Microscope is a world building game. It allows a group of player/storytellers to collaboratively create a an epic history. The scale is tremendous, the possibilities nearly limitless. It could be a history that mirrors our own or something completely new.
There is no GM. Together the players create a Mythopoeia that grows organically by turns. The big picture is epic in scale, but it is called Microscope for a reason: players can zoom in on any of the periods of their emerging history and start a scene, which they and other players participate in. That scene might inspire another historical event, or even another historical period. New parts of the timeline can be created in any order.
Microscope contains examples of:
- Bookends: The beginning and end of the history are chosen at the start and tend to be linked thematically.
- Constructed World: The result of a game—though a game can go on indefinitely, more and more detail being added to the world by players.
- In Medias Res: Scenes are often done this way. The purpose of a scene in Microscope is to answer a single question, as dynamically as possible.