Museums and superstruct
Are you excited for Superstruct? The massively multiplayer online game about building the future will be up in a few weeks (Oct 6) though the story is up now. The game, to be played in familiar internet spaces, is, according to organizer Institute for the Future, based on scenarios of the near future in 2019: “By playing the game, you’ll help us chronicle the world of 2019–and imagine how we might solve the problems we’ll face. Because this is about more than just envisioning the future. It’s about making the future, inventing new ways to organize the human race and augment our collective human potential.” This is a super imaginative and fun way to think about the history and future of technology and human societies. Here’s a nice article about it.
The AAM’s Center for the Future of Museums is urging museum professionals to play Superstruct. They even provide some dire museum-based stories to think about:
It’s 2019. Your museum is informed that an international group currently touring your building was exposed to the latest deadly strain of Respiratory Distress Syndrome. You are instructed to lock down the museum and shelter staff and visitors in place while authorities determine whether anyone is infected. Are you prepared to deal with this?
Other snapshots from 2019: Is your museum ready to help your community cope with an influx of refugees fleeing climate change, food shortages and political upheaval? How will your operations change in the face of soaring energy prices or collapse of the food production and distribution system? Your museum depends on its website to deliver information and attract visitors, but your content has been corrupted repeatedly in the past few months by hackers attempting to undermine your credibility. How do you adapt?
According to the CFM, “AAM will work with IFTF to summarize and report on your solutions, and use them as the basis of further planning and discussion with you and with the field.” At hanging together, Gunter imagines another dire museum scenario.
Keep this on your radar, folks! I’ll try to report on (and create) museum and history stories on Superstruct as the game progresses.