The futures of agency
Exploring the liminal spaces between action and responsibility
26 October 2023 (Thursday), 11:15-13:00, inspire

Interactive speculative futures - the benefits of gamebooks

The presentation introduces a novel interactive speculative futures technique based on online gamebooks - 4CF Futures Literacy Experience (4CF FLEx). The technique was developed to improve foresight and futures literacy, i.e. improve the way in which stakeholders take advantage of future scenarios to reframe their thinking and reperceive, compared to how it happens when they passively receive scenario narratives and data. It also attempts to make scenario experience more interactive to stakeholders who did not actively participate in the social learning process of scenario development. Lastly it allows to collect data on how they understand the intricacies of the scenarios and how the scenarios connect to their assumptions. 'Gamebook' is a key concept of the new technique. Gamebooks are interactive fictions that can be single use or iterative. Gamebooks allow the reader to immerse themselves in the scenario better than just passively reading or watching a video clip. They present the intricacies and dilemmas of the futures presented in a given scenario as actual events experienced from a first-person-perspective instead of mere future-someone problems. 4CF FLEx draws its innovation from two sources of inspiration. Firstly, the 20th Century philosopher Roman Ingarden’s ontology of literary work, in which any narrative represents an incompletely determined state of affairs, endowed with “spots of indeterminacy” or ‘blanks’ left by the author that readers fill out. Gambooks based on futures scenarios improve and expand this inherently interactive experience of reading and make it more explicit, thus creating a space for a stronger emotional reaction, a deepened reflection and inspiration from scenarios accessible to decision-makers. Secondly, it adapts a popular-culture gamebook concept to serious gaming.

4CF The Futures Literacy Company
Member of the Board
Polish Society for Futures Studies