Bridge 2040

Bridge 2040 is a card game in which children and senior citizens develop future narratives together, building a bridge between the generations. It is one of the two winning projects of the Ars Electronica Futurelab 2023 internal ideas competition Ideas Expedition. Since its release at the Ars Electronica Festival 2023, it has been used not only in intergenerational workshops, but also for new target groups such as creative entrepreneurs. Bridge 2040 is available in German, English and Japanese.

A good conversation can be inspiring, engaging, comforting and educational at the same time. Whether it is with someone who has decades of experience, knowledge and memories to refer to or with someone who has a fresh and unprejudiced perspective on the world. However, in our fast-paced world, the subject matter of today’s conversation leaves out integral parts of our society: seniors. At the same time, the people most affected by political crises and climate change in the future are children. Therefore, in an advancing 21st century, we want to establish a dialogue on future issues between the youngest and the oldest in our society.

To initiate this discourse between the two generations, the Ars Electronica Futurelab has chosen a playful approach and created Bridge 2040 – a quick card game as a bridge into the future. Whether it’s an everyday story, a thriller or a future adventure, each player draws cards and creates within a team a story around fictional characters living in the year 2040. In the process, participants respond to trends, artworks, and questions on the individual cards they picked.

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The game is played in groups of four people of different age groups, ideally two youngsters (8 – 15 years old) and two seniors (65+ years). There are three types of cards on three piles on a board. The youngest player starts by drawing a person card and a meta card. The person card describes a fictional person around whom the story revolves. The meta card sets a theme and the beginning for the story. After a few minutes, impulse cards are gradually drawn – with facts, artworks with potential for the future, and questions that move the narrative forward.

Bridge 2040 is now being used in intergenerational workshops, for example at the Ars Electronica Center. At the collaborative event Art as Catalyst between CCBTx and Ars Electronica in Tokyo in December 2023, Bridge 2040 was also used in an Innovators Workshop for creative entrepreneurs.

The aim of the inventors is to find further applications for different target groups in order to jointly create possible future scenarios based around diverse characters with different social needs. The main aim is to value the contributions of others and actively help shape stories, because our future still has many possible outcomes.

This project was part of the Open Futurelab at the Ars Electronica Festival 2023.


Ars Electronica Futurelab: Peter Haider, Denise Hirtenfelder, Nicolas Naveau, Maria Pfeifer

Special thanks to our gaming experts: Anna, Florian, Regina & Wolfgang

Bridge 2040 is a winner project of the 2023 Ars Electronica Futurelab Ideas Expedition

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Interested in similar projects? The following Ars Electronica Futurelab projects are related to the ideas and concepts presented here. An overview of all our productions, cooperations and projects can be found in our project archive.