Messages to 2109 - a time capsule that talks back to you

Press release - 4 December, 2009
Imagine writing a letter to the future. And getting a reply. Love Letters to the Future is part puzzle, part story, part activism. It's about climate change and the impacts it will have on our future. It's a multi-platform experience - an alternate reality game - created by Emmy Award winning Xenophile Media in cooperation with Greenpeace, and it's live now.

Thousands of participants have already posted messages for the time capsule on the Love Letters to the Future website.(1) They have voted for each other's love letters, with the best to be placed in a time capsule, and shared their favourites with friends on Facebook.

The top-rated messages will be placed in time capsules designed to last hundreds of years. The first time capsule will be sealed at an event in Copenhagen on 13 December. The time capsule is shockproof, waterproof and designed to last above ground for 500 years. It will include the selected love letters, plus some physical objects related to climate change. Messages will be encoded using Monolith Card Technology.(2)

In the year 2109, in a future devastated by climate change, someone finds our messages... and replies.(3)

The first video replies from the future can already be found by searching for "maya 2109" on www.loveletterstothefuture.com.

To access more videos, people will need to solve puzzles. Clues will be left on the website and in physical locations around the world. In some cities, Layar augmented reality technology will be used to plant virtual clues.(4)

"The leaders at Copenhagen and those they represent need to think about the consequences of their actions for the future. This game is about imagining that future," said Andrew Davies, web producer at Greenpeace International.

We're hoping the future revealed through this game will change the present.

Other contacts: Andrew Davies, Web Producer, Greenpeace International
, +31 6 4616 2012

Images available fromInternational photo desk, ,

Notes: (1) Selected messages:

"Alien Landscapes", Cory Doctorow, Canada
"Is my city still there?", Hanna, Australia
"It took a long time to understand", Carla, Brazil
"Love and tranquillity", Ana-Maria, Romania
"Sorry for the mess", Mark, United Kingdom
"Forest berries", Marie, Sweden

(2) The love letters will be encoded onto Monolith™ card technology - developed by Peviar; a research project of the University of Basel's Imaging and Media Lab located in Basel, Switzerland.
The digital data on the Monolith™ cards are represented using a two-dimensional barcode that is burnt into the card. Besides the digital barcode, the film can also hold a preview image and metadata containing technical, self-explaining information about the read-back procedure.
This state of the art digital storage solution allows the data to be kept safely up to 500 years.

Time Capsule Event details:

When - 20:00 to midnight, Sunday, December 13th
Where - Store Vega (music hall)
What - The event will be hosted by Nicolas Kawamura. Selected letters will be read aloud by Thure Lindhardt, and projected on screen. A 'climate hero' from China will bring a special message of support from the people of China. Live music by Nabiha. Plus DJs Flow Job and Dokkedal/Dixon. Plus, of course, the time capsule locking ceremony.

(3) This is the fictional 'story' part of the project. Sadly, Greenpeace does not have, and is not aware of, working time travel technology.
These messages from the future come in the form of videos from someone named Maya. Maya had always assumed people of our time didn't care about climate change. Then she finds the time capsule, and realised that many people did care. She decides to contact us using illegal technology.

(4) Clues will be placed in the following cities:
Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Buenos Aires, Mumbai, Toronto, Cork, Ireland, Washington, DC, Hong Kong, Istanbul (Augmented Reality), Rotterdam (Augmented Reality), Beijing (Augmented Reality), Sao Paulo (Augmented Reality)

Please see www.layar.com for details about the free augmented reality application available for iPhones and Android phones.

Xenophile media, are a two-time Emmy Award winning production company based in Toronto. XENOPHILE MEDIA produces innovative cross-platform television experiences, games and interactive media in documentary, drama and kids genres for broadcasters from Disney to BBC.

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