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Rating: 4.8/5 (79 votes)
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zxoPassively Multiplayer Online Game (PMOG)We here at Jayisgames are committed to highlighting the very best in casual games. You know that. But casual means different things to different people, so just what is it that makes a game casual? Some games that we've featured require a large time investment to really get the full experience: The Kingdom of Loathing, Skyrates, The Virtual Villagers series, and of course the upcoming Spore. These games are consistently among the most highly rated by Jayisgames readers. Heck, the top-rated game (as of the time of writing) even requires a $250 console to play. Yet all of these games are considered casual – although you can play them for hours at a time, you don't need to.

So when a game waltzes around calling itself Passively Multiplayer Online Game, we tend to sit up and take notice.

Passively Multiplayer Online Game (PMOG)PMOG aims to capture the social dynamic of an MMORPG while remaining accessible to your everyday Joe Gamer. However, it wouldn't be much fun if you could just up and create a top-level character – there has to be some sort of dirty work, some progression by which you earn your stripes. This is the part of the game that usually keeps MMORPGs from staying casual. PMOG solves this problem by tying the leveling process directly to your web surfing. Yes, for every unique URL you visit per day, you will receive 2 Data Points (DP), which function as both experience and currency. You can spend your DP in the store (more on that in a bit), but the game keeps track of the total DP earned over the course of playing PMOG, which directly factors into your character level.

So how do you make surfing the internet into a multiplayer experience? Here, PMOG takes a cue from web trends such as social bookmarking. Players may create missions consisting of a series of related (or not) webpages which other players may take. Missions can serve many purposes: they can provide an introduction to a topic, they can serve as a tour of the very best websites of a certain type, they can form clues to a treasure hunt, and there are even epic missions for which the main purpose is just to rack up a lot of DP. For each player that takes your mission, you receive 10 DP. You can search for missions to take on the Missions Page, or you can let them find you! If you surf to a webpage that someone has included in a mission, a notification will appear and give you the opportunity to accept (or dismiss) that mission.

But that's not all! There are a number of tools available for purchase which add to the interactivity of PMOG:

  • Lightposts: Think of these as bookmarks that you place on websites. These are what get strung together to make missions. And that's all they do.
  • Portals: Portals are more like wormholes. Place one on a site to provide a direct link to another site.
  • Crates: Stash DP or tools in these for subsequent page visitors to loot. They can be used in a variety of ways – to trade goods, to give gifts, or even to provide a reward for solving a treasure hunt.
  • Mines: Deploy mines on webpages to damage the next visitor to the tune of -10 DP.
  • Armor: Don armor as protection against mines.
  • St. Nicks: Playing a St. Nick on a player's profile page will foil their next attempt to place a mine.

Each tool has an association tied to it, similar to a class in other RPGs. The missions you take and the tools you use determine which three associations you belong to. At first, you'll be able to purchase any tool you want in the shoppe, but once you hit level 5, you're limited to buying the tools linked to your three associations. To replenish other tools, you'll either need to change your association or trade for them.

Though it's designed to work passively as you surf the web, PMOG is undoubtedly best when played in the multiplayer realm as much as possible. Someone been give you grief? Have your allies dump a bunch of mines on their profile page! Got some friendly back-and-forth mining going on with an acquaintance? Make it official by marking them as a rival! Support your friends by taking their missions, and surely they'll return the favor.

To play PMOG, you'll need Mozilla Firefox, and you'll need to install the PMOG Toolbar Add-On. Yes, it's unfortunate to have a game restricted to a single browser, but to make your surfing a truly interactive experience requires good integration with a browser, and the open-source nature of Firefox makes it the best candidate for the purpose.

This is only a basic introduction to PMOG; check out their Help Page for more info and game resources. Then sign yourself up, install the add-on, and join the Passivist revolution!


Cheers to slgalt, Jonah, Cirr, and Mike for suggesting this one! =)


Oh man, I foresee drama through the business of mining websites. People mining the websites for politicians, religions or other ideas they dislike. Etc etc.

Tranchera June 23, 2008 6:29 AM

Eh. The concept is nice but it'll just turn into a big load of advertisement.


Because giving up your privacy and letting a 3rd party see everything you browse is just so COOL!

This is just a massive data mining tool aimed at making money from you with a thin veneer of "game" on top to make you ignore what you're actually giving up.


yeah, i see what joye and tranchera are talking about, but the concept itself sounds really cool and I'm definitely gonna try it out later today!


