FAQ: About the Game
Q | What is the Face the Future Game?
Face the Future is a 30-hour massively open online game and conversation that will invite hundreds of educators, students, and Facing History community members to consider the future of empathy, in the year 2026. The game will be taking place November 13–14, on an online gaming platform, found at FaceTheFuture.org. Both individuals and classrooms will be invited to participate and interact with each other on the gaming platform by watching a video scenario and then submitting Twitter-length micro-contributions or “cards” considering both the positive and shadow sides of the scenario, and interacting with other players. Face the Future is a new kind of Community Conversation that aims to engage the Facing History community in new and meaningful ways.
Q | Why play a game to envision the future of empathy?
As innovators, we want to use a new and exciting approach to maximizing inclusion and idea generation. This gamified approach is designed specifically to gather many diverse ideas to be shared across a large number of people. Games take people outside the bounds of daily modes of thinking. When we want to think about the future, it’s important to loosen these bounds so that we can anticipate the plausible, but not yet realized. Games also encourage both competition and collaboration—both can be very useful in building shared visions of the future. Finally, games are fun and through play, we can generate meaningful conversations about the future. For more information, check out www.iftf.org/foresightengine.
Q | Why focus on the future? Isn’t this facing history and ourselves?
When we imagine the future together, what we’re really doing is participating in the process of anticipatory history. We imagine what we might do in a world of new possibilities, so we can prepare to act ethically and responsibly. We think about the difficult decisions that we’ll have to make in the future, and how those decisions will affect others. By thinking about that future now, we give ourselves more time to consider our response. More time to figure out how to become upstanders when change is happening fast. In other words, thinking about the future today prepares us to make history, tomorrow.
Q | Why only 30 hours?
One of the most exciting elements of Foresight Engine games is how many people are on the platform and in conversation at the same time. This real-time engagement with hundreds of other people who you have never met before creates an atmosphere of excitement, possibility, and anticipation. One of the best ways to get so many people on at the same time? Limiting gameplay to only a small window of opportunity. This drives up enthusiasm and momentum and allows for the maximum amount of fun and engagement. At the end of the 30 hours, the website will stop accepting new ideas. However, the website and game archive will remain live. You will still be able to browse the conversations and search for players, ideas, and inspiration.
Q | How long does it take to play?
Watching the scenario video and adding your first response will take less than 10 minutes! However, the magic of the platform isn’t just adding your idea in, it’s interacting with hundreds of others in conversation and exchange of ideas, and seeing how those ideas evolve over time. Based on previous gameplay, Facing History staff estimate that 30-45 minutes is enough to get comfortable and engaged on the platform. If you leave after 30 minutes, however (which is actually pretty hard to do—gameplay is addictive and we really aren’t kidding when we say people get sucked in for hours!), we’d encourage you to come back again later to check out how conversations have grown and changed and what new ideas are trending.
Q | How much time are we asking of teachers and their classrooms?
There are various levels at which teachers and classes can participate in the Face the Future game. Our recommendation is that teachers consider 1-2 class periods for prep, a HW assignment for Sunday, Nov 13, and one class period of play on Monday, November 14. They can also offer an optional huddle/game play session during lunchtime or after school, or a homework assignment for Monday night. More details on participation will be available in the Educator Toolkit.
Q | What happens after the game? Will we see the results?
Yes, you’ll see the results in multiple forms:
• Live analysis will highlight key themes and winning ideas via the game blog and Twitter as the game progresses.
• A post-game memo will be released approximately two months after the game (depending on the number and type of responses), with game results analysis and synthesis. It will be shared with Facing History’s network and across our social media platforms.
The key themes and findings from the blog and post-game memo will be processed, analyzed, and summarized to help inform Facing History’s work moving forward. This will include a series of participant reflections, blog posts, and classroom activities for Facing History educators around the world.
Q | What’s the purpose of the provocative future video? Isn’t that just one view of the future?
Sometimes one good story about the future is the best way to explore all the possible innovations. This video is designed to be provocative, to immerse us in the world of 2026 and to challenge our familiar concepts of individuality, communication, intimacy, and understanding. These challenges encourage us to think outside the familiar conversations of today and to consider the wide range of forces that will impact our day to day interactions ten years down the line. While the video scenario may seem far out, it was created based on research around real things that are happening today. Given the drivers of change that will shape empathy, how will we respond as individuals and as a society?
Q | What if teachers want to track their students’ contributions? How would they do that?
In order to track participation, classrooms or schools can develop short hashtags to add to the end of all of the cards they play (ex: #FHSperiod3). In the past we have seen this as a nice way to promote gameplay, to track your impact, promote a certain issue you care about, and to easily locate and respond to or observe cards coming in from others that you know. Using the class hashtag, teachers can track cards submitted by their students (if this were a homework assignment, for example). In terms of individual students contributions, teachers can either ask students to use their real name as their username or to send them the username they are using. Even if they do ask for student usernames, we would still recommend a class hashtag. It is the easiest way for a group to find and “talk to each other” on this open and fast-paced platform.
Q | How is this a game? It doesn’t look like any game I’ve ever seen before.
