The following Scenario, written in 1982, revised in 1985, and revised again in 1994 to incorporate elements of the early internet, was intended to give you a feel for one possible scenario of how The Game might look as it takes off around the world. We believe that the way The Game will ACTUALLY take off, will be far more interesting — with amazing advances in the internet and mobile devices and with the collaboration of people like you and your friends. Please note that the new date for completing The Game is 2030 and a completely NEW SCENARIO needs to be written to show more of what is possible now as the following scenario is completely out of date....It will, however, give you some sense of what is NOW possible!
IMAGINE THE FOLLOWING: You’re sitting with some close friends watching a new magazine-format television show. Suddenly, there’s a zippy introduction, and THE BEST GAME ON EARTH (a "documentary soap opera") comes on.
You watch a small group of high energy, fascinating people go on a "Game Adventure" to Russia, where they work together with a small group of Russians to build a peace park near Moscow and paint a beautiful wall mural in a downtown Moscow location. While they are working together, Americans and Russians talk about themselves and their countries, their ideas for how to improve relations, and selecting a project to do together somewhere else in the world: e.g., hurricane damage relief work in Bangladesh. They all express a lot of humor and joy of life—a "can-do" spirit. You see them visiting Russian homes, engaging in interesting and amusing conversations with Russians, playing and talking with the children, and so on.
One thing that particularly catches your attention is the content of their discussions--they are clearly alive, real people involved in exciting and worthwhile activities. They are enjoying themselves immensely and learning many new things. In short, people you would enjoy spending time with.
An 800 telephone number appears on the television screen from time to time with the words, "If you want to get involved, call..." You watch more closely and, at the end of the 15-minute segment, you decide to check it out. "Hey, why not?" You call the number.
A friendly person answers: "Hi! This is Claire with the Best Game on Earth. How may I help you?"
"I was just watching this new show, and found it rather intriguing. What is it all about?"
She laughs. "That’s how I got involved, too. The Game is an extremely interesting concept, and you can be involved in a wide range of ways. For starters, we explain that life is like a game. It has laws which are like game rules, and we people are like game players. You win if you do well at life, and lose if you don’t. Education is supposed to teach us how to play the life game better.
"The people who originally set up the Best Game on Earth came to the conclusion after much research and experimentation that if a number of people of goodwill put their best thinking together, we could organize a much more interesting and effective game of life. The result is that we have created an experimental interactive TV ‘game of life’ to test out and improve our ideas. We call our game ‘The Best Game on Earth’. Currently, the game is running in 14 states and six countries. But we are only three months old and growing quickly.
"The purpose of the game can be stated in various ways: to provide information about inspiring activities and groups; to let people know how they can get involved; to make things work better. Our overall goal is to create peace, health, prosperity and justice universally on Earth by the year 2000. Some members say, ‘Heaven on Earth.’ We plan to accomplish this by working together with others who will work together in the spirit of a global family.
"There are two levels to the Best Game on Earth. When you first enter, you work with a team of people and with one or more facilitators to develop a number of skills—high level communications skills, interventions, a little bit of work with video and audio equipment, etc. You also explore the implications of The Game. Sort of a ‘basic training’ to create a common language and frame of reference. After a round or two of activities in which you test out this material, ask questions and suggest ideas for improving The Game, you can then participate in a whole array of really exciting opportunities. For example, your team videotapes itself while you carry out your chosen assignment. Then, you edit the tape into a new installment in the documentary soap opera, which will appear on the TV show, like the one you were watching."
Bored by the too-familiar and easy level of life game you have been playing, you ask, "How you I become involved?"
"It depends," says Claire, "on your skills and interests and on the teams available. The basic training usually takes a day or a weekend. Where do you live?"
"Virginia," you respond. "Not far from Washington, D.C."
"We have a number of game activities going in your area. If you’re interested in joining us for a day or two to check it out and see if the Best Game on Earth is for you, I can put you in touch with a local facilitator. We've designed a nice process for entering the game."
"What does that involve?" you ask.
"Actually, you have already started — here, by calling me. The next step would be for you to tell me something about yourself, your main interests and skills. Things like that."
So, you do a short preliminary interview with Claire. She asks you some excellent questions about your goals and purposes, areas of skills and interests, things you want to develop in yourself, etc. A few minutes later, she says, "You sound very well qualified and I believe we have the perfect team for you. If you’d like to take the next step, you may have your first assignment, which gives you entry into The Game."
You. in turn, are impressed by the high quality of the questions [attached] she has been asking you and by the obvious integrity of The Game’s orientation. You say, "Fine."
Your initial ‘assignment’ is to meet a facilitator at a designated time and location — a town not far from yours. You go to the small restaurant where you meet Bruce, a former Peace Corps volunteer who was one of The Game’s early designers.
Bruce asks you questions with an unusual depth about your goals, skills, interests, and what you hope to accomplish and learn in playing the Best Game on Earth.
You are ready to play — you’ve been looking for something like this for years. And, since your skills and motivations are solid, you are invited to meet your potential team mates to see if there is a ‘mesh’. One week later, you meet the other six members of your team for a day-long training workshop with a facilitator. The cost is $65.00, which includes lunch and a game manual.
Even though you have participated in lots of workshops and seminars, you find this Game qualitatively different. For one thing, you know that you will actually be doing something real together with your team mates. Also, the communications skills — particularly the listening skills — are of extremely high quality. Indeed, even at several times the price, the training would be a bargain. Already, in this early stage of participating in The Game, you can see that the skills you learn will help you improve your regular job performance. Moreover, the video feedback session you do during the training enables you to break a basic behavioral pattern which has given you problems all your life in relationships with your family and friends.