No advertisement yet, but they do already have a 'sponsored' mission system set up. Now all they need to do is find sponsors. In addition,

stumbleupon is a great way to level up. I accidentally hit level 9 by stumbling across the webs.


Wait... it keeps records of sites you visit? Sadly, that doesn't fly too well with me. And it sounded so interesting too... ='(


oh yeah, i LOVE stumbling! I may build a couple missions from previous stumbles

necromantic June 23, 2008 8:06 AM

it's a good idea, but let's face the facts: it's about as exiting as regular surfing. mines could be an easy laugh, but beyond that the game seems to center around random links and protecting yourself from mines. perhaps it will become a more exiting way to surf the web some day, but for now it looks like it will just make popular websites impossible to go through without getting bombarded by annoying gifts/traps/random links from other players.


Yay, PMOG! :D I must have suggested this ages ago...

Also, I like the new layout! :D


Ooh, this looks really fun. Installing add-ons won't be any hassle for me seeing as I have about 20... half of them are for KoL and Urban Dead and the like, and the others are just for overall surfing.

Either way, I completely suggest getting and using Firefox as your default browser. There's no better time, because Firefox 3.0 was released recently!


just got firefox 3, and when I restart firefox like it asks me to install the add-on, nothing changes...help?

frozenfloes June 23, 2008 11:23 AM

Seems fun but overly invasive when I want a "normal" browsing experience.

Saturn500 June 23, 2008 11:26 AM

Well, I guess it's a good thing I'll end up with two web browsers, one for browsing and one for PMOG


While everyone's privacy concerns are valid. PMOG has a clear cut privacy policy, which can be viewed at http://pmog.com/about/privacy/

No information is sold to third parties.
The sites visited are tracked solely for the purpose of awarding points, and achievements.
The information is dumped completely every 60 days.
Players can choose to dump all of their information at any time, from their profile page, without penalty.

Just wanted to educate the first few posters who clearly are used to the bait and switch.

fuzzyface June 23, 2008 12:45 PM

Joe: ""No information is sold to third parties."""

Where do you see that? I cannot find this on the privacy policy page. I see for example:

"""GameLayers may disclose player data in limited circumstances if we believe in good faith that doing so would: comply with legal process, prevent fraud or imminent harm, and/or help ensure the integrity of PMOG."""


This page is going to be covered in mines, crates, and junky missions by the end of the week. LOL


What a great write-up! I'm the Lead Game Designer of PMOG and I just wanted to add that we have a new feature (added before the time of this posting) that awards a scale of DP when other players take your mission. That scale is based on the mission rating, so that a 5-star mission earns the creator 12 DP, a 4-star mission earns the creator 10 DP, and so on. Thanks for playing. :)


Superb layout! And game looks very fun, I have to check this out. BTW

Did I said that

I LOVE the new layout! :D


Hey Jay, this is the game I told you about at one of those poker games a bit ago. I made a mission just for Jayisgames too.

I think you should have your own JIG badge there! Merci if you read this, Just think about that cute little Jig man on a badge. It's right up there with Bacon!

If anyone starts this week, beware the week of Chaos has just started, and everyone is going crazy mining everywhere, so don't take it personally.

Also, I have a suggestion, you can tag your profile page - so just everyone write a Jayisgames tag so we can all say hi.

atomic1fire June 23, 2008 2:29 PM

Why not make a jig related mission?
it could serve to link several web/casual games

Kirkpad June 23, 2008 2:32 PM

Ooh, this game sounds neat. Downloading the toolbar right now.


I made a Jayisgames mission, for those Pmoggers who are coming over here to loot crates (or if you want to take a trip down memory lane):
Jayisgames Mission.


I've made a casual gameplay mission if anyone's interested. Click my name or copy-paste this:




while this isn't a jig mission, its one i worked hard on! rate it plz! :D

LeeshaJoy June 23, 2008 3:53 PM

Is anyone else having trouble doing... well... anything with this? I signed up and got the toolbar, but it doesn't want to level me up or even let me use any of the tools!

ThemePark June 23, 2008 4:01 PM

LeeshaJoy, from what I could gather, leveling up happens automatically every night if you meet the requirements for leveling up.


LeeshaJoy, I had problems with Firefox3, but Firefox2 was working fine.

I think it can be fixed with profile settings in Firefox, you will need to write them an email.

Try signing in on both the web page and the tool bar. That's what I needed to do the first time.

