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On Passively Multiplayer Online Game

Written by Alcides Fonseca at 1189859067

This post came up from an interesting chat with João Diogo (I’m sure one day I’ll write about him) where he asked me about Passively Multiplayer Online Games (PMOG).

Well, for those who don’t know this concept (as I didn’t), it’s the possibility to play a RPG just by surfing the web. It will build you a profile based on your browser history. This is the basic concept, but I’m sure there are plenty of details yet to be defined.

For now there is a Firefox plugin based Game called BUD but it is offline at this moment, so I couldn’t give it a try. However you can read a Mozilla Developer opinion on this.

Personally, I am not excited by this and I don’t even believe this will have any success. More and more, people like the Internet because they like to create their own content: Their blogs, their flickr pages, their twitts, etc. Well this means the thing that makes the Internet interesting is the possibility to be active, not passive as this gaming concept promotes.

There is also another thing: Internet people tend to be lazy. Maybe that’s just the profile of people who use the web: it’s the fastest and workless way of doing things. So, they like to focus on things. They like to read one blog then another, when they are watching youtube movies, they don’t do anything else, etc… (ok, 1337 people do multi-tasking, but they are not the majority) This kind of games requires your attention while you are doing some other thing (reading/interacting in a webpage). I believe that will not captivate players.

There is also another thing I don’t quite believe in PMOG: the unlimited freedom you have to play. For instance, DnD is a game where you have an enormous freedom to play (which in my opinion makes it an amazing game) but is only played by a small percentage of RPG gamers. The rest chooses to play World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and that kind of games where the rules are well defined. Maybe is the laziness again: people like to be limited to a sort of actions where the chose is quite fast and easy.

Well, let’s see how these games go, and see if my predictions were right or not.