My favorite new mind-bending idea is an extension for Firefox released today by brainy game designers Merci Grace and Justin Hall. It's called PMOG, for passively multiplayer online game, and it turns the entire web into a fantasy world where you can go on quests. Like all cool art, PMOG makes apparent something that you knew unconsciously for a long time. Browsing the web is just a game. Gathering knowledge is a game. Finding cool new pieces of information by reading is a game. PMOG just makes those games literal, by letting you earn points for web surfing — erm, questing. And io9 is part of that quest!
PMOG was launched by GameLayers, who said in a statement this morning:
So many of us spend hours each day on the web. What do we have to show for our time? PMOG gives players points for surfing with the PMOG Firefox extension. Those points can be used to leave traps or treasure on any web site, for other players to find. Suddenly, surfing the web is a casual multiplayer online game.
PMOG provides a web-wide platform for people to poke, gift or share links. "PMOG is arms dealer to the web," quips Merci Victoria Grace, GameLayers Chief Creative Officer and co-founder. PMOG game events are created by other players, and layered over the web that we all share. Players see PMOG "Mines" "Crates" or "Portals" affixed to CNN, Facebook or Google. Players can unlock badges based on their web surfing on sites like BoingBoing, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. The entire internet now offers a chance to play.
The coolest part for yours truly, aside from getting rewarded for compulsively reading BoingBoing and Hackaday, is that io9 is part of a quest called "Take Me to Your Readers." There's even a badge (pictured) for io9.
You know what that means, don't you? You are all part of a game, right now. You can feel it when you go to work. When you pay your taxes. When you quote that cool speech in the Matrix for the fiftieth time. So make your web surfing count by checking out PMOG and going on a quest.
PMOG [official site]