Ruby’s Bequest – Future of Caring in the U.S.

“Don’t search for Deepwell on any map: you won’t find it. The town, its residents and Ruby’s unusual bequest are all part of a unique immersive experience in which thousands of people will help forecast the future of caring in the United States.”

That’s from the FAQ for Ruby’s Bequest, a new alternate reality game (ARG) being developed by the Institute For The Future on behalf of United Cerebral Palsy and AARP. Here’s the situation, as described by the “voice” of the Ruby’s Bequest site:

A woman named Ruby Wood has left the town some money in her will. But to get the money we have to make our town a more caring place. And that turns out to be much harder to do than it sounds and we’re under the gun to get it done. We have no idea who Ruby Wood was, for one thing.

Not unlike Superstruct, which the Institute for the Future coordinated in the fall of last year, Ruby’s Request will be a highly collaborative, participatory experience – in this case, to learn more about how people interact and make decisions related to caring for others.

The fictional Ruby’s will will be opened on March 9, and during a super-accelerated 7-year period that will end on April 10, participants in the simulation will collectively make decisions about how the town of Deepwell reacts and what is done, ultimately, with Ruby’s bequest.

If that all sounds a bit fuzzy still, I have no doubt the fuzziness is part of the point. To keep up to speed on what is going on with this alternate reality learning game, send an email to maddie.madd@gmail.com.

Jeff Cobb
Mission to Learn

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