LeeshaJoy June 23, 2008 4:08 PM

I am signed on with both the toolbar and the website, and I'm still using Firefox 2 (waiting for one of my plugins to be updated before I upgrade to 3). It still won't let me use tools.


If anyone is having difficulty getting PMOG running on their computer, just write into help at pmog dot com and I will help you get it all set up.

Sometimes other extensions conflict with PMOG or a Java plugin is missing.


Hey everyone,

My name is Joe, I am the Player Support Liaison for PMOG.

If you need any help getting PMOG to work, please e-mail help at pmog dot com -- this also goes for any gameplay related questions.

Some things keep PMOG from working like NoScript and other Add-ons, along with outdated Java plugins.

I'm glad to see some of you are taking interest in PMOG! If you have concerns about privacy, you can also e-mail me and I can provide links and a clear explanation of our policies. We are very concerned about your privacy and never sell or use your data for anything other than metrics and awarding achievements and datapoints.


I started a forum thread on PMOG if you guys all want to say hello to each other.


:3 Thanks for featuring this one! (Mike)

Anonymous June 23, 2008 7:46 PM

Is there anyone who plays this game that isn't a seer?


"Yes, it's unfortunate to have a game restricted to a single browser, "

Pfft. One can also say it's unfortunate to have a game restricted to a single OS. Or if that's too radical, all those things (they're sure as heck not web sites) that are IE-only.

By the way, the privacy concerns keep me away from PMOG. So what if there's a privacy policy, companies freely violate all kinds of rules, let alone mere policy.

tenkuchima June 24, 2008 1:27 AM

I dont really get the point. It's kinda cool to lay mines on certain pages, but other than that theres no real game here. all of the missions are just strings of related webpages. Its a cool idea but there isnt really anything to do.


tenkuchima come check out the forum, there is some great fun social game play going on over there, you just need to start using your tools and engage other people.

fuzzyface June 24, 2008 3:17 AM

Well actually they just said they sell "metrics". That is as far as I can tell accumulated data.

So as I can tell, they don't sell *YOUR* profile alone, but they do sell "general" surfing behaviour data...

I think the privacy are still very ligit, and you should really think about if you really want to be tracked.


One more thing (I wish I could just edit previous posts), in terms of tracking, you can turn on and off your tool bar easily. When I surf I get points, when I need privacy I just pause the game.

And I'm someone who is quite a privacy advocate.

fuzzyface June 24, 2008 9:01 AM

Put while you "gather points" your browsing trails are stored and possibly sold in accumulated form.


Actually even before this game was reviewed at JiG, there were already a handful of missions either featuring JiG or mentioning us in one of the steps. It was cool to see that.

Yeah, I also think that some elements of the game could be a LITTLE less invasive (GUI-wise, not security-wise). But aside from that, I really dig it.

I wish there were more elements that just mines, crates and missions...but hey, that's what future expansions are for!

And for all you "What's the point again?" and "How is this a game?" people, just remember to look at PMOG as...well, maybe a game-oriented version of StumbleUpon...

Something to introduce you to new Web sites from like-minded people. The missions are just the equivalent of collecting del.icio.us bookmarks, or using StubleUpon, or whatever.

It's this whole new social bookmarking movement, and this is just one forerunner that happens to present it as a game. Good stuff!


Good grief, first there's an uproar about the section of the privacy policy that says "If the feds hit us with a warrant, we will comply." Then everyone's concerned about what "aggregate" means.

Considering the amount of privacy lost during the Bush administration, this seems downright refreshing.

Where I don't use Stumble, really, despite the toolbar being right there, I feel pretty confident that I'll use this. This seems more like my tribe. I'm not concerned about what my tribe knows about me.

zbeeblebrox June 25, 2008 12:17 AM

I guess I've always just viewed the internet as a public thing, but I really don't have a problem with a website or game tracking my movements across the web. (back in the days of Dreamcast, I was really disappointed when I found out "Seaman" wasn't allowed to access your game files and make fun of you based on what games you played. That would've been hilarious and awesome. Damn privacy laws.. :p )

For the purpose of gaining invaluable insight into how groups of people surf the web, I'd call it really beneficial actually. Even IF the end result is to help advertisers. Lord knows that even in these times of targeted demographics, they're still in need of some major cultural guidance. And frankly I'm tired of being pop-rapped to by McDonalds commercials. I don't even like McDonalds - let alone pop, or rap - and anything I can do to convince potential advertisers of this is a good thing in my book.

