Save the Museum, Save the World

Today not only marks the return of "Heroes" (for super-hero fans like me), it also marks the beginning of Superstruct, a multi-player online game from the Institute for the Future (IFTF) in collaboration with the Center for the Future of Museums, an initiative of the American Association of MuseumsSuperstruct is the first Massively Multiplayer Forecasting Game—designed to help solve real-world problems by harnessing the collective wisdom of participants to create a collaborative, open source simulation of a possible future.

Based on projections culled from forecast research conducted by IFTF, the following extreme scenarios are proposed for museums as part of the game:

"It’s 2019. Your museum is informed that an international group currently touring your building was exposed to the latest deadly strain of Respiratory Distress Syndrome. You are instructed to lock down the museum and shelter staff and visitors in place while authorities determine whether anyone is infected. Are you prepared to deal with this?"

Other snapshots from 2019:

  • Is your museum ready to help your community cope with an influx of refugees fleeing climate change, food shortages and political upheaval?
  • How will your operations change in the face of soaring energy prices or collapse of the food production and distribution system?
  • Your museum depends on its website to deliver information and attract visitors, but your content has been corrupted repeatedly in the past few months by hackers attempting to undermine your credibility. How do you adapt?"

To read more about the game, visit

The Center for the Future of Museums intends to use the content contributed by museums as a jumping-off point for further planning and discussion within the museum field. To receive e-mail alerts from the Center for the Future of Museums about the museum-specific storyline in Superstruct, contact CFM.