Q: What is EVOKE?
A: EVOKE is a massive multi-player online educational game that uses narrative to help players develop 21st century skills and drive collaborative innovation. EVOKE “agents” engage both online and in real world social networks to complete missions that will change their community, their country and their future. The first iteration of EVOKE, Urgent EVOKE, launched in 2010, was designed by alternate reality pioneer Jane McGonigal and played by thousands of young people in Africa and beyond.

EVOKE is designed to empower young people all over the world, especially in developing nations, to start solving urgent social problems like hunger, poverty, disease, climate change, education and human rights; to build global networks of collaborators; and to develop real-world solutions to our most pressing challenges.

Q: What is the EVOKE Narrative Hackathon?
A: On October 22-24, 2014, the World Bank and Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination will host a Narrative Hackathon event in Phoenix, AZ. The event will unite top science fiction writers, artists, futurists and subject area experts on a range of pressing global issues to collaborate and build narratives in EVOKE’s fictional universe.

Participants will work in interdisciplinary teams throughout the event, with each team focusing on a specific global grand challenge. The Narrative Hackathon will massively expand and diversify the EVOKE narrative universe, seeding new missions for engagement and change in areas ranging from sustainability and economics to poverty and education. Stories produced at the Hackathon will power future deployments of EVOKE all over the world. These stories will be written to engage players in developed nations as well as our core audience in the developing world, instilling a sense of broad agency and collective action.

Q: Who will be at the Hackathon?
A: Hackathon participants will include science fiction authors Kim Stanley Robinson, Karl Schroeder, Madeline Ashby, James L. Cambias, Kathleen Ann Goonan and Kathryn Cramer; creative director and Emmy Award-winning producer Kiyash Monsef, visual artists Jacob Glazer, Alina Chau, and Jeremie Lederman; futurist Jamais Cascio, and many others, including representatives and subject area experts from industry, nonprofit and government partners.

Q: What global grand challenges will Hackathon participants tackle?
A: Teams will create stories, art and social innovation challenges related to topics including (but not limited to) human trafficking, wildlife conservation, education and universal literacy, and the energy/food nexus.

Q: How can I learn more?
A: Read an article about the project on ASU News! And keep an eye on the Center for Science and the Imagination website, as well as this page, for news and updates.

Ed Finn is the founding director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, where he is an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering and the Department of English. He has worked as a journalist at Time, Slate, and Popular Science. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.


2 responses to EVOKE

  1. What a brilliant idea! Any idea how many users they’ve managed to sign up? Will be great to really see this thing grow…

  2. What a great idea!

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