Ubiquitous but undeniably useful, here are some questions and answers we think players might have about how OMEGA works. If this FAQ doesn't cover what you want to know, ask via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yup. It’s how our sooper sekrit computational machinery keeps track of your points for you.
Take action. (See above for relevance to registration.)
The Challenges (aka Double Dog Dare Ya’s) are worth 20 points each.
Everyday Actions get more valuable with each one you take. There's a cumulative effect. Here's a table for easy reference. (G'head, you can check the math.)
|# of actions||points for that action||running total|
They are a direct reflection of your awesomeness. They account for how much effort you're putting into it; how far out of your comfort zone you went; and how much you're stretching your boundaries. We're also planning a variety of both virtual and real world rewards as we continue to develop the game.
With a very simple mathematical formula. (see Points table)
Some Leaderboards are open and public; others are dark and secret…uh, we mean, they’re a private group game. So, you might not get in on some of the prizes.
HOWEVER... you can create your very own Leaderboard and invite people to play, in which case, you can set the prize.
Plus, if you know of a company that would make a great prize sponsor, send us a note via email@example.com. We’ll run some background checks and algorithms and stuff and see what happens.
Part of the working theory here at Verdigo is this: "It's not the science. It's the social." That sentiment, in fact, is oft-quoted by our founding CEO to explain, in part, why the danger of climate change hasn't appreciably changed people's behaviours in relation to sustainability. Everyone (who's bothered to find out) knows that the scientific findings on global warming are irrefutable (by rational, accredited scientists), but look at us. We're still doing things pretty much like we always have--because for all that's it's cool, scientific evidence still seems at a distinct remove from our everyday lives. (That's "we" as in human beings.)
But throw word-of-mouth and good-natured gossip into our midst and suddenly, we're extremely interested in what's going on. We're a pretty competitive group, we humans. We like to know how we measure up, how we compare, and how we can win.
OMEGA brings that aspect of human interaction into the conversation around the environment and the well-being of our planet. So when you play OMEGA, you're joining in that conversation, bringing it top-of-mind for yourself and for others around you and in the online community. We can't all be IPCC scientists, but we can all do our part for the planet. Everyday.
There’s a link for that! See the menu right beneath the actions ticker? Click “Invite Your Friends” and you’ll be taken to a new page.
Enter your friends' email addys and our sooper sekrit game machinery sends them an invitation.
Getting someone else to take action (like signing up for a cool green game) is in itself a green action. On our actions matrix, we file it under Localism (Local Economy AND Activism).
There’s a link for that! Look for “Leaderboards” on either of the top menus. Click it and you’ll be taken to a new page.
Hit the “Create A Leaderboard” button and fill in the required fields.
“Name” field” - be as creative and funny as you like, or just be straightforward. We just ask that you keep it clean. This is a family-friendly game, ok?
“Description” field - this is where you get to set who gets to play, what the prize(s) is/are, and anything else you think is important for potential players to know.
“Is private” check box - do NOT check this box. We know, we know; counterintuitive, right? By NOT checking this, you allow people to join via the Leaderboard page. You, as the Admin for your Leaderboard, will then get to approve joiners. (Otherwise, there’s a bit of a hassle with manual email entry and stuff. Trust us. This is easier.)
“Start keeping score” & “Finish keeping score” fields - these are if you want to set a start and end date for your Leaderboard. A pop-up calendar will show if you put the cursor here.
First, you promise not to cheat when you register and accept the pledge.
Second, a few people will probably cheat.
We'll catch most of them because we've got algorithms to scan for bots.
We'll catch most of the rest, because we're instituting the social media version of community watch groups - people who know each other vouching for each other. It's a rare bird who will create a whole team to help them cheat.
Finally, and this is for the community as a whole as opposed to you individually, we're taking 2% off the top of our reported numbers to account for "shrinkage."