One of the most enjoyable features of the training is that you feel completely supported by your team and your facilitator. There is no attitude of "we are gurus and you are wrong"; each person’s contribution is valued and acknowledged. All those present were super people. You feel so close to them by the end of the workshop that it is hard to believe you’ve spent only one day together!
At the end of the day-long training, you have a short graduation celebration and your team is given three assignment options. You quickly reach consensus on which to select: "Go with your team and facilitator to Harlem, New York, and work for two days with a local group doing housing rehabiltion work and work with youth at risk. While working together, discuss with your hosts other useful projects The Game might develop with them."
The following weekend, you go to New York, and have a wonderful time. Your team and the group of seven New Yorkers, some of whom live in Harlem and others who have been working there for years. Together, you come up with five new project ideas for The Game. The cost of the weekend is $145.00, including food, lodging and car fare. Your team has such a good time working and learning together that you all decide to take on one of the projects you came up with. Two weekends later, you return to New York and spend two more wonderful days with your hosts in Harlem, this time working with a day-care program, painting and decorating a new day-care center, teaching paper mache mask making and games to children and working with the children to plant a small garden.
After two assignments, assisted throughout by your highly skilled facilitator who has become a close friend, your team is invited to play the next round using video and audio equipment.
You join the group for a weekend of training, in which you learn how to work with video equipment and design a story line. Together, you decide to take on a project which involves a 10-day trip to Hawaii, where you will work with a group of Japanese teenagers who have been seriously depressed and are seeking new meaning in their lives. Your assignment states:
"Go to Maui for a 10-day period. Meet with a group of Japanese teenagers and support them in exploring issues related to purpose and meaning in their personal lives. Assist them in designing five possible assignments for them to carry out as a next step in playing The Best Game on Earth."
Three weeks later, highlights of your experience appear as the latest installment of the now-famous (thanks to articles in Newsweek and Time magazines) "docu-soap" which originally caught your attention. You hold a potluck supper at your home, inviting your friends and family to watch the show with you. This time, several of your friends decide to call the telephone number on the screen, and before long, they become involved, too. Two of them move ahead so quickly in playing The Game that they participate in the Maui assignment!
You and your friends are beginning to see the wonderful implications of this Game in creating a sense of being part of a true global family. And you all see how The Game is picking up a wonderful momentum.
By this time, with the improvements proposed by growing numbers of game fans, there are some new developments. For example, "Help Wanted" signs are regularly flashed on the TV screen, letting viewers know specific information or resources needed by game players. For example: "HELP WANTED - Our team in Nicaragua urgently needs a pediatrician for a one-week period in late September. Call (telephone number)." Or, "HELP WANTED - The team in the South Bronx is looking for the best available rooftop gardening technologies."
This information is being fed directly into several major computer bulletin boards, along with information about The Game. Computer buffs are proving to be extremely helpful in finding people and resources; indeed, truck drivers and others with CB radios have begun to participate. As people and resources are found, the finders are acknowledged on the TV show. "Thanks to the detective abilities of the Terre Haute, Indiana A-Team, Dr. Greg Rogers of Bloomington, Indiana, has joined the Nicaragua team." With the announcement, we see on the screen a photo of Dr. Rogers and the Terre Haute team.
Another nice thing about The Game, you and your friends agree, is that all the Game sponsors make socially and environmentally useful products. Also, if you show a participating merchant your Game Membership Card, you receive a five percent discount on all products advertised on the show. All kinds of wonderful products and services are advertised on the show, with a phone number to call for ordering. And the prices are fantastic. The Game is beginning to become an exciting financial investment as well as a wonderful pastime and education. You are glad you got in early and bought stock when the first public stock was offered. Also, you like the fact that each time you play a round of The Game, you receive some stock. It is not the reason you are playing, but it is a nice bonus.
One of the most recent exciting suggestions for how to improve The Game is that there should be a whole new genre of TV game show linked with the ‘docu-soap’ program. People playing would still answer questions and win prizes, but the main difference would be that rather than winning yet ANOTHER deluxe frost-free, harvest-gold refrigerator, you win a set of solar panels and various medical supplies (plus transport) to use in building three clinics in Ghana, plus free airfare for your team, contributed by _____ Airlines, a Game Sponsor. Also, questions asked on this game show give viewers useful information on what’s happening in the world and invite them to work as teams to think up good solutions to problems of various kinds.
As you continue playing in The Game, sometimes as a participant and sometimes as a facilitator now, you constantly marvel at the way The Game is able to transform itself when new suggestions are made and to expand to incorporate new groups and new activities. The limit, it becomes clear, is only our imaginations—and our imaginations, collectively, seem to be limitless.
Game rules, too, are constantly being expanded and reshaped. To date, they are:
- Tell the truth
- Acknowledge the truth when others tell it
- Come from love, respect and gratitude
- Leave the trail better than you found it
- Expect miracles
- Be generous with who you are and what you have
- Do what gives you joy and create joy in what you do
- Be a good friend and team mate
- Clean up your messes, learn the lessons and move on; and
- If you have an idea for how to improve The Game, share it!
Ultimately, The Game is an exercise in living on the edge of creating a collective reality woven from the real stories of our lives as we work together toward a vision we all share. The Game also provides a marketing vehicle to sell truly useful goods, services (workshops, travel opportunities, etc.) and information. And, since one of The Game rules is to share ideas for how to make things even better, The Game is designed to keep pace with our growing understanding of the needs and opportunities of today’s world.
Together we can do what none of us can do alone.