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Free Space (the IFTF "game")

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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:55 am    Post subject: Free Space (the IFTF "game") Reply with quote

From the folks who brought you Superstruct
(Institute for the Future --,
is a new "game" called "Free Space".

The game, found at, takes place
over a 24 hour period. Players register and post "micro-predictions"
about the consequences if advances in technology allowed very
small, very lightweight satellites ("cubesats") to be launched into
low earth orbit very cheaply.

Two of the three stages of the game have been concluded, and
the third is less than two weeks away at the time of this posting.
I only started getting involved in the second stage (full disclosure:
I came in 28th place, was characterized as "luminous" and won
an award for the "achievement" of being a "provocateur" -- fun stuff!)

From what I gather, the entire game was "twittered" - posts
were limited to 140 characters. Things spun out in ways I
couldn't have predicted, and it was very interesting. Still, there
were some aspects of the game that could be improved.

For one, the game was vulnerable to "gaming". For example
one player upped their point count by posting an extended
series of "cards" constituting a story line about space monkeys.

Secondly, the structure of the played "cards" is basically a "tree",
with arguments, questions and elaborations being represented
as "children" of the original posting. All well and good, but this
tree structure is obscured, and is only partially visible. Having
the tree structure more clearly expressed would, I think, improve
the quality of the postings.

Overall: Intriguing.
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