Game FAQ & Help


The “Catalysts for Change” game is a 48-hour online game to engage people around the world in imagining new strategies for social change.  The goal? Identify a thousand new paths out of poverty in just 48 hours of gameplay with hundreds of players from all walks of life.

The game uses the Foresight Engine platform, designed by world-renowned game designer Jane McGonigal. This is a powerful but easy-to-use gaming environment for imagining many different futures. Players use cards to play Twitter-style ideas for new catalysts for change. They can build on one another’s cards to create long card chains. Each chain builds better ideas as players debate them, extend them, and pose questions about them. The longer the chains, the richer the ideas—and the more points players win.

For this very special game, we’re creating other ways for players to share their ideas, too. They can add to Twitter streams in English, French, Spanish, and Chinese. Game guides will track these streams as well as the in-game card streams to identify winners of special awards.


The Catalysts for Change game is designed for anyone who wants to imagine a future with many new paths out poverty. Whether you’re a change-maker in an NGO or a policy maker, a community organizer or a citizen working for change your own neighborhood community, we want your ideas!

Anyone with access to a web browser, anywhere in the world, can play the game in English on the game platform at If you prefer to play in French, Spanish, or Chinese, you can join the Twitter streams in these languages.

Players can also share their ideas and build on themes from the game by following the Catalysts for Change Facebook page:

The Facebook page will post several pre-game quests and missions. Once the game is underway, the game blog at will keep you posted on awards, winning themes, and real-time missions. 


You play the game in three easy steps:

STEP 1. Watch the 3-minute video.

See what others around the world are doing to create catalysts for change. Get inspired. Imagine what you can do to be a catalyst for change.

STEP 2. Play your cards.


You can play Positive Imagination and Critical Imagination cards. Positive Imagination cards describe new winning paths out of poverty. Critical Imagination cards highlight paths that could lead nowhere.

Each card is short and sweet—just 140 characters. You can play as many or as few cards as you like. The more you play, the more people you can engage around the world. And the more people you engage with your ideas, the more points you win.

STEP 3. Build on others’ cards.

This is where the fun starts—and the points add up. Once you play a card, others may respond with cards that take the idea to the next level, and you can do the same. On any card, you can play four kinds of cards:

  1. Momentum: If we take this path…what happens next?
  2. Antagonism: Disagree? What’s wrong with this path?
  3. Adaptation: Yes, and…how might this path play out differently in your community or region?
  4. Investigation: Curious? Ask or answer a follow-up question

Building on cards is the best way to build points–and build better paths! When someone builds on one of your cards, you automatically win points without doing anything. When you build on others’ cards, you start a card chain and encourage others to build on your cards. The longer the chains, the more points you win! And the deeper your conversations with people in other regions.


You can win three kinds of awards:

  1. Automatic awards: When you reach a goal, such as most cards played or most points won, these awards are automatically added to your player profile. As your points grow, you also “level up” to gain a global reputation as a winning player.
  2. Game Guide awards:  Game guides will be watching the gameplay. They will give out awards to highlight players who are stepping up to win a mission by solving particular problems–such as paths out of poverty for seniors or green paths out of poverty.
  3. Celebrity awards: A few secret celebrities will choose their favorite cards or card chains to grant their own celebrity awards. (Hint: The celebrities might include your favorite game designer, netizen, social change hero, filmmaker, and even a global musician.)


You can make a winning contribution to the game in just five minutes. But if you’re like many players, you may find yourself following the idea streams for hours at a time. Whether you play in a few short bursts or spend time developing long card chains with other players, you can win awards, build your points, and help the world create a more resilient world of equitable growth.

The game begins at 16:00 GMT on April 3 and runs until 16:00 GMT on April 5. Play as often and as long as you like. Be a catalyst for change!


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