Emotions as entertainment

Empathizing with other people is important, but it doesn’t need to be serious. As often as we are connecting with one another to comfort, help, or understand one another, we also connect with each other for fun and entertainment! Player Turil Cronburg envisions a world where emotions are something playful:

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Wordplay aside, it is easy to imagine using the FeelThat network to play games with one another, with a touchy-feely twist. Back in 2016, games like Throw Trucks With Your Mind were already exploring the idea of controlling games with emotion.

The arts were always a way that we shared emotional experiences through entertainment. What about experiencing a movie, play, or even museum with emotional sharing, how does this alter the experience?

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In 2026, the new frontiers of entertainment are wide open, and the possibilities to share new experiences are endless!

 

 

 

 

Kids and feels: some pros and cons

It’s the year 2026 and young people across the country are sharing feelings with their friends, teachers, and families. Players are building a rich set of forecasts and provocative questions about what this might mean for our relationships with one another, especially across generations.

Player Little Sunflower writes that this would be a fantastic tool for helping kids communicate with their parents, without having to talk about difficult feelings.

Positive Imagination card that reads: "This could help parents understand their kids better instead of kids going "You just don't get me" #Tipton284.  “Parents could understand teenagers and help them feel more comfortable in their skin,” adds player shirin r.

But would this technology be appropriate for kids? And who would decide? We know that every new technology causes concern when it’s being used by youth, from comic books in the 1950s, to television since the 1960s, to VR in the foreseeable future. When it comes to sharing feelings, Player kak101 thinks we might need to consider some age limits.

Shadow Imagination card that reads: age limit for sure, maybe even 25 as that is when the brain is fully developed #REA If we limit the technology to older people, however, we’ll miss out on the incredible possibilities for deeper understanding across generations – even for babies, who don’t yet have the power of words to express their feelings. One of the earliest Big Builds in the game has been around using this new tool to help parents understand newborns.

Positive Imagination card reads: Understand when your newborn is upset #mentalhealth

We are already starting to see baby wearables today – smart socks like the Owlet that keep an eye on your baby’s sleep during the night, and connected onesies like the Mimo that track respiration patterns, sleep activity, skin temperature and body position. It seems likely that if we had the technology to translate baby feelings, parents would definitely want to use it.

We have never felt babies’ feelings – or at least, not since we were babies, and we don’t remember that. Would we have to come up with a whole new way of making sense of baby emotions? That’s the question that player shirin r asks:

Investigate card reads: What if the baby's thoughts are all jumbled. Like if we could not understand the feelings because we do not know how to react to themFrom parents understanding their teens better, to brand new interpretations of the mysterious world of babies, it’s clear that increased visibility into one another’s emotions would transform the way we connect across different age groups.

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 www.FacetheFuture.org. We can’t wait to see what you have to add!

Justice Story – Video & Discussion Questions

Short of time? You can focus on a single scenario …

Once you’ve watched, consider these questions:

  1. How could FeelThat be used to prevent violence or confusion during protests?
  2. How could FeelThat be used to help others in need?
  3. How could FeelThat be used for peacebuilding?
  4. How might FeelThat make achieving justice harder?
  5. How could FeelThat be abused?
  6. In an increasingly tumultuous world, how might FeelThat help bring us together? Push us apart?

And now play your ideas in the game!

Earthquake Story – Video & Discussion Questions

Short of time? You can focus on a single scenario …

Once you’ve watched, consider these questions:

  1. The film shows how FeelThat could be used in the aftermath of an earthquake. How can it be used in conflict zones?
  2. What does “community” mean in this world? Or How our definition of “community” change in a world with Feels?
  3. How would FeelThat change our idea of memorials?
  4. What other data would you want FeelThat to tell you?
  5. How might our policies and governments change if we all had FeelThat?
  6. What does “long distance” mean in this world?
  7. Does feeling everything mean you would care about everything?
  8. If you could feel everything, would empathy decrease?

And now play your ideas in the game!

Izzy & Dante’s Story – Video & Discussion Questions

Short of time? You can focus on a single scenario …

Once you’ve watched, consider these questions:

  1. Should FeelThat have an age-limit?
  2. When would you leave the FeelThat network?
  3. How could FeelThat add to relationships? What could go wrong?
  4. What could FeelThat teach us?
  5. How might FeelThat make us change how we act?
  6. How would you use FeelThat with friends and loved ones?
  7. What will “closeness” look like in this world?

And now play your ideas in the game!

Kasha’s Story or “Unboxing” – Video & Discussion Questions

Short of time? You can focus on a single scenario …

Once you’ve watched, consider these questions:

  1. Would you make your FeelThat data public?
  2. What do you hope others will do with your data?
  3. How might the world change if we could feel what everyone else could feel?
  4. Whose perspectives could you more deeply understand?
  5. Who might take advantage of an open network of emotions?
  6. Do you think this kind of technology would increase or decrease empathy? Or have a different effect?

And now play your ideas in the game!

Unlock an Achievement!

Earn a special honor during the game by inspiring or surprising other players! Here are the achievements you can unlock. If you receive one, you’ll see it pop up on your profile page… and in the activity feed so everyone can celebrate your awesome contributions.

Here are the achievements up for grabs.

The "Well I Never" achievement icon. Icon is of a glowing magic wand.

Well, I Never!!!

We are pretty sure that today you imagined something that no one has ever imagined before. Thank you for taking the future in such a surprising, intriguing, unexpected direction.

The "Comedy" achievement icon. Icon is of a two googly eyes.

Comedy Award

You remind us that the future can sometimes be silly, ridiculous, or absurd. It’s important to not always take the future so seriously!

The "Eyes Wide Open" achievement icon. Icon is of two eyes...wide open

Eyes Wide Open

Your shadow imagination has helped the entire community see more clearly the biggest problems and challenges we might face in the future. Thank you for making sure our eyes are wide open!

The "Leaders Make the Future" achievement icon. Icon is of a crown

Leaders Make the Future

You led an important team effort on the Foresight Engine today. You rallied a team to imagine one future from every angle possible. You brought attention to an important topic. Well played!

The "Innovation Award" achievement icon. Icon is of a glowing lightbulb

Innovation Award

You did something amazing with the Foresight Engine that we’ve never seen before. You came up with a new way to play with the future! Well done. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

The "Sherlock Holmes" achievement icon. Icon is of a magnifying glass.

Sherlock Holmes

You are an extraordinary investigator. You ask questions about other people’s futures and help us all understand them better!

The "Action all-star" achievement icon. Icon is of 3 stars.

Action All-Star

You have a plan for the future. You come up with practical, inspiring steps anyone could take to make their best-case scenario futures more likely – and their worst-case scenarios less likely.

The "Storyteller" achievement icon. Icon is of an open book.

Master Storyteller

You don’t just think about the future. You imagine it in vivid detail, tell a great story, and take us all on an epic journey.

The "Friend of the Future" achievement icon. Icon is of a heart.

Friend of the Future

You are one of the most powerful voices of support in this community. You shine a light on the futures that other players create and help everyone’s future be seen. Thank you!

The "Hope for the Future" achievement icon. Icon is of the sun.

Hope for the Future

Your positive imagination has inspired the entire community today. Your ideas give us hope for the future!

Join us at FaceTheFuture.org to add your future.