Visitations from the Future

future enhancement

Super-Cyborgs: The Future of Human Enhancement

Future sports won’t be a battle of humans vs. robots, but natural vs. enhanced athletes, researchers say. Gone are the days of pity. Who truly has the edge? Test your ability against athletes on the cutting edge of cultural transformation—our modern day super-cyborgs—from Ability 360 Sports + Fitness Center, one of the three biggest parathlete centers in the country. Go head to head with hardcore wheel-chair rugby players or resist the crush of stand-up basketball players on advanced prosthetics to see how you stand up against the fittest and most talented humans on Earth with what were quaintly known in 2016 as “disabilities.”

Future Fashion

Future of Sportwear

Sport has been driving fashion since the first hominid discovered she could run faster with rawhide strapped to her feet. What is the future of sport-inspired apparel? Will nanotechnology infused textiles become commonplace in extreme sports? How will adaptive materials change the game? Local designers are partnering with Arizona fashion guru Angela Johnson and designer Emily Payne of Project Runway Season 13 and Project Runway All Stars to bring these concepts and more to life.

League of Legends

eSport of the Future

Probably the fastest growing sport in the world, eSport is a universe in which the athlete’s biggest muscles are between their ears. Even in 2016 they attracted tens of thousands to stadiums to watch their brains and thumbs play. Emerge takes this out to the future with cosplayers who make characters from the game come to life. Tempe’s eSport haven, Endgame Bar, is hosting a seven-week League of Legends tournament culminating in a final battle live on the Wells Fargo jumbotrons and streamed on Twitch. Take a front row seat and join the ASU Spirit Squad and spectators from around the world in cheering on intellectual athletes in an interactive experience that takes gameplay to a new peak.


Arizona Storytellers: Future of Athletes

What does the future hold for some of our favorite athletes of 2016? In a storytelling event like no other, enjoy sports stories from the past, present…and future. A collaboration between the Arizona Storytellers Project, our surprise storytellers, and bestselling author, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, contributor to This American Life, and the editor/publisher of Found Magazine Davy Rothbart.

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The Sun Devils take on the #2 Ranked University of Arizona Wildcats at Wells Fargo Arena.

Future of Distraction

Witness the emotional and physical power of psych-out through the Curtain of Distraction 2040, brought to you  by the Sun Devils 942 Crew and ASU psychologist Mike McBeath. Can you resist the mind and body controlling influence of this wildly creative and statistically proven distraction method of the future?

Jamacian In Space

Jamaican Athletes in Outer Space

Storyteller Claire Nelson shares a holographic tale of Jamaican athletes in outer space. The Space Goodwill Games as they are popularly called was established to help dampen conflicts brewing between the Space-Faring nations and the Non-Space Faring Nations with respect to space tourism, space settlements and space sustainability, and promote multi-national and trans-national understanding on the extra-planetary scale.  In the upcoming III Space Goodwill Games 2040 of the XXXV Olympiad  – all eyes are on the team from Jamaica – the once and always audacious island nation.  Team Jamaica – the world renown sprint factory, has qualified for the Steeple-Chase CrossTour, making it the ONLY non-space faring nation to have a team in the Space Goodwill Games.  Team ‘Jamaica to the World’ blasts off to a new chapter in history, ‘Jamaica to the Universe’  … Yeah Moon!

SciCheer Performance

Science Cheerleaders

Science Cheerleader represents over 300 NFL/NBA cheerleaders pursuing STEM careers. We will be cheering on the future of sports, introducing our new Science of Cheerleading e-book, and promoting citizen science. 


Conversational Relays

Through the night, Brian David Johnson, the former chief futurist of Intel, will guide what amounts to group TED Talks in an exciting journey on the social nature of sport 2040.  Animating conversationalists will include Emily Payne, reality TV star future sport fashionista; Misty Hyman, Olympic gold medalist and former world-record-holding swimmer; Davy Rothbart, storyteller, basketball fanatic and Found Magazine founder; Allysa Seely, the world’s fastest parathlete – wait for it – triathalonist; Coach Mike, of, para ref and coach; and AJ Maestas, sport visionary.


The Games That Got Us Through: Climate Change Sports

How do you run out of water? According to The Applied History Institute, really slowly, and then all at once. Former Princeton football player, artist, and environmental activist, Adam Flynn, and collaborators Bryce Hidysmith and Andrew Hudson will teach us to play “Cistern,” the sport that is popular in 2040 following climate change. Artifacts from the future history of climate change sports will be curated in a sports museum display and visitors will have the opportunity to watch and play the Sci-fi Sport of Tomorrow’s Climate Migration.


Let’s Hear It For the Future Cheer Engine

CAIL (Cheering Artificial Intelligence Leader) performs cheers in a future where a distributed network AI replaces cheerleaders as we know them. Try your hand at our interactive interface to hear CAIL’s cheers of the future or add to CAIL’s database with a cheer of your own!

