World of WarCraft? Not really my thing. Never was interested in Doom. I can’t see the point in playing Grand Theft Auto, I don’t even drive in meatspace. Halo? Nope. I don’t geek out to the processing power needed to create increasingly detailed explosions or “realistic” major league sporting events. I dabbled in Second Life, but found the magical-sounding world of flying and teleportation more ordinary than extraordinary. Hell, I’ve never played Guitar Hero on the Wii, even though we have it at work.
I’m not looking to spend a considerable chunk of my time on a game. I’m not judging people who do; I’m just saying it isn’t really my thing. Well, it wasn’t my thing, until I found PMOG.
PMOG’s twitter bio probably puts it best: “I’m earning XP for this.” That’s right, the building up of life force or money or whatever it is that gives you power in games happens as you do whatever it is you usually do online, if you are logged in to PMOG. It’s a game layer on the web, delivered via Firefox extension.
I think MMO is a good building block (I’ve been thinking of it in terms of MMOW), and passively multiplayer is a new and intriguing twist. As with practically everything else in beta (is it me, or does it seem like half the web is in beta, and a good chunk of the other half is LOLcats?) the concept is more awesome than the execution at times. But the way it turns surfing into a steampunk narrative — the idea is brilliant.
I’ve been playing for less than two weeks, and I have a lot to learn. There is potentially a lot to do in a passively multiplayer online game, what with the missions, portals, mischief, and generosity. I think it’s a new framework for remixing and telling stories, and you can never have too many of those. Whether or not you are playing a game.