No. But you can get points for claiming all the cool aspects of whatever you do. Eat a cold (ding!) local (ding) vegetarian (ding) breakfast and you score three times. Tandem bike to work? That's commuting and biking! Score and score! Plus: tandem bike. How fun is that?
12:01 am local time until midnight the same day. Don't ask us which day 12:00 is…we still can't figure that one out…oh, and we're using Mountain Time for now. (Which also means it might be Standard or Daylight, depending on the time of year.)
Our sponsors pay us every time a player claims an action in the game. (Except for sponsors who are not–for–profit companies. We make other arrangements with them, naturally.)
We take the money from our sponsors, and we use it to keep our cycle going: generate more people playing the game; generate more cool content; generate more actions; and get more sponsors—which generates more money, which we put back into the system to generate more players and more cool content...and so on.
Sponsors get their name and tailored messages attached to specific Areas of Life categories. They get a few seconds or minutes of your time in the Thank-You messages that show up after you've clicked an Everyday Action. The choice to interact with the sponsors' messages is totally yours.
Nope. Players never pay a sponsor anything, nor do you ever pay to play OMEGA.
We're not quite there yet, but it's on the development list to give you a "No thanks" button for any sponsored message. You'd click it and would immediately get a different sponsor's message that ought to be more to your liking.
When this happens, we won't bill the "No thanks" sponsor for that action and they won't get any credit for sponsoring that action.
We talk to them. We find out what they're already doing in terms of the CSR policies and/or their environmental policies. We talk about what we can do together. Then we converse amongst our Verdigo team and we make a choice.
Of course, money is an important part of being a social enterprise, but we have to balance that against our morals and ethics. Our goal is to work with sponsors that are actively trying to make the world a better place.
Verdigo is the name of our social enterprise. We made up the name by combining some other words and concepts. What we do is provide a social media platform for green games. Not like video games, though. More like...OMEGA!
OMEGA is a specific game created by Verdigo. It's a community race to One Million Everyday Green Actions. We started in Alberta. We live here, so it seemed like a good idea. Any city with at least 5 sponsors and 1000 players can gets its own OMEGA. Just ping us.
If you've got the time, you'll discover different answers to this one. At Verdigo, we define a social enterprise as a money engine for making the world a better place.
A corporation is a money engine for making the corporation's investors wealthy. We're a money engine, too—but one for making the world a better place.
Partly because we say so, and we're willing to be held to that standard. There is actually no one legal or business definition for "social enterprise."
For us, it's about our choices. The big one is that we've written into our incorporation documents that we donate 20% of our profits to aligned charities. We are also pursuing B Corp certification.
And finally, we're a social enterprise because we're aggressively carrying out a social mission through use of a business engine. Our social mission = shift the conversation around the environment and create disruptive green action until the context for consumer choice is never the same again.
Our business engine = brand engagement for companies that are willing to put their money where their mouths are.
All in all, it's a risky thing to do while simultaneously running a profitable business. We think that's a pretty cool challenge—Verdigo's own challenge, so to speak.
Getting deep now, huh. Actually, we were a non–profit in the beginning, down to our incorporation documents. The answer to this comes in a few parts. First, it's hard to grow fast without access to capital and it is very difficult in our society for an NPO/NGO to get access to cash. Second, we intend to make money doing this because money empowers choice: the ability to steer our own ship and make decisions for the long term instead of chasing grants and government dollars. Plus, when non–profits make money (which happens and is perfectly legal), the taxation issues get weird pretty fast.
We thought about taking that on, just to make a point, but that would have us be the "take on the taxation system" social enterprise rather than the "create disruptive green action" social enterprise. Yeah...not our passion. We're going with disruptive green.
Nope. Never gonna happen.
Mr Wizard, our CTO Tim Sloan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please, be succinct and polite. He's a sleeping bear, he is.
We know, right? That would be so convenient. So, we're working on it. Don't worry: as soon as it's a go, everyone will know.