Play for the planet - meet ANCIENTGAME
These guys... don’t know even where to begin! But, let me start with quote from Anthony Albanese (the author of 'Change' ): “Labor believes in sustainability. We believe in acting on climate change, not just talking about it.“ And yes, the guys at ANCIENTGAME are not just talking about it and hoping for things to get better, they are one of those inspiring Viennese who are actually doing it. Users, the members of Das Packhaus are inspiring me each time we have a small coffee chat or I meet them while doing these interviews - or extended coffee break, as I like to call them.
But for real, thumps up for having guts, nerves and power to get what you want and what you believe in. And this goes to all family member of Das Packhaus and to all other bad-ass folks.
Alex and Stefanie from ANCIENTGAME joined me on a Thursday afternoon interview at our green garden. We talked about sustainability, games, trees, community, environmentally friendly shops, how fucked up the world can be and challenges that they, and we, are dealing with just by being youngsters in the business world.
Now, just keep reading. Get inspired. And make a change.
P: Right, so how did all this start? So, I googled you, facebooked you, just stuff that some (weird) people do before they go on a date, but what’s the story behind it?
A: Well, Stefanie and I are working on our ideas for two years. We were always thinking that we should, we COULD change something. We always had an idea that we have to find a team of our age and with the same vision as we do. So we found our other two colleagues, who are also co-founders and were working on their self-employment in the field of gaming for quite some time.
S: So we were all kind of in the same boat because we shared the vision „creating games with a positive output for the world". Since the day we first met, we all immediately connected on a very good level.
P: So, how did everything start?
A: By building our team we fulfilled all the important skills from graphic design and technical support, over to marketing and sales. Together we created the vision to combine mobile technology with funny learning mechanics for everybody - doesn’t matter where you're from or how old you are. Since the beginning of the human age, playing has always had positive effects on our behaviour and evolution. That's why we named our start-up company ANCIENTGAME GmbH.
S: So after tonnes of brainstormings and a lot of coffee, we had the idea to develop the first app that offers every person on this planet an opportunity to do something good, simply by playing a mobile game. This game is called Value, from valuables.
The focus is on sustainability. It’s a mix between gaming and sustainable lifestyle.
P: What’s the app Value about?
S: People can play Value to explore their personal environment in a sustainable way, with the amazing outcome that you’re actually planting a real tree. The app offers a magical map, where users can find all the good stuff they need: vegan/bio restaurants, cafes and bistros, organic fashion shops, local urban clothing brands, natural cosmetics and much more. There are so many different companies out there that people can explore. The users of Value will also get coupons and discounts for a lot of products.
We wanna support local and green companies and at the same time give users a funny and effortless way to plant trees for our planet. The fun part about is that you walk with your personal avatar, collect coins and items and find magic chests. This adds the feeling of adventure and excitement to your path towards the goal. Sustainability packed into a one fun game.
P: No way! And who will plant those real trees?
S: Way, way! :D We are cooperating with our official partner: Plant For The Planet. They’re the biggest tree planting organisation in the world, and they are also cooperating with the UN. They have a plan to plant 3 trillion trees till 2020, so that we would have enough of air to breathe, in the way that we won't need those Japanese masks. Right now they are reforesting the rainforests in South America because of its close location to the Equator. So plants will grow 5 times faster than in Europe and bind 5 times more CO2 for the whole planet. The idea is that users don't need to spend money for charity. It's simple and funny, you just have to play Value and virtual trees will be evolved to real trees with Plant For The Planet.
P: Who is your target group? Or are there more than one?
A: We address two main target groups. First is the so called LOHAS - the lifestyle focused on health and sustainability. The LOHAS are open-minded urban folks who take care of their health and are interested to make a change within global problems. They love to experience new sustainable innovation and products and to share and connect with each other via social media. The other target group we want to reach are gamers and mobile gamers. There are millions of gamers out there and usually, they spend a lot of time in virtual worlds. Some of them might not think about sustainability yet in their everyday life but they will get an insight into the topic while playing Value.
S: The key is to put these two groups in to one and spread a message: „let's make sustainability fun by playing a game"... It goes like a chain, one in one.“ #playfortheplanet
P: So what’s the business model behind the idea?
A: Well, there are so many sustainable and environmentally friendly companies, who do such a great job for their customers and nature. The most common problem is that they don't have much money for marketing or for developing their own mobile applications. So Value supports them, by integrating the companies in the app and making them a part of all the functions. Through this, they will have a new range of innovative and target oriented mobile marketing strategies. Another point is that they will have an effective tool to spread their discounts and special offers. Also, eco-friendly online shops will be visible for the users, so people don't have to spend hours on Google looking for cool brands and online shop offerings.
P: Do people like online shops? Can you go more into details?
S: Sustainable online shops are currently hard to find, you need time to find urban and ecofriendly shops and even when you find them, most of them don't ship to your home country. On Value, you can personalise and categorise your search, in categories like fashion, health, lifestyle, beauty, interior and food. Users can also save all the shops they like and scroll through them anytime on their phone or on our website.
P: What’s your action plan?
A: First, we are going to start with the website (Value), where the users will get the function to find all the sustainable online stores and local stores in their environment. The website also contains user and B2B log-in's. The most important step will be the app release and we are super excited about that. Therefore we are planning our launch event and some cool actions to spread our message to the world. We are looking forward to work with new partners and to plant tonnes of trees with the Value community.
P: How would you describe Das Packhaus? What is your favourite “thing“ about it?
A+S: We love Das Packhaus! :)
It's really good and centrally located and has the perfect infrastructure. You can feel the spirit of the new generation and especially for creative brains and start-up's, this is the place to be. Das Packhaus is a very open-minded spot, it offers great shared work spaces, interesting workshops and self-cooked food for the members.