more of these. The first one was done entirely by invite to a small group of people we knew. Since this is still very experimental, we’re not yet ready to open the doors completely to the public on this, but if you do want to be considered for the invite list to future games, we’ve now set up a quick form to register your interest. This is not a guarantee that you will be invited to future gaming hours — as we may still experiment with the setup, the number of attendees, and such — and some of it may depend on what it is we’re looking to test with each game. However, if you want to be on the list of potential invitees, please fill out the form.