The final countdown: 30 minutes to go!

Time sure does fly when you’re having fun. Your incredible (and numerous) posts have continued to overwhelm both the game guides and the servers behind the site – in the very best of ways! All of your vivid futures have slowed down the site a bit but that hasn’t deterred you wonderful players, has it? Just in the past 7 hours (Round 3 of gameplay), you’ve added 25,100 futures. Thats more than any other game has gotten in 30 hours! Wow! And that’s on top of the other 62,672 cards that were played in rounds 1 and 2.

Game stats: 25100 futures imagined by 8919 players; 25 minutes to go

We know you saved your best, most creative, most future-facing ideas for last. Add them before the clock runs out at 9pm PT/12am ET!

Technology to Torture

Guest post by Deb Chad, Director for Program Technology at Facing History and Ourselves.

History is littered with stories of torture. Deliberate acts of inflicting pain on a person to compel action captures our imagination, evokes empathy, and impassions our beliefs. We study the torture devices of the Middle ages, the outcomes of the witch trials in Colonial Massachusetts, and countless other torture by individuals, groups, and states. Our studies reflect not only the events, but also the human behavior associated with them. Today, there is even a museum in Amsterdam dedicated to looking at torture throughout history.

More current conversations around torture have focused on what types of torture is warranted with the urgency of terrorism. According to a spring 2015 Pew Research Center survey of 38 nations, public opinion around the world is divided about whether government-sponsored torture can ever be justified as part of efforts to prevent terrorist attacks.

Face the Future discussions have focused on the power technology can have on increasing empathy through the sharing of emotions. However, many posts also worry about the misuse of this technology. Using the sharing of difficult emotions as a tool for torture has many of us worried.

Shadow imagination card: "I feel like this could be used as a new torture mechanism or a way to cause people harm"

Shadow imagination card: "People could use it as a form or torture in a way."

Physiological torture has long gone hand and hand with physical torture. Sharing of emotions allowed through FeelThat technology holds the potential for sharing the worst feelings of humanity with unknown consequences.

Shadow imagination card: "The stress of feeling multiple emotions at once could be very overloading for one person. We were not meant to take on that stress. #woods"

Trust in who has this technology and how it is used is essential. This tweet reminds us that torture is just not about the physical, or emotional actions, but about the lasting outcomes.

Tweet by Cheryl Payne (@PayneStevens): .@facinghistory What if govt's used FeelThat to torture its ppl? Could it manipulate them to create We & They? #woods  #FaceTheFuture

According to Human Rights Watch, “The prohibition of torture is a bedrock principle of international law.” What new laws, jobs, and checks and balances would we need for this new technology to ensure responsible use even in the most dire of circumstances?


Ready for Round 3?

You did it once again! Filled our database to the brim. So it’s time to start off with a clean slate…round 3 of cardplay has officially commenced.

Here’s an update on our record-breaking stats:

62,672 micro-forecast cards played by 8,118 players. That’s over 3x the players and over 2x the cards of previous games!

Keep up the good work, budding futurists! 7.5 hours to go!


Round 2! More futures. More fun.

As we mentioned before, you are smashing records left and right. We’ve had over 20,000 more cards played than any game we’ve ever hosted on this platform in the past. Ends up all that enthusiasm filled the platform to the brim. In order to get the site back up and running we’ve backed up our first round of cards (all 39,396 of them!) and cleared the site for the next round of game play.

Let’s make round two even deeper and more vivid than the last. Push your thinking to the next level. Remember, this is the year 2026 and you can feel what other people around you feel. How would this impact how you go about your day? How you learn? Who you consider a part of your universe of obligation? The companies and products you interact with? The range of emotions you feel? The art you create? The hobbies you pursue?

Can’t wait to see your next round of ideas!

Smashing records left and right!! Now let’s take conversation to the next level

Wow wow wow. Face the Future, players, you are KILLING IT. You have smashed all of the records we have for Foresight Engine gameplay. Our previous record holding game? 2,583 players (with University of California, San Francisco). As of right now we have 4,061!!!!  As for previous record number of cards played, that record was held by University of California, Davis. They had 28,226 cards played. You all? You’ve added 29,315 as of 20 minutes ago. And the number keeps shooting up!

Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 6.41.38 AM

As you play, we invite you to push beyond your first reactions to the FeelThat scenario to get to that next level of engagement. Try to imagine what a day in your life might look like, ten years from today, in a world where you’re wearing a FeelThat. What is the first thing you do?

Too lazy to go on a run? Pipe in the feels from another runner who actually managed to make it out the door.

Trying to wean yourself off coffee? Pipe in some energy.

Have a big brainstorming meeting coming up? Feel 5 different perspectives to broaden your mind coming in.

