PMOG. I’ve just started playing this very weird web browsing game called Passively Multiplayer Online Game. The idea is you install the browser add-on and then surf around the web as normal. Every so often you will come across a game challenge left by someone which pops up on your screen to challenge you, at which point you can either ignore and dismiss it or agree to play.
Once you agree, the whole thing becomes just a sort of dynamic web-ring come Stumbleupon type affair. The person who has set the game guides you around their choice of web sites during which tour you pick up points and possibly experience different events caused by other players leaving booby-traps or gifts. Community is clearly a big target of the game, although as a beginner it’s hard to know how to get into one, or how to make alliances etc. Oh, look, I just found the forums…duh!
It’s still very beta at the moment and the rough edges unfortunately detract from an unusual idea which seems quite a nice way of finding new sites and services. Quite often you will head off on a mission only to find that a site breaks the web-ring tech, or the box simply doesn’t appear. It can be a little frustrating. There’s lots of things that you’re supposed to be able to do, like drop exploding mines, leave crates of goodies, create your own missions by dropping lightposts (bookmarks) on different sites etc etc, but so far I’ve not been able to get any of it to work.
The fact that there’s no clear cut instructions laid out on the site, which says – READ ME FIRST! also doesn’t help a lot. It’s a basic and pretty dumb omission for a ‘game’ which has so many different options and presumably is aimed at newbie types as well as har har nerds. Hint guys: the word Codex is very geek, and probably won’t click with people who step outside the door now and then to get fresh air.
All in all, it’s a nice idea marred by a little sloppiness, which is a shame. I’m going to persevere because it’s fun and it has thrown up a couple of really interesting sites which I would otherwise not have found, but I do hope that they make it easier for others to understand the whole thing during the first 10 minutes when it counts.
Oh and I do wonder whether the star rating system will be enough to prevent the spammers from just pointing their game towards one site they wish to promote.
One final note. I have the scariest suspicion that once I do get into this game properly, it will turn out to be the biggest consumer of my work time ever created. I am scared! Very scared. Oh and I think I have a couple of invites available.
PMOG is an infinite game built on individual network histories, transforming our web surfing into ongoing social play. With a game head-up display in Firefox, players can bomb each other, wage war over web sites, and lead other users on web missions. Ordinary web sites become caches for items and currency. PMOG fuses an MMO into our WWW. PMOG stands for Passively Multiplayer Online Game. Players play without playing; clicking around the internet turns into experience points and currency. This unconventional massively multiplayer online game merges your web life with an alternate, hidden reality.