Q. Where the %$#!! is the game?
A. Metapet is currently without a server and so is offline for the time being. Sorry about that.

Q. How much does it cost to play Metapet?
It doesn't cost anything. At least up-front. However, too much fun of this sort, especially enjoyed at work, will cost your employer. You might tell your boss that you are in training to become a better manager. Send her the URL. No doubt it will be greatly appreciated!

Q. What is a Metapet?
The Metapet species is the first genetically engineered human being, and as such, represents a gigantic step forward for humanity. It all began when scientists took an Obedience Gene from a trained dog and injected it into a human in an attempt to create a more productive worker. As with all transgenic experiments, there were some unexpected side effects.

Q. What is the goal of Metapet?
The answer varies from player to player, or rather, from manager to manager. Some people play to earn as much money as they can. But ultimately that money goes to the company, and where's the fun in that? Others prefer to try to bring happiness, health, and satisfaction to their Metapet. This may mean living on the financial edge, but the personal gratification player's feel by helping to right some fundamental wrongs may be worth the cost. You see, some believe that the Metapet is, deep down, really hurt that scientists choose to use him as a test-case who must go through life as neither human or dog, but rather, an outsider of both species, a mutant, a freak, a half breed.(See the backstory.) Yet be that as it may, other Metapets seem to live perfectly normal lives, using their tail and their unique appearance as assets: a cocktail party prop, a conversation piece, and a great way to meet people. But back to the question of goals. When it comes right down to it,
only you and your conscience can decide.

Q. What is the time span for playing this game? Can it be played in one sitting? Does the Metapet feel a time pressure?
You are not literally racing against a clock, but once you hire a Metapet and join a company, you become a part of something much bigger than yourself --a team player. Feel free to play the game in your own time, but remember, you are part of a family, and you are either with us or against us.

Q. What should I do with my Metapet when I go away?
When you sign out of the game, your Metapet's metabolism slows down, and she will require somewhat less attention than when you are signed in. That said, it is not a good idea to abandon your Metapet for months on end without checking in from time to time.

Q. Why are there different companies? Why pick one over another?
Each company represents a different sector of the biotechnology industry. If you run out of money in one company, you may join a second, and if you mess up again, you can join a third.

Q. How do you play the minigames? Do they affect your Metapet or are they just for fun?
Minigames are games-within-the-game. Each one was specially designed by a different artist for the Metapets to play during their down-time. If you catch your Metapet playing a minigame, you can fire its sorry a** or you can join in the fun by clicking on the minigame button at the bottom of your console.

Q. What is the stock price listed on the game console? How does it affect game play ?
The companies are modeled after their sister companies in the "real world" and the stock number represents the current value of a share of that company as indicated by the New York Stock Exchange. of As one Metapet manager, nekc1 put it:

Nothing we do playing this game affects the stock prices of the three companies. Read the "Help" page, under the heading "Bank Information", and the subheading "Stocks": "The value of each Metapet corporation is linked to a real biotech company on the stock market." And, refer to the "Corporate Bulletin", bottom of the page: "Any resemblance to real companies, such as Cell Genesys, Inc. is purely coincidental."

Then, go to a stock market share price quote lookup service, and request a quote for any of the three companies referred to as "real companies" at the bottom of the "Corporate Bulletin". You'll see that the "real companies" are just that. And, the stock prices for the companies in the game are identical to the corresponding real companies. for example, the stock price of Star DNA is currently $13.489, per the "Corporate Bulletin". The stock price of Cell Genesys, Inc., according to Netscape's quote lookup, is $13.49. Want to increase the share price of your company in the game? Buy a whole bunch of stock in the corresponding real company.
Depending on your Metapet's personal interest and investment, you may notice his or her morale affected by changes in the stock market.

Q. What is that ball of string thingy that appears on the desk sometimes? Why is it there?
That is NOT a ball of string. It is a special utilitarian sculpture often found in office environments known as a rubber band ball. If and when it appears on your Metapet's desk, it is because your Metapet has either bought it, received it as a gift, or spent long hours constructing it for the sheer pleasure of doing so.

Q. My pet is sending personal emails on company time. And some of them are downright nasty! Others are ridiculously romantic, and prove that he does not exactly have work on the brain. What should I do?

First, how about asking yourself: what am I doing reading someone else's email? Would I like it if someone read my email without my permission? Clearly it is within your legal rights as a company manager to read the email of your personnel, and it may even help you to gain insight into your Metapet's character. On the other hand, as the saying goes, what you don't know won't hurt you. You may argue that there IS a button, after all, and why do buttons exist if not to be pushed? If you don't like what your Metapet has to say about you, try being nicer!

Q. What is the value of the genetic screening tests?
As is well known in and out of the scientific community, genetic tests are unreliable. Most traits and diseases are a complex mix of genes and environment. Yet, however diagnostically flawed, genetic testing is an extremely effective disciplinary tool for managers. Your Metapet will be guided in his decisions by the knowledge that you have private medical information that could be used against him at a later date. He will be aware that this information could make it difficult for him to get another job or to get health insurance. In this way, your Metapet will have good reason to be reasonable with you and responsive to your requests, thus guaranteeing smooth workplace relations.

Q. One of the DNA icons has turned red. What does that mean? Is it a good or bad thing?
A. Genetic testing is very much like reading a horoscope, with the unfortunate difference being that it is rare for a decision to hire someone or give them health insurance to be based on a horoscope.

Q. Other Metapet's think my Metapet is spineless and can't be trusted. What can I do?
This is a hard call. Like so many other aspects of Metapet, you need to decide where your loyalties are: with the well being of your Metapet or with the bottom line. The two are not always compatible. Sometimes, when your Metapet is plugging away, doing her job, gauges high, and minding her own business, other Metapets start to talk behind her back. They might call her a brown-noser, a kiss a**, and all sorts of other mean, nasty euphemisms. You can either cut her some slack and let her gauges drop a little, whereby she will probably feel more comfortable with her colleagues, or you can continue keeping those gauges sky high and working her like the dog that she, at least in part, may be.

Q. How do you raise discipline?
Since each Metapet is an individual, discipline levels varies from Metapet to Metapet. Try gene tests and manipulations, incentives and the occasional tranquilizer.

Q. Every time I hit the work button, I LOSE $100! Is my Metapet embezzling, or what?
When you hit the work button and your Metapet doesn't feel like working, the standard button-pressing fee is subtracted from your bank. Make sure that your Metapet is in good working condition to work before hitting the work button .

Q. My Metapet's eyes are all red and puffy. What's wrong? How do I get him to normal?
Your Metapet is worn out. Maybe you are working him too hard. You have overdone the drug treatment. Try giving him some gifts and some time away from work. Exercise and therapy might also be helpful.

Q. Something is terribly wrong with my Metapet. Her skin is a putrid shade of green, her eyes are red, and her cheeks are hollow. She is scaring the others. What is going on?
She most likely has a drug problem. One suggested remedy is to send her into therapy where experts are on call to help her deal with her pain and face her weaknesses.

Q. My Metapet keeps getting messages from another Metapet, and it's keeping him from his duties. What should I do?
There is really not a whole lot you can do except contact the other Metapet's manager and let him know that his Metapet is obstructing your Metapet's ability to work. Besides that, your guess is as good as mine.

Q. Are you distributing handheld Metapet devices?
Not at this time, but should there be sufficient demand, it is something that we will consider in the future.