Maybe you’re working towards an empathy badge for school. Engage with two individuals from different regions – feel what they’re feeling and talk with them about the context around those feels, too!

Or your overbearing mom makes you check in with your feels with her every single morning…ugh. Good thing you have a secret feed with your friends to complain about it…

Those are just a few silly ideas. What are yours? What would your new morning routine be?


Awesome games sometimes break the Internet

IFTF updated the Foresight Engine (TM) platform with brand new technology for the futures games of 2016. We have added features such as mobile card play and big build card data visualization and many other features!

  • This included recent focused improvements for speed and performance upgrades from February’s massive Envision UCDavis game (with over 24k futures played…and we’re well on our way to beating that with Face the Future already!).
  • Just like the speed of innovation and the evolution of most new social technologies—much like life and the future—unforeseen things can always happen.
  • While we have the utmost confidence in our platform certain dynamics come with the success of lots of engagement and we could still break our games in new ways because of things we don’t yet understand.

Image of a dictionary excerpt that reads: In·ter·web ˈin(t)ərweb/ ; noun: humorous ; plural noun: interwebs; the Internet."


Again—it is new technology AND it is a game and a social experiment. We encourage all players to approach our games with a relaxed, playful, and patient mindset.


When thinking about the future we always encourage those who co-think with us to be comfortable with some risk, disruption and uncertainty. (Our colleague, world-famous Game Designer Jane McGonigal, reminded us that all of her biggest successful public games have broken at some point).

We encourage the player whole community to embrace the fragility that comes with gaming and total unexpected success and most of all BE PLAYFUL!

A Few Tips:

  • PLAY FROM TWITTER. If you find that there are breaks, time outs or application errors, people can always play cards via Twitter with the game #FeelThatPositive and #FeelThatShadow hashtags.
  • WORK THROUGH YOUR IDEAS WITH PEN AND PAPER. Get your ideas ready to play for when the site is back up. Ask yourself, “If FeelThat were to exist, what would change in our society? If that change happened, what else would change? What else?” Work to get through those initial ideas to really vividly imagine how different the world could be ten years from now, when we can feel what other people feel.
  • REMEMBER, Be patient, gameful and playful.


Welcome, South Africa!

It’s getting late here in the US, but halfway around the world in South Africa, things are just starting to heat up. In a matter of minutes, 74 new players from South Africa just signed into the game. Welcome! Can’t wait to see your thoughts on the future of empathy and the new conversations, moral dilemmas, new ways of relating, learning, and more that will pop up in the year 2026!

image of world map with player activity. Biggest player activity bubble over South Africa

The Vulnerability of Opening Up

Guest post by Merri Weir, Facing History Los Angeles Teacher Leader

What does 2026 look like and what would happen if I could feel people’s emotions? Will anything be private anymore?

I didn’t know what to expect when I signed on to be a Facing History Face the Future game guide but it has been fast and furious but most importantly enlightening. Reading how students imagine a future in which you can be part of the FeelThat Network. A network that allows you to experience people in your network’s emotions in real time.

As I am monitoring game cards several trends have begun to appear. One that stands out to me is the issue of privacy. Since most game participants are teenagers who are deeply entrenched in social media I was surprised by the large number who played Shadow Imagination cards about the loss of privacy especially because they share their lives so openly on social media in the present. This is one mirrors numerous others cards which led to Big Builds.

Shadow Imagination Card: It will end the privacy and the individuality of the people by not having power of the secrecy of their own feelings. #prepaibero

Variety of response cards to the original card on the end of privacy and individuality

Playing the game allows you to interact in numerous ways and to view responses in various formats the graphic below is the visual for this build. You can find bubble graphs of this and other “big builds” here!

visual bubble graph representing the conversation

I began to think about how the issue of privacy in this case may be that they are making themselves vulnerable like Sanjai:

Shadow imagination card: "#Privacy It interrupts the spirit of brainstorming or discussions at work. Since they will know the mindset I have come with to the meeting"

Is feeling vulnerable always a negative can you turn that vulnerability into understanding and result in greater empathy? If we face our own vulnerabilities can we expand our Universe of Obligation and build relationships on trust and understanding? This is what BSIEmma is asking players and you should be too.

Positive imagination card: What do you think is more important? Putting yourself out there to feel emotions, or backing out due to privacy concerns? #bsi

And we’re off! Official game launch

Just like that Face the Future has officially launched! 30 hours of envisioning the future of empathy in a world where we can feel what other people can feel.

And players are already beating records. Before the clock even officially began, a whopping 733 players contributed 3,298 micro-forecasts to the site! Conversation has been fast an furious and we can’t wait to see where the next 30 hours take us.

Please join in on the conversation at We can’t wait to see what you have to add!