Passively Multiplayer Online Gaming

This is immensely intriguing – not just as something I quite fancy having a go at (just “for the lulz”, as the kids say), but from a conceptual point of view – The Passively Multiplayer Online Game.

Basically, PMOG is a browser extension that makes a game out of visiting websites – but as the name suggests, it does so passively. It doesn’t demand tasks of you as a player, but instead presents you with opportunities for play that you may (or may not) decide to take up.

“Passive-ists aren’t asked to roll for initiative and then take part in a full-on turn-based combat. Rather, moments of combat and gifting invite the player briefly into the gameworld. This is not the same as the strategic blow-by-blow that makes Dungeons and Dragons style combat so engrossing. PMOG’s fun is often the fun of discovery and misdirection.


This is the point in the design process at which the internet really became physical for me, and the aesthetic decisions stem from that. Mines, the first tool I’d designed, were initially meant to be crafted by players from flotsam they’d collected on websites like so much primordial goo. Now they’re prefabricated tools you can buy, trade, set, or detonate. The imaginary world of the internet in my mind became a city that had been built over and over again, a sprawling maze of secrets.”

Go read that article. It’ll take you maybe five minutes, but it’ll be worth it. Not all landscapes are physical.

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