Project Imagines An Abundant Future In Eugene

Apr 15, 2019

Ken Eklund checks his phone at one of the Abundant Future stops.
Credit Karen Richards

What might Eugene be like years from now, given changes in climate and energy use? A unique, location-based audio adventure explores such questions. It debuts Earth Day, April 22nd.


“Abundant Future” is a speculative fiction project commissioned by the University of Oregon's Center for Environmental Futures. Game designer Ken Eklund says the 'choose your own path' story starts at Villard Hall on campus *or at KLCC in downtown Eugene, each marked by a green window sticker.

 

Eklund: “There will be a phone number on that sticker, and then there will also be a two digit number on that sticker. You call the phone number, you punch in the two-digit number, and then you hear the audio for that specific location. That begins your story.”

 

He says the voices will tell you where to go next, and the number to enter when you get there. It's as if you're overhearing a conversation taking place right where you are. 

 

Phone voice: “You should be where Oak crosses Broadway...”

 

Eklund: “You follow along right in their footsteps. Because they have some pretty grand, interesting, spooky perhaps, visions about the future of Eugene.”

 

Eklund has authored many similar projects, some told through blog posts, others via cell phone:

 

Eklund: “All of my work, I think, is the idea of telling stories differently. Novels and movies are perfectly great ways to experience the world but there are other ways of telling stories.”

 

Abundant Future goes live April 22nd. It's free and available for several months, into next fall. 

 

Some KLCC staff helped voice Abundant Future audio.