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Needed: Game Masters/Community Leaders for Superstruct (Updated)

UPDATE: We're no longer accepting applications for this position. But we do still need collaborators! If you'd like to be involved in Superstruct as more than a player -- for instance, if you'd like to throw a Superstruct party or workshop or camp; or if you'd like to organize a team of Superstruct players at your company, or your school; or if you'd like your blog to host a feed of advance game content; or if you'd like to rally your online community around a Superstruct theme; email Superstruct@iftf.org and let us know! Jane and I and IFTF would love to collaborate with you.

The Institute for the Future is hiring five community leaders/game masters for the upcoming future forecasting game Superstruct.

It’s an eight-week position beginning September 8, 2008. You can be a game master from anywhere in the world, and it will require ~12 hours of online work per week. You’ll work very closely with Jane McGonigal (Avant Game) and me (Jamais Cascio, Open the Future). This is a non-profit game with no commercial sponsors; the position comes with a stipend of $2500.

Skills required: Great forum writing skills; online storytelling experience (blogs, videos, photos, Twitter, etc.); curiosity about the future; some expertise in issues related to sustainability, global health, environmental or climate issues, global business, social networks, or anything else you think might be useful to solving the problems of the future. We're open to considering anyone with great writing skills and a desire to investigate the future! No technical skills required, just great Internet skills.

Your job will be to lead a team of players (at minimum, hundreds of players; more likely, thousands of players) in creating a collaborative online forecast of the year 2019. The forecasting will take place through wikis, forums, videos, blogs, Twitter, online comics, photo sets, and whatever else our players use to depict and talk about the future. You'll be reading and watching lots of player-created content, in addition to making your own content. You'll give the players feedback, and you'll synthesize and summarize the most interesting things in a short weekly story. You'll be moderating forums and wikis dedicated to solving a particular future-problem. You'll have to help your community manage a careful balance between "wow, the future might be scary" storytelling to "you know what, we might actually be able to solve this problem before it kills us all" optimism. Because the game isn't just about imagining the future. It's about inventing the future. This game is a kind of working prototype for the year 2019!

Each game master will focus on one of five "superthreats", ranging from a devastating disruption of the food supply chain, to a pandemic, to "global weirding" weather patterns to create millions of climate refugees. (Depending on your interest and area of expertise, we'll make sure you get the right topic!) In the two weeks before the game launches, we'll give you a crash course in the IFTF research that is guiding this game, so you'll be an expert on your area when the game launches on September 22, 2008.

To apply: Send a letter to Jane at superstruct@iftf.org explaining why you want to join us on the Superstruct team. Mention any previous experience as a writer, or thinking about the future, playing or making games, running online communities, or being an interesting person online. Include a CV or resume if you think it will help explain who you are, but most importantly, in your letter, answer this question: It's the summer of 2019. You are yourself, but 10 years in the future. Describe where you are having for dinner, what you're eating, and what you're thinking or talking about. How did you wind up there, compared to where you had dinner most often in the summer of 2008?


Heck, I was planning to *volunteer* to help out with this. Think I'll have to send in a letter now; 12hrs/wk is nothing.

Can I use you as a reference, dude?

I'm sorely tempted but, unlike csven, don't find 12 hours/week 'nothing'! (another example of a tipping point?)

Oh well! We'll see.

What is the closing date for applications, Jamais?

Another question from downunder: by summer, do you mean local summer, or Jun-Sep, 2019?

Tony -- given the number of applicants we've already had, for just five positions, I'd guess that the closing date is any second now.

And good catch on the seasons. More northern hemisphere provincialism. Sorry.


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