Why a Game?
Our mission is to evoke the collective genius and peak flow states of huge numbers of people through creating a container, a game, in order to design and develop a new operating system for humanity. Games can open our collective wisdom and release the epic desires we have to realize a better world. A major focus will be to create a world-wide electronic game but we also expect and take delight in how we might manifest card and board games that play well in classrooms and local communities.
Many people have asked us how playing a game will help solve real-world crises. They include questions like:
How can we synchronize real life events with in-game events?
How will the positive effects that we might see in-game practically spill over in a large scale to the real world to affect real change?
Do we need to keep things in-game in sync with real life? Why or why not?
Our answer is that the game doesn’t attempt to solve real life situations — it instead attempts to change the entire underlying system that caused the real life situations. Naturally, being able to do so will require a massive mindshift in how we think about governance, value exchange, energy use and how we engage with each other and with institutions. Since it’s not easy to simulate these changes in real life, we do so in a game. We want to create a safe space within a game to inspire SEHIs to start thinking about new human operating systems.
What is a SEHI?
A SEHI is a Super-Empowered Hopeful Individual.
SEHI (pronounced SEH-hee) is someone who feels not just optimistic about the future, but also personally capable of changing the world for the better. SEHIs get their confidence from network technologies that amplify and aggregate individual ability to impact the common good.
SEHIs don’t wait around for the world to save itself. They invent and spread their own humanitarian missions. More importantly, they are able to do so with smaller numbers, greater speed, and a far larger impact than a slow-moving, risk-averse organization. Of course, in an ideal world, SEHIs would be able to band together and scale up their efforts—to avoid making redundant efforts, to learn from each other’s mistakes, to amplify each other’s abilities to make a difference. Disorganized SEHIs would have a hard time making significant strides. But organized SEHIs—well, they could change everything.
With our game SEHIs can stop hoping that the world becomes more sane by some means, any means. Instead they can step into an imaginary world that over time becomes alive and real.
Introducing A Possibility…Tokume…as a starting point for our Game
We’ve taken a first cut at describing what our game might look like in Tokume, the new half-virtual, half-real, epically complex, infinite civilization-building game. Our intention is to get feedback from game developer communities as well as our annual Chrysalis events to refine what the game becomes over time.
If you are new to games and gaming, there is plenty of research that will inspire you as much as it inspired us. We firmly believe that gaming is the only chance we have at birthing a new operating system for humanity. And of course, if you are already a player, an epic player, you can be one of many stewards who will “have the back” of newbies: teach, help, and invent while scaling levels at an epic speed.
A good place to start if you wonder why games are powerful is Tim Ferris’ Interview with game designer, Jane McGonigal,
Jane is the author of two exceptional books:
Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World and
SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games. This book has wonderful research about the benefits of playing games.
If you’d like to further explore the extent of our gaming research, please visit our Games and Behavioral Science resources or watch Jane’s TED talk: