MEGA Game: The Game with Impact by MEGA
MEGA Game is a gamified web platform and smartphone app that give you knowledge and power to create sustainable world by playing for impact.
MEGA Game represents the education-and-collaboration system for community-based environmental and social education and eco-innovation development that improve resilient social well-being of communities and health of natural environment they live in the face of a rapidly changing global climate. With MEGA Game we address a number of social and environmental issues. Specifically, our innovation has 8 categories included: Air Pollution, Biodiversity Conservation, Climate Change Mitigation, Energy and Energy Efficiency, Land Use Management, Social Impact, Waste Management, and Water Management. However, there is much attention dedicated to the 3 fields where human activity has transgressed the planetary boundaries and produced the urgent need for positive impact:
1. Biodiversity loss;
2. Nitrogen cycle;
3. Climate change.
In our innovation we use such concepts as open-source ecology, the Maker Movement (also termed the Third Industrial Revolution), and citizen science to educate and empower people worldwide to create a sustainable world with their own minds and hands. MEGA Game also allows them to change their behavior towards more eco-friendly one through gamification mechanics and tools incorporated in it. In such way MEGA Game provides communities with “new way to grow” sustainably and environmentally friendly on the basis of bottom-up environmental governance instead of top-down one, collaboration instead of competition, and fun of contributing to a better environment and society instead of fear for an apocalyptic future.
The MEGA Game system consists of GIS-data-enhanced web platform and smartphone app with gamified experiential e-learning mechanics backed by a global collaborative community of social workers, makers, environmentalists, environmental NGOs, and green businesses.
Video about our innovation can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/7QxSRuhEp08.
The currently available Beta version of MEGA Game can be accessed at www.megageneration.com.
What actions do you propose?
Our MEGA Vision is a sustainable world, where every person lives an eco-friendly life, has open access to practical learning opportunities, constructs own open-source eco-innovations, and thus contributes to sustainable development and climate change mitigation in a collaborative, enjoyable, and fun way anywhere in the world.
While achieving this vision through the MEGA Game system, we create the following key results and outcomes:
+ Practical environmental education and peer-to-peer learning accessible to all interested young people through computer and smartphone, as well as the possibility to practice knowledge and skills and create real positive social and environmental impact during the learning process;
+ Young and experienced environmental specialists / change agents working in companies and organizations and contributing to the protection of the surrounding environment and climate change mitigation;
+ Passionate green entrepreneurs with their own successful green businesses based on creation and delivery of open-source eco-innovations;
+ Improvement of the environment, reduction of climate footprint, and as a result enhancement of the quality of social well-being.
Such results are obtained through the web platform and smartphone app components of the MEGA Game system, which include the following interconnected features:
+ Mission Hub is the main part of MEGA Game, where players use the GPS-based map and list of available missions and quests to learn about available challenges, plan their game strategy, and accept missions.
+ Profile page shows the progress of each user, results achieved by him/her, and feedback received in the form of player status, XP points, achievements, and skills badges.
+ Training Center with video trainings and courses on eco-friendly lifestyle, eco-innovation development, environmental project management, green entrepreneurship, etc. delivered by organizations and companies registered in MEGA Game that players can access to receive the knowledge necessary for accomplishing missions;
+ Agents Center with the map and the list showing registered and currently logged in users in the player’s location, which he/she can use for networking, cooperation, peer-to-peer learning, sharing of experiences, and teamwork;
+ Leaderboard that shows player’s rating and ranking among either all users of MEGA Game or his/her friends;
+ Library of Opportunities for players to learn about and accept internship opportunities from registered organizations and companies, as well as post their own project-related opportunities to invite other users to work together.
+ Gamification tools, feedback mechanics, and rewards for monitoring and supporting player’s performance and for creating, measuring, evaluating, and displaying their positive impact.
In MEGA Game we therefore apply such modern innovative concepts as gamification and experiential learning, where a player designs his/her own learning process, obtains knowledge from on-line trainings and peer-to-peer interaction, immediately puts it into practice in the real world, and does all this in the form of a game by taking on missions and quests provided by organizations and companies, obtaining XP points, receiving skills badges and rewards, leading teams, and achieving actual results. When an individual participant called Green Agent reaches the final level within the MEGA Game system and obtains the MEGA Change Agent status he/she will have gained practical and well-documented environmental knowledge, skills, experience, record of positive impact, and devoted team to conduct academic-level research, organize environmental projects, launch green startups, and in this way lead positive social / environmental change in his/her community / city / country. At the same time an organization or company called Mission Provider that provided sufficient missions, quests, and trainings for such Green Agents will have benefitted from the support and knowledge of passionate makers and environmentalists worldwide, measured their contribution for its project / initiative, obtained concrete data for reporting and scaling up that project / initiative further, and promoted its brand as the socially / environmentally responsible one.
Thus, MEGA Game is an innovative shift from traditional top-down theory-based teaching in environmental sciences towards collaborative and practical learning experience with real-world contribution and positive impact based on fun and enjoyment.
Who will take these actions?
MEGA engages and delivers value and benefits to 2 target groups of customers:
1. Green Agents: Individual young social workers, makers, and environmentalists called Green Agents in MEGA Game. They are in the range of 18 – 27 years old and come from high schools, colleges, and universities. The majority of them are active in various youth-led social and environmental NGOs in their villages / cities / countries. These people are interested in environmental issues, climate change mitigation / adaptation, and eco-friendly lifestyle, are willing improve their health and save some money at the same time, and seek self-fulfillment in society through creating positive social and environmental impact. Through MEGA Game they have the opportunity to learn and gain practical experience in environmental management and eco-innovation development in order to realize their passion, start living an eco-lifestyle, succeed in social / environmental career, and produce positive social / environmental change in their communities in a fun, entertaining, and enjoyable way. There are approximately 600 000 potential Green Agents on our market targeted in the 2015 – 2020 period.
2. Mission Providers: Environmental organizations and CSR-oriented / green businesses. These economic agents have different aspects of environment protection, climate change mitigation, and poverty alleviation integrated in their CSR policies and programmes. They are interested in receiving crowdsourced ideas for sustainable solutions and eco-innovations; in recruiting young but already experienced volunteers, makers, and environmentalists for their projects, internships, and full-time employment; in reducing their carbon footprint while improving energy use and efficiency; and in enhancing their socially and environmentally responsible image / brand in a cost-efficient way based on concrete data of positive impact created. There are about 100 000 Mission Providers active on the market that we target in 2015 – 2020.
Where will these actions be taken?
Currently we are situated in the developing country of the Republic of Moldova, which is our target territory of operations and impact for 2015 – 2016. We specifically focus on water management and climate change mitigation + adaptation in the Bic and Dniester / Nistru River basins (specifically, Chisinau, Vatra, Bender, Tiraspol, etc.), as these areas are most prone to water pollution and flooding.
According to our MEGA 2020 Strategy, in 2016 – 2017 we expand to the EU. Already nowadays our MEGA colleague, Benedikt, is working on establishing MEGA branch in the so-called Dreamicon Valley near Vienna, Austria.
In 2017 – 2018 we should reach North America, and by 2020 also the Asian developing countries.
Ultimately we aim at MEGA Game to become the people’s first choice when it comes to an international platform for environmental e-learning and collaborative development of open-source eco-innovations and sustainable solutions that can improve the state of the global environment and mitigate climate change.
How will these actions have a high impact in addressing climate change?
In relation to climate change mitigation and specifically real GHG emissions reduction, we can estimate the positive impact of MEGA Game in the following way:
In the developing country of Moldova GHG emissions per capita per year is 3.2 t of CO2e. For the year 2015 we plan to involve 900 residents of this country in MEGA Game. By using it each citizen will be able to reduce GHG emissions (either individual ones or collective ones through collaborative environmental initiatives) by 10% on the average, that is by 0.32 t. As a whole in 2015 in Moldova MEGA Game should reduce GHG emissions by 0.32 x 900 = 288 t of CO2e.
If we take a European developed country, such as Austria, with 11.5 t of CO2e per capita emissions, then the reduction achieved through MEGA Game could be 1.15 x 900 = 1035 t of CO2e.
The MEGA Game system will have an internal GHG emissions calculator to estimate and report emissions reduction impact from climate-change-related missions and quests.
What are other key benefits?
The outcomes and impact of MEGA Game for the environment and society, especially in relation to climate change mitigation, are the following:
+ Free global distribution of information and knowledge about the most recent developments in addressing environmental issues and climate change through MEGA Game platform and community;
+ Changing everyday actions and behavior of its users towards the more eco-friendly ones with less climate footprint;
+ Crowdsourced development of sustainable solutions and open-source eco-innovations related to renewable energy, low-carbon manufacturing (such as 3D printing), etc.;
+ Preparing and supporting talented youth to become green entrepreneurs, whose businesses can further contribute to environment protection and climate change mitigation in their business operations;
+ Helping companies and organizations realize their environmental and climate-change-mitigation initiatives through active engagement of the MEGA Game users community.
What are the proposal’s costs?
The largest cost category in the budget of developing and implementing MEGA Game is related to the front-end and back-end development of its web platform and smartphone app. Even with a favourable contract with our partner Bright Games that delivers us development service at 50% of its original cost, the investments into MEGA Game development and design are quite significant. In addition, there are certain costs associated to travelling to communities in different countries and engaging them into MEGA Game, monitoring and impact achieved by its users, timely implementation of their feedback and suggestions, and scaling up the MEGA community.
However, when the MEGA Game system is ready, it starts to deliver its value and benefits in a cost-efficient way. This is due to the fact that our innovation incorporates the following cost-efficiency factors:
+ It is based on such modern global mega-trends as open-source ecology, Maker Movement, and citizen science and in this respect uses the collaborative “power of the communities” to deliver the most needed social/environmental change;
+ It applies the concept of gamification and in such way makes the whole education-and-cocreation user experience very enjoyable, entertaining, and attractive, allowing the costs of stimulation, motivation, and control to be decreased while the performance and impact are increased.
+ All eco-innovations created and deployed through MEGA Game are open-source under the Creative Commons license. It makes them easily replicable and scalable in different locations and countries with minimum costs incurred but maximum adjustability to local conditions and positive value generated.
The negative effects of the MEGA Game might be associated with certain Mission Providers using our MEGA Game to “exploit” the users registered there. This is addressed by the process of preliminary approval of Mission Provider accounts and then further monitoring of their actions in MEGA Game.
MEGA 2020 Strategy outlines the key SMART goals and actions that we will achieve and implement in the next 5 years. These are:
+ By July 2015 MEGA Game web platform is fully functional with 300 players (Green Agents) registered there, who are actively learning and playing in 7 quests delivered by 5 organizations and companies (Mission Providers).
+ By October 2015 the smartphone app version of MEGA Game for Android and iOS is fully functional with 600 Green Agents and 10 Mission Providers using it to create and implement 15 sustainable solutions, eco-innovations, and environmental initiatives.
+ By November 2016 the first MEGA Impact Championship based on MEGA Game is organized by the established European branch of MEGA with 50 Green Agents and 20 Mission Providers participating in it.
+ By December 2017 the Green Business Development Program of MEGA is fully operational and managed by the established North-American branch of MEGA with 30 green businesses being founded through it.
+ By January 2020 MEGA Game becomes the people’s first choice when it comes to a platform for environmental e-learning and collaborative development of open-source eco-innovations and sustainable solutions. It has 350 000 registered Green Agents creating 30 000 types of sustainable solutions and open-source eco-innovations that 70 000 Mission Providers are using to improve the environment and social well-being in a cost-efficient way.
In the long-term perspective we envision MEGA Game to be the platform that unites people and organizations worldwide for creating a completely sustainable world in different ways: through individual actions, collective initiatives, mentoring, research projects, eco-innovations, policy-influencing approaches, and green entrepreneurship. MEGA Game will be accessible on all available devices (computers, smartphones, wearable devices, etc.) in all parts of the world. This will be one of the main solutions that will help mankind tackle global climate change.
1. National level campaign aimed at building a network of young energy ambassadors: Nationwide campaign on energy conservation & renewable energy among school students for building a network of young energy ambassadors (https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1301417/planId/1318001).
2. WikiDream: Blueprinting the New Society: Connect University and High School students via an online platform and local "Imaginings" to collaboratively design a climate stable society (https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1301417/planId/1317208).
3. Youth Innovation on Climate Change: YNCCC is a youth led initiative to link the youth with onging climate actions through discussion and actual involvemnt on climate projects (https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1301417/planId/1312802).
These proposals have similar concept of creating a collaborative network of youth for addressing climate change.
1. BeahrsELP Blog, 2014: Gamification in Sustainable Development. Available at: http://beahrselp.berkeley.edu/newsletter/gamification-in-sustainable-development
2. BeahrsELP Blog, 2015: Game with Impact. Available at: http://beahrselp.berkeley.edu/newsletter/game-with-impact
3. Gamification World Map, 2015. MEGA Game: The Game with Impact. Available at: http://www.gamificationworldmap.com/project/mega-game-the-game-with-impact
4. Iscenco, A. and Li, J. 2014. The Game with Impact: Gamification in Environmental Education and Entrepreneurship. Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy (MEGA). Available at: http://bit.ly/1wUlm2w
5. Iscenco, A. 2015. Collaborative Sustainability in Open Workshops: The Potential of Co-creation Spaces to contribute to Sustainable Development. Ökologisches Wirtschaften, Nr 30, May 2015, pp. 35 – 40
6. IDG Connect, 2014. Eastern Europe: Gaming and Society. Available at: http://www.idgconnect.com/abstract/8552/eastern-europe-gaming-society
7. MEGA, 2014. MEGA Annual Report, 2014. Available at: http://issuu.com/megageneration/docs/mega_annual_report_2014