Find the Future at the New York Public Library

Find the Future at the New York Public Library

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It’s long been said that the best way to develop the future is to learn from the past. Jane McGonigal’s new collaboration with the New York Public Library, Playmatics and Natron Baxter Applied Gaming does just that by challenging players to complete quests to become one of 500 finalists who will stay overnight in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in New York City. This group will work together to write an amazing book that draws from the lessons of history and important American artifacts. The game, called “Find the Future” was developed to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the NYPL.

Applications for Quest #1 are being accepted now until April 21st. The challenge? It seems simple enough, just fill in the blank:

“In the year 2021, I will become the first person to
_________________________.”

Once you really think about the question you’ll see that it’s really asking you to dig deep into your potential, your imagination and your expectations for what the future will hold.

In an area where all things are digital and many libraries across the US have closed due to lack of funds, it’s refreshing to have a new way to engage people with real books, in a real library with other real people. Of course this is an example of an idealistic view of the gamified world, with the idea that a sense of play and cooperation can change all our lives for the better. But considering the amount of press and eager participants this event has already been receiving, it may be an attainable ideal. In fact, most gamified sites that focus on positive, world changing action, like education or the environment, do so by promoting small changes over long stretches of time. Find the Future is a bold, epic concept with all the hype and grandeur of a Hollywood action adventure blockbuster. The cryptic, mysterious nature of it all is strongly reminiscent to the film National Treasure. It seeks to challenge all participants to think big and develop huge aspirations while empowering them to believe they can achieve them.

Even if you’re not selected to join the official hunt, anyone can play the game online after May 20th. Visit the official website now to join in on the adventure and help rediscover the past to help unlock the future.

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