The Institute for the Future once again opens a window into tomorrow’s world, this time letting us peer into 2010 where in the town of Deepwell a woman’s mysterious will has the townsfolk in an uproar. On December 7, 2009, the citizens of Deepwell learned that a woman named Ruby Wood left a “substantial” sum of money to their town, but with one condition – that the townspeople learn to take better care of each other. Who is Ruby Wood? No one in the town seems to know. The town will learn more when the last will and testament of Ruby Wood is opened on March 9, 2010.
In order to get a little outside help and advice on caring, the citizens of Deepwell have launched a website called Ruby’s Bequest, along with a town blog, Deep Into Deepwell, where citizens can discuss the bequest and other town interests. Accusations of being “the town that doesn’t care right” and the tragic death of an elderly citizen have upset many of the townspeople and sparked a debate about caring.
BusinessWeek’s November 10th “Innovation” special report features none other than Dr. Jane McGonigal, the Institute for the Future‘s Director of Games Research and Development. Dr. McGonigal is known for her work on Microsoft’s Halo promotion, “I Love Bees”, the award-winning “World Without Oil” game, “Find the Lost Ring” and her current project, “Superstruct”. In her article, “Jane McGonigal’s Brave New Worlds”, BusinessWeek’s Innovation Department editor Reena Jana gives an overview of Superstruct and its goals, as well as insight into how information gathered through Superstruct’s scenarios will be used once the game is concluded.
In a short video embedded in the article, Dr. McGonigal answers five questions about Alternate Reality Games. The questions:
- Can you define exactly what an ARG is?
- Can you give more insight into the collaboration skills of “signal/noise management” and “multicapitalism”?
- Are ARGs more affordable and more efficient than expensive digital graphics and virtual worlds?
- How will “Superstruct” serve as a real-world tool for companies and individuals?
- Are you still working on promotional games?
Always looking for ways to turn real-life tasks into games, Dr. McGonigal set her video camera to stop recording at the six minute mark in her attempt to answer all five questions in five minutes. At the end of her video, she asks viewers to give her feedback on the interview and help her earn level-up points for her personal gamer stats by visiting +1me.com.