‘IMPACT: A Foresight Game’ Teaches Critical Thinking for a Technological Future


When someone mentions tabletop games, you probably associate those to games like Monopoly, Chess, Dungeons and Dragons, or Hoard. What if I told you there was a new game on the scene that teaches you how to think critically and imaginatively about emerging technologies and the future of society? There is such a thing, and it’s called IMPACT: A Foresight Game.

Foreseeing a future of technology

The hard-working imaginative folks at Idea Couture in collaboration with Policy Horizons Canada wanted IMPACT to not only make you think but to also teach you how to think. To be more precise, its authors say that it encourages participants to take on futuristic professions and navigate around change in order to achieve their character’s preferred future state.

According to the website, the game also aims for the players to:
  1. Learn the basics of future thinking along with some key terminology.
  2. Learn about the latest advances in science and technology (e.g. AI, IoT, robotics, nanotech, biotech, etc.).
  3. Practice thinking about possible ways these technologies could evolve and how they could change various spheres of society.

Rules of the game

Ideally, there should be three to six players and the average game lasts between 60 to 90 minutes. You take on the role of a character with a unique job from the future and a set of preferred future conditions where your job is secure and prosperous.

On each turn, the player plays an impact card that triggers a technological event. The even will have some kind of consequence on certain domains of society. Impact cards may specify an effect or ask the player to imagine one.

To show how an event changes society, the player adds cubes, removes them, or exchanges them among the domains. The number of cubes expresses how fast that domain is changing.

At the end of each round, players have to write a headline of an era. This headline summarizes how the events in the round impacted one another. You win the game when you secure the prosperity of your job from the future, creating your preferred conditions on the board.

IMPACT: A Foresight Game is used to train policymakers on how to think about the impact of future technological advancements to society. However, this game is also for those who want to learn about technology and its effects. If you’d like to try this game with your friends, family, or colleagues, you can order it by contacting the team on Idea Couture’s website.

Vimeo: Impact

Photo credits: The feature image has been taken by Mimi Thian.

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Sead Fadilpasic
Sead Fadilpasic
Freelance writer / journalist / blogger. Tech enthusiast and gadget freak. Guitarist. Previously Al Jazeera journalist.
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