Submit your entry! What kinds of cheers would artificial beings create? Will they cheer for events long past? Will they sound anything like traditional sports cheers for football or basketball? Will human fans cheer for their favorite machine athletes, or remain stubbornly loyal to athletes of their own species? Will they cheer for mechanical or digital athletes instead – or, in the case of video games and eSport, for the programs running the simulation, trying to foil the human players?

Submit your entry to Can an AI Cheerleader Pass the Turing TestSelected cheers will be performed in person by CAIL (our Cheering Artificial Intelligence Leader) at Emerge. All cheers will be considered for publication with Four Chambers Press.

Submit your cheer here:

Future Cheating

The Future of Cheating

Cancer cheats, say cutting-edge biologists. But for athletes, cheating isn’t a metaphor. It’s a reality they face in opponents every day, and biologists are learning from their very sophisticated strategies to deal with it.

Cancer researchers from ASU’s Biodesign Institute and student athletes join forces to imagine a new way to combat cancer—beat it at its own cheating game. Competition, cooperation, and the element of surprise in sport can make all the difference. Which side will you join?

Sports in Space

New Sport: Sport in Space

What would a game played by robots in low-Earth orbit look like? Just look up to find out. Space roboticist Jekan Thanga from ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration brings interplanetary cubeSats out to play in a game unlike any you’ve ever seen before.


The Future of Fun 2040

CRADL is excited to facilitate the Future of Play where kids of all ages design the sport or playground activity of their dreams. For many kids, sports and play go hand in hand.  Organized soccer, capture the flag, even freeze tag, kids find competitive activities to be the most fun.  What if they could create their own sport or playground activity?  Given a blank canvas and unlimited creativity, what would they come up with?  Who knows, maybe the next Frisbee or Foursquare is in the mind of a child right now.

About CRADL: CRADL ( combines a deep understanding of child life research, digital and physical product development, business development and finance into a research lab and startup studio that drives exploration and innovation in technologies, media and products for children, parents and educators.

Rube goldberg

Future of Games: Rube Goldberg

In 2040, are we the fans or the cogs? Lock student athletes, student engineers, and student creatives into a room in the ASU STEAM Lab, and futuristic collaboration ensues. The result—a life-sized chain reaction Rube Goldberg machine. Become a maze runner and find if you’re playing the game or if the game is playing you inside this chain reaction escape room experience.

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Concourse to the Future

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” – Bill Gates

Join Emerge on twenty-five year journey into the future in the Concourse To the Future. Observe the evolution of stadiums from simple sports venues to high-density cultural destinations. Glimpse what is in store as the acceleration of emerging technologies propels us into a digital existence. Imagine how advances in medicine and engineering will enhance the mental and physical abilities of athletes. Challenge your reality and prepare yourself to experience The Future of Sport 2040.


Fantasy Sport: Draft Party 2040

Join a Fantasy Sport Draft Party in 2040, designed by Dr. Wendy Hultsman’s Special Events students, to learn about the future of fantasy sports as Dr. Ingram-Waters’ ASU Barrett Honors College research group leads visitors through draft selection on the players of the future. Visitors will play with each other and think about the ways that fantasy sports relate to personal ethics and the way that future innovations might shape our choices. What values do our choices suggest about what makes a game fair? What counts as winning?

Emerge Roller Derby Image

Roller Derby

In the early days of roller derby (1920s) it was simply a marathon race to see who could skate the farthest in a set amount of time while wearing costumes. Then the competition grew more intense and violent in the 1960s. Roller derby has grown into a scripted contest much like professional wrestling, broadcast on TV. As we look to the future we offer attendees an opportunity to question what is Roller Derby 2040?


Imagination Station: Youth Imagining the Future of Sports

How do today’s youth imagine the future of youth sport? How will boys and girls play together in the sport future? Dr. Eric Legg of ASU’s School of Community Resources & Development studies youth sports and how youth sport program can be constructed to maximize youth development. This visitation seeks to understand gender ideas in sport by allowing youth the opportunity to imagine the future of youth sport. Youth participants will be drawing and talking about their vision of the future in this fun, creative, and engaging visitation.

Hayes Image for Emerge

Future of Big Analytics

The future of big data becomes big analytics as we look at music used during major sporting events and how that will play a psychological role on players and fans alike. Dr. Lauren Hayes and Barry Bozeman create a multisensory experience using vibration and music to explore the links between sound and sensation, noting fans of the future will engage with sports more then just visually. Dr. Hayes’ Skin Music series playfully explores how music can touch us both physically and emotionally.


Post-Sporting: Biogame Feedback

Dr. Paula Gardner and her research team from McMaster University will bring a multi-player interactive body-based digital game to Emerge for visitors to play. The “Body Editing” Platform includes a Kinect gesture and motion tracking system, an EEG (“Muse” Brain wave) monitor and a EKG (heart rhythm) sensor, using Gardner’s specially-designed software interface. These measures are fed back to visitors as audio and visual feedback in response to gesture, movement and biodata.