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Business - Written by on Friday, February 29, 2008 12:36 - 2 Comments

Passively Multiplayer Online Games (PMOG) – Taking the Web to another Layer

In what Tim O’Reilly refers to as a kind of augmented reality, the first ever Passively Multiplayer Online Game has recently been launched in closed beta. Created by startup company Gamelayers and backed by $500,000 of funding, this new venture aims to turn ordinary web surfing into perpetual online play – as if surfing the net wasn’t addicting enough.

Players earn ‘datapoints’ by simply surfing the web and can use these points to plant mines at various popular websites for other players to find. Less violent players can choose to leave gifts instead. Players can create quests for other players that involve following paths and finding missions along the way.


The potential to draw users to various websites through these quests creates plenty of opportunities for monetization, however, an article in Gigaom notes that the developers are currently not thinking of monetization options but instead focusing on finding new ways to turn surfing the web from “a mostly random activity into goal-directed fun.”

This development brings us one step closer to the idea of the internet browser being the ultimate social networking platform as PMOG might eventually provide IM, photo sharing, event planning and other typical social networking services.

The recently launched Flock Browser has attempted to be the leader in this space by providing an open source browser with enhanced social networking functionality.

While some may view PMOG as another inconsequential passing fad, Tim O’Reilly points out that this provides a glimpse into the future of the next level of “electronic augmentation of the world in which we live.” If the rapid adoption of Massively Multiplayer Online Games such as World of Warcraft, which as of January 22, 2008, has surpassed 10 million subscribers worldwide, has shown us anything, its that the potential for these types of games is massive.

It will be very interesting to see what new features PMOG adopts as the road ahead will provide plenty of opportunities as Gamelayers developers ponder: “How do you design a game where all of human data is the playfield?”


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Merci Victoria Grace
Mar 2, 2008 15:39

Thanks for this great write-up. I’m a co-founder of GameLayers and the game designer of PMOG. If I may correct you, we are actually a Firefox extension. So you don’t exactly have your choice of browsers – though we do work in FF 2 and 3, and somewhat in Flock.

Hagai Fleiman
Mar 2, 2008 19:41

i see. thanks for the correction – are there any plans to extend to internet explorer?

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