Can you win the future of work?

You can often find future-of-work-inspired games populating my second monitor (total nerd—guilty as charged). I wanted to pass along some of these fun digital distractions to your work day.

From cybercrime detective to robot coach, find out what fantastical job of the future best suits you with this online quiz. (My future job is apparently “digital detox dietician.”)

Will AI take over the world? Get ready to have this running on your work computer all day as you go from head of a humble paper clip factory to researching AI to conquering the universe with a computer superintelligence.

Universal Paperclips is a 2017 incremental game created by Frank Lantz of New York University. The user plays the role of an AIprogrammed to produce paperclips. Initially the user clicks on a box to create a single paperclip at a time; as other options quickly open up, the user can sell paperclips to create money to finance a machine that builds paperclips automatically. At various levels the exponential growth plateaus, requiring the user to invest resources such as money, raw materials, or computer cycles into inventing another breakthrough to move to the next phase of growth. The game ends if the AI succeeds in converting all the matter in the known universe into paperclips.

See if you can make enough money as an Uber driver to pay your San Francisco rent and still spend time with your family in this gig-economy simulator from the Financial Times.
IMPACT: A Foresight Game is a serious board game that teaches you to think critically and imaginatively about emerging technology and the future of society.

Designed by the foresight strategists at Idea Couture, IMPACT invites participants to take on professions of the future and navigate change in order to achieve their character’s preferred future state.
Through playing the game, participants will:
/ Learn the basics of futures thinking including some of the key terminology
/ Learn about the latest advances in science and technology (neurotech, nanotech, artificial intelligence, IoT, biotech, robotics)
/ Practice thinking about how these emerging technologies could evolve and the various ways they could influence society
IMPACT is best played with 3-6 players and lasts 60-90 minutes.
To combat that, IMPACT wants to train you to think like a futurist. It’s designed for groups of three to five players (though up to six can play), and it’s arguably best suited to people ages 16 and older.
To begin, each player chooses a card that outlines their persona for the duration of the game. All are meant to represent a knowledge worker from the future workforce–someone who helps customize prescriptions for patients; uses social-media mining and systems thinking to assemble distributed teams; or develops living spaces, transportation solutions, and health innovations to make space travel more feasible for humans. And each persona card includes a set of optimal conditions for exercising their skill sets.
In each round, a player draws an “impact card” describing a technological breakthrough that may shake up their career prospects–for good or ill. Every player then has to react to its impact by adding or subtracting “influence cubes” to the game board, which covers 10 “domains” (agriculture, energy, transportation, etc.), only three of which are relevant to each character’s “preferred future.”

IMPACT asks players to imagine themselves as knowledge workers in the not-so-distant future, adapting to unexpected, tech-driven changes.
At the end of each round, players have to write a short headline characterizing the “era” that the changes unleashed. To win, a player needs to become the first person with the correct number of influence cubes on all three of their domains, signaling that they’ve secured their persona’s future career, even as it’s buffeted by unexpected events.
IMPACT: A Foresight Game is used within the Government of Canada to train policymakers to think critically and imaginatively about the future implications of emerging change. IMPACT was originally developed in collaboration with Policy Horizons Canada. The game’s narrative content is based on Policy Horizons’ report, MetaScan 3, which explores how disruptive technologies may shape the economy and society.

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