FutureCoast is a 2014 storytelling project done by the team at Writerguy as a member of the PoLAR Partnership at Columbia University. Funded by the National Science Foundation, it was open for anyone to play. In the fiction of the collaborative game, people listened to voicemails that have leaked from the cloud of possible futures back to our time. These voicemails are actually open expressions of futurethinking created by the players.


FutureCoast is a playful (yet serious) way to change the dialog about climate change. Because the voicemails come from possible futures, the game encourages various future visions and evaluative thinking. By using voicemails as its form of expression, FutureCoast takes the effects of climate change out of the abstract and into the realm of the human and visceral. Through its narrative device, participants are encouraged to think very concretely about their future and how climate-changed it might be.


FutureCoast is a participatory work of authentic fiction. Sam is a guiding character immersed in the game story.


We invited anyone to step behind the curtain and call the Future Coast Hotline. People expressed their future visions in voicemails that seem to have leaked back in time from possible futures. We collected all these voicemails and published them at FutureCoast dot org.

Individually, each voicemail from the future tells a story of a future vision. Collectively,the voicemails reveal the breadth of human thinking about the forces at work today and how they shape which future we live in.

Listen to the voicemails we retrieved.


FutureCoast embodied its fiction by arranging for "chronofacts" (artifacts from the future) to appear across the country. Anyone could volunteer to cache a chronofact object in their neighborhood. We chronicled each "chronofall" on FutureCoast Twitter and in the Chronofall Diary.