The Thing from the Future

the type of future world


the thematic context or location where this object could be found


the focus of your imagination


how it might feel to experience this thing from the future


A game by Stuart Candy and Jeff Watson
2015 CC-BY-NC-SA | | @sitlab
Developed for the web by Paritosh Ursekar
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The Thing from the Future (Digital Edition)

The Thing from the Future is an award winning imagination game that challenges players to describe objects from a range of alternative futures.
Originally created by Situation Labs, this is an unauthorised digital recreation of the game’s Print-And-Play Edition. Enjoy playing! Do share your favourite ideas on social media using the #FutureThing hashtag.

How to Play

The object of the game is to come up with the most entertaining and thought-provoking descriptions of hypothetical objects from different near-, medium-, and long-term futures. This game is best played with a group of 2-6 players. Each round, click to turn each of the 4 cards to generate a creative prompt. Players then write a short description (and sketch, if they wish!) of an object that fits the constraints of the prompt. Once ready, read out and share your descriptions. You are now free to collaborate on fleshing out the most interesting ideas as a group.

Key Card

  1. Ⓐ Arc

    ARC outlines the type of future world that the “thing” comes from, and how far away it is from today. There are four types of Arc, each an umbrella for countless possible scenarios:
    • Growth: A future in which ‘progress’ has continued
    • Collapse: A future in which society as we know it has come apart
    • Discipline: A future in which order is deliberately coordinated or imposed
    • Transform: A future in which a profound historical evolution has occurred
  2. Ⓣ Terrain

    TERRAIN is the thematic context or location where this object could be found in that future.
  3. Ⓞ Object

    OBJECT is the focus for your imagination: a specific cultural artifact that reveals something about how this future is different from today.
  4. Ⓜ Mood

    MOOD suggests how it might feel to experience this thing from the future.

This project was lovingly hand-coded by Paritosh Ursekar - a Sydney, Australia based user experience and interface designer. It is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Sharealike 2.0 license, just like the original game.

You can see more of my work at If you wish to speak with me: reach out on Twitter, LinkedIn, or via email. :)