"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer...Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

- President John F. Kennedy

Forward is a mobile game that invites players to collectively tell a story about the future by addressing the issues that impact our communities today.

What will America be on its 300th birthday?

In this location-based mobile game, players must collaborate to defeat a mad inventor from the year 2076 who is intent on creating a Dark Future for humanity... using genetically engineered, time-traveling laser-cats, of course! In order to overcome his nefarious influence, players must work with their own laser-cats - and each other - to complete Missions that support organizations working in the community today. These organizations fall into four categories:

Forward is what we call a "participatory futurism" game: an experience that requires players to look beyond today’s polarized controversies toward a better future for everyone.

Time-traveling laser-cats, you say?

Playing Forward works like this:

Adopt a laser-cat

Super-powered laser cats have been arriving through Portals in droves and they need homes! Your first action in Forward is to choose and name a cat from the laser-cat shelter. Your cat will grow to become your trusty companion in fighting Dark Futures.

Keep your laser-cat happy

Visit Portals around the community to find Catnips to keep your cat happy and develop its superpowers. Initially, you’ll use Catnips to train your cat to charge Bright Futures. Like all cats, laser-cats are fickle creatures. If left too long without Catnips, your cat may defect to the side of the evil inventor and become a Dark Cat. Make sure you don’t run out!

Battle Dark Futures

OoPs containing Dark Futures may pop up at any time. These are bad. The goal of the game is to eliminate as many Dark Futures as possible by deploying Bright Futures in their place. Players can defeat Dark Future by charging alternative “Bright Futures.” This requires extra Catnips to energize your cat. Your cat can only charge a Bright Future a limited amount each day, so you may need to get your friends involved to defeat it! Players can “charge” both their own Bright Futures and Bright Futures created by others.

Create Futures

Players can also use Catnips to add their own Bright Futures to combat the Dark Futures. Each Bright Future combats a specific Dark Future. Once a Bright Future has been fully charged, it will automatically deploy. Deploying a Bright Future will damage or destroy the Dark Future it is combating and will also earn bonus points, badges, and recognition for the Bright Future’s creator and its supporters.

Complete Missions

Missions are specific activities you can complete to advance more quickly in the game, earn special badges, and compete for real-world prizes. Missions include different types of actions that can be taken to raise awareness about initiatives local organizations are working on to improve the community. (For example, you might create a meme about a campaign to increase teacher pay and digitally tag it at the high school. Or you might do chalk art on the sidewalk to support a new climate change policy.) When you complete these activities, you’ll earn Catnips as well as Impact Points, which track individual impact in the community. When other players “like” a your completed Mission, you’ll receive bonus Catnips and Impact Points.

Earn "VIC" status for your cat

Whoever completes the most Missions at a Portal earns “VIC” (very important cat) status for their laser-cat. This earns you a special badge, allows you to set a theme song for the location that all players can access, and, of course, gives your laser-cat the right to nap at the top of the cat tree (this also earns bonus Catnips).

Track your impact

Every Mission has a point value that represents the amount of time and energy it takes to complete and the issue it influences most. Community and individual stats track the impact that's created through the game. The four Campaign issue categories are: Education & Opportunity, 2) Health & Wellbeing, 3) Democracy & Justice, and 4) Healthy Environment..

Create a Mission

As you level up, you’ll be able to begin creating your own Missions! Player-created Missions earn bonus Impact Points for both you and the people who complete them.

Win Bounties

Local business and organizations can add prizes, called “bounties,” to Missions they’d like to support. These do things like give a free cup of coffee to the “Mayor” of a Portal at a local cafe or provide a $25 giftcard for the player who has the most likes on their Completed Mission story.

About Missions

Missions emphasize creative and personalized ways to engage with local civics and are the core of the gameplay. Each Mission includes a Campaign (a short-term goal for the community) and a Tactic (instructions for raising awareness about or addressing an issue). Missions can range from chalk art on a public sidewalk, to attending a Town Hall meeting, to organizing a flash mob of people in polar bear costumes to get signatures for a local clean energy petition. As players advance to higher levels of the game, they can also create their own Missions and earn bonus points when other players complete those Missions. Higher level players can also form and join teams to participate in special Team Missions. Every day of the game, at least one new Mission will be hidden somewhere in the community that enables players to participate in a new way. Local organizations, add a Mission to the game!

Fox Cities Organizations

Contributing to Forward will get your organization's work in front of both players and the public throughout the summer.

You can think of Forward players as your ambassador to the community for the duration of the game. Need to publicize an event? Let's create a Mission asking our players to do chalk art downtown to raise awareness about it. Want to boost your presence on social media? We can make a Mission for that too. Our goal is to support your needs by mobilizing the talents and interests of young volunteers throughout the area. We back this up with a strict code of conduct for players and manual moderation of the Forward platform.

If you represent a local nonprofit, city department, or advocacy group that is working in one of the game's four issue areas in the Fox Cities, we want to hear from you! Please send us an email or go directly to the contributions page to add your organization and initiatives to the game. Adding to the game is free, although we hope each participating organization will contribute at least one small prize that is unique to your organization. Please share your ideas with us by June 15, 2019 if you'd like to be included in this summer's game.

Fill out this form to add to the game!

Bring Forward to your City!

Join a launch cohort of 9 cities to pilot Forward in your community in 2020.

We're seeking 3 cities from each of the following categories: 5,000-25,000 residents, 25,000-100,000 residents, 100,000+ residents. Cities from Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and other swing states will be given priority, but we encourage anyone with an interest in the project to reach out.

Contact us to learn more

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The "Full" Story

Forward launches July 3rd, 2019.

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The Forward Beta test launches July 2019 in Appleton, WI

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Where to Find Us

Cambridge, MA
Neenah, WI