Generative narrative game

I was struck by the elegance of the world without oil game. This is an exercise in envisioning the future where oil runs out over a period of time (currently up to week 32). The ‘game’ is defined as:

How do I participate?

(1) Imagine your life in this oil shock. (2) Create something on the Web to express your reality: a blog post, an image, a video, an audio file. (3) Tag it “worldwithoutoil” so others can find it. (4) Tell us about your creation by emailing it to us. Be sure to include a link to your story! Also: you can help guide others. Create a “thread” – a chain of links to WWO material that helps readers understand WWO – and email it to us.

Can anyone participate?

Yes. People go to the World Without Oil webpages, where they see the price of fuel and the effects of shortages week by week. They then create something on the web to express how their lives would look if this “alternate reality” were truly happening. They write blog entries, shoot photos and videos, then post them on the Internet with the tag “worldwithoutoil.” The result: we now have thousands of pieces of “evidence” of what an oil shock would look and feel like, from a very wide range of viewpoints. And we want that number to keep growing. We want to play it, so we don’t live it.

How do I experience World Without Oil?

There are two ways to live the WWO experience. One: enter the WWO Live Event Archive, using a link to one of the weeks. To go chronologically through the archive, enter at Week 1; to see the archive at the end, with all material available to you, enter at Week 32. NOTE: we’ve previewed material in the archive, to make it as kid-friendly as possible. Two: search the Internet for the tag “worldwithoutoil” or phrase “world without oil”, using your favorite search method.Thoughts:

  1. This narrative structure could be used to motivate modelling with simulation software
  2. The key here is that the game could be generative – as used by Zittrain (see also: Nicholas Carr and Ethan Zuckerman)
    1. Technologies are generative when they are:
      – Leveragable (they allow you to accomplish tasks that couldn’t otherwise be accomplished)
      – Adaptable (useful for multiple purposes)
      – Easy to master
      – Accessible to a broad audience.
  3. Seems important that there is an existing community of authors that the game can organise into a collective action

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