Saving the future

Imagine you're an 18-year-old computer gamer in Chicago, and you're sitting around at home one evening when someone you don't know comes to your door and says they're from the future, and hands you a package, then leaves.

Imagine that the package contains a scrapbook all about you and your friends and family.

Now imagine that a year passes without further incident, and then you receive a mysterious message. And a mysterious manila envelope containing a round-trip plane ticket, in your name, to Minneapolis. Imagine that for some reason you use the ticket, and you're met in Minneapolis by a mysterious guy calling himself "the Gatekeeper," and you solve some puzzles, and you meet another guy who seems to also have no idea what any of this is about, and you learn that the point of all this is that you're supposed to save the future, and then you follow a treasure map into the woods. . . . And it goes on from there.

Kolin Pope doesn't have to imagine this, because it all happened to him in real life.

I kinda thought I had posted about this when I first found out about it, but if so I can't find it. I had read parts one and two of The Future Shock: A Three Year Cross Country Adventure to Save the World a while back, but only recently learned that there was more:

Another six months later, Kolin discovered that there was an art exhibit in a small town in New York that consisted of various documents about his adventure; he drove there, had a run-in with the police, played a video game online, and learned lots and lots more backstory. Then there was a meeting at an airport, and a mysterious haircutting woman, and shoplifting with the help of a wizard, and a comic book devoted to Kolin's adventures.

And then there was the spectacular grand finale.

It's all very impressive. Essentially, Kolin was the star of an incredibly elaborate three-year-long Terminator-flavored LARP, run by two guys he had never met before and knew nothing about. They chose well in picking him; he had just the right sense of humor and willingness to roleplay and level of curiosity to go along with the whole thing and to get pretty immersed in it.

It all sounds rather unlikely, but there are explanations that make various parts of it much more plausible in Part Six, the epilogue, in which Kolin gets some of his questions answered. And I know a friend of the two guys who put the whole thing together.

You may not want to take the time to read through the entire voluminous writeup (especially with all the ancillary materials you can view or listen to by following links), but if any of the above sounds at all intriguing to you, I highly recommend reading parts one and two, and at least skimming parts three, four, and five, and then reading part six. Good stuff.

5 Responses to “Saving the future”

  1. Catherine O

    this is *amazing*. thanks for linking to it. how cool.

  2. LeeAnn

    As the previous commentor said, thanks for linking it. I stand in awe.

  3. M. D. Benoit

    The concept sounds quite intriguing and I’ll be spending some time there. I just discovered your blog. I’ll also be visiting often. I’ve made mention of you on my own blog.

  4. Joe

    My name’s Joe, I worked on this project. Just thought you’d like to know that Kolin Pope, our savior, is taking a vacation at his beach home after a job, well, done.

  5. Jed

    Thanks for the update, Joe! Glad to hear it.


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