Face the Future is a game of ideas. It comes from a genre called “serious games”—games that aren’t designed solely for entertainment purposes but rather, have a larger goal they are trying to accomplish. The Foresight Engine platform is, in essence, a massive gamified conversation. It incentivises certain behaviors by awarding players points. The gamification elements in the Foresight Engine are designed to promote conversation and collaboration. A player doesn’t win any points for posting an idea. What they do get points for, however, is when other players respond to and build on their ideas.
Q | Are there prizes and incentives?
Challenges and awards will be issued throughout the game to focus energy on certain topics and issues. These awards will be announced during the game through blog posts and on social media. Participants will also be recognized on social media when their contributions hit a certain level of engagement. Facing History will be supplying as many of the participating students classrooms and schools with t-shirts as we can. We are also offering Participation Grants. Educators, students, or community members who are planning a Gameplay session or event, can apply for a $200 grant to support those activities. Just pre-register to learn more at FaceTheFuture.org. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q | Technical and requirements
The game can be played on a computer, tablet, or smartphone—all you need is a reasonably recent version of a web browser and an Internet connection. Players can also contribute idea cards to the game via Twitter by tweeting with one of two hashtags: • #FeelThatPositive to contribute a new Positive Imagination card. • #FeelThatShadow to contribute a new Shadow Imagination card.
Q | What happens to student data? How secure is the game?
HELP: Navigating the Game
Q | What are the rules of the game? Spare me no details!
Head here and you’ll find out all the details: <<insert how to play link here >>
Q | How do I register for the game?
Go to FacetheFuture.org, watch the video, and click LOG IN / SIGN UP, then choose CREATE NEW to create a:
- Player Name
- Add your Email
- Select a password
It will also prompt you to upload your Avatar and to enter some optional information (see Privacy Notes below).
Q: Where do I go to play the game if I’ve already registered?
Click on LOG IN / SIGN UP in the upper right hand corner of the game.
In the pop-up window, enter your Player Name and password to begin playing. If you forget your password, you can request a new one.
Q | What do I do if I forget my Player Name?
There is no automated way to retrieve a Player Name. You can try the following:
- Create a new player, using a new email address. Click on the upper right hand corner where it says LOG IN / SIGN UP, and complete a new sign up process.
- Send an email to FacetheFuture@iftf.org. Include your email address and request your Player Name. It may take a while for the game guides to respond.
Q | How can I view my personal profile?
On the upper right where it says Hello, Player Name, select My Profile from the dropdown menu. Your basic profile information is set up when you create a player. As you play cards, more information is added. You cannot change the information in your profile once it is set up.
Q | Nothing happens when I sign in (or I get a time-out message).
Please report the problem to: FacetheFuture@iftf.org
Q | How do I see a card chain?
- Click on a card.
- As the next screen opens, any follow-on cards will appear below at the bottom.
- If the card you clicked on is a follow-on to a previous card, you’ll see a large number
above it, which you can click on to step up the chain.
Q | I can only see my position in the leaderboard, but I can’t see those at the top. How do I know who’s leading the game?
From the DASHBOARD click “next” until you scroll to Most Forecasting Points.
The Most Forecasting Points column shows all the players in the order of points earned.
Q | How do I follow another player?
- Click the player’s name.
- Click the + icon in the upper right hand corner of their player profile screen.
The + sign turns yellow, and all of that player’s cards show up on the dashboard under the Players I’m Following column.
Q | How do I track a card?
By favoriting it! Click the star in the upper right corner of the card. When you click the star, it will turn yellow and that card will be listed on your dashboard in the Cards I’m Tracking column.
Q | Can I see if other players are following me?
No, and they can’t see if you’re following them.
Q | How do cards get marked as Super Interesting?
Game guides mark cards as Super Interesting. The game guides are constantly watching the flow of cards to pick out the most novel and innovative ideas they see.
When a card is marked as Super Interesting, the card is labeled as such, plus the card appears in the column of Super Interesting cards on the dashboard. (Use the slider arrows to move from column to column on the dashboard.)
Q | I use a screen reader; what’s the best way for me to experience the game?
The Foresight Engine is a social technology and has dynamic content that automatically refreshes every several seconds. Much like the accessibility experience other social media applications, the game functionality can cause disruptions when using screen readers. Unfortunately this specific performance and interaction requires much more development however, we can immediately address and offer some alternative ways for players using readers to both participate and have a curated experience of the game.
Q | What should I do if a player is abusing the platform in some way?
Game guides make every effort to avoid censorship during a Foresight Engine game. If you see a specific card that seems inappropriate, you can flag that card for game guide review by clicking the flag icon on the card. If the game guides determine that the card is in violation of the community standards, the card will be removed from the platform.
I if someone is using the game in ways not intended by the platform or if language is abusive / in violation of our community standards (see below), the game guides can take action to remove a player’s cards. Please report problem players to: email@example.com
For the game experience
First, we will be serving up a curated experience of the game via reader-friendly text summaries of the big builds from the game on the game blog. These big builds help to give a quick sense of key themes emerging from the game.
For game participation
We suggest the best way to play cards is via Twitter. Here’s how:
Compose a tweet and using one of the following hashtags:
You and your cards will be identified in the Face the Future game by your Twitter handle.