Of course, when you really look at what PMOG is doing, it appears their desired end result is more likely that they want to generate a community following (which is ultimately far more beneficial to websites anyway. These days, at least)

So I think I'll give it a try, and if it manages to entertain me, perhaps I'll even stick with it. And if one day in the not-to-distant future it gets McDonalds to realize they're wasting money on me, then so much the better.


zbeeblebrox - well said. I feel much the same way.


I have to respectably disagree with the above two comments. Corporations like McDonald's succeed in advertising to us products that we don't need. They use every bit of data and advantage they can to convince us to buy their product. You write that you don't like McDonald's ads and that you don't like their product.

The problem becomes when you DO like their ads and then slowly begin to become attracted to their product. Marketers are savvy tricksters--and I for one would prefer to keep as much information out of their hands as possible.


Davil - Sorry, and with all due respect, that just doesn't float with me.

There is no amount of advertising for a product I don't want/need that will get me to purchase a product I don't want/need.

However, (well) targeted ads are more interesting to me because they help to increase my awareness of products that I DO want (and perhaps need).

But let's not hijack this thread any more than it has been already. I believe it's quite clear from the PMOG privacy policy that the information collected by this game is used solely for improving the user experience.

(Which is the same goal of targeted ads, by the way.)

fuzzyface June 25, 2008 2:57 AM

So tracking cookies and other spyware are cool also? Because they improve your experience? If I only knew this before, I wouldn't have wasted so much time dancing around installing spywared tools.


I won't even dignify that with a response. Oops, too late.


I'd like to get back on topic here and actually talk about PMOG as a game, rather than some tiny files hidden at the back of my computer that take up far more space then I would like.

Jay hit it on the nail here; the game is very enjoyable, even when being passive. The thought of getting higher in levels just by surfing is in my opinion is quite a nice one. More than once I have been mined, and it's been extraordinarily fun to strike back and 'share the love' as well. The toolbar as well is quite easy to use. Mission taking and generating is easy and fun (unless you're on a treasure hunt.) Excellent game, and excellent review.

I made a mission on time-wasting websites as well! You can find it here: http://pmog.com/missions/pointless_pointlessness . Please rate and comment! (Feel free to become an Ally or Acquaintance of me as well.)

fuzzyface June 25, 2008 10:34 AM

"""I won't even dignify that with a response. Oops, too late."""

A brilliant argument. I've to remember that to use it in every discussion, when I can't come up with a real argument.


I installed the game and tried to play but ran into technical problems. I couldn't lay mines, crates or portals on any website. I got a popup saying something like, "Cannot access "tool" no page is loaded. Load a webpage and try again." The PMOG forums didn't help too much and so I gave up. Not enough of an interest in the game for me to pursue any real fixes.

Spikeyboy June 25, 2008 1:21 PM

Another tech problem - some of the info windows are hidden when you go on missions. Which sort of stuffs the whole thing up really.
Also, it's not letting me log on for some reason.


the greatest thing in the game are the mines, but it just destroy 10dp (datapoints)...it cost 40...the armor cost just 25 and protects againts 3 mines (so it just makes loose 5dp less)...and also the St.Nicks (40dp too) stops mines so...the mines are the worst object, and for me the most great T_T

Anonymous June 28, 2008 6:03 PM

PMOG is a fantastic idea. It just seems a little too... passive. While leveling up by simply web browsing is great, you quickly wish for popular MMO features.

Proper missions would be great. If you go to JIG, and you see a mission, clicking it shouldn't get you a random list of Flash games. Clicking it should have an NPC send you to XGen Studios to steal their new game and bring it safely to JIG. When you get to XGen you can grab the game, and add it to your inventory. Then dash back to JIG and receive your reward: DP, of course, plus some new equipment.

Equipment improves the power of your tools. You can equip one at a time, which improves one tool. For example, the 40-Watt Globe lets you place two Lightposts for the price of one! The Spined Blade makes your Mines deal 15 DP when tripped. Of course, you'll find a 1.21 Jigawatts or a Uranium Sword a few missions later, granting even better powers. (The Uranium Sword automatically plants a St. Nick on whoever trips a Mine affected by it, and the 1.21 Jigawatts lets you place up to five Lightposts using only one!)

At least, those are my ideas.

Yamacatmoogle June 29, 2008 9:05 AM

I can't lay mines.
It pops up with a window.


I kep getting "Could not deploy ___________ because there is no page loaded.

This thing is lame.

Seems like it might be fun if it worked for everyone


I am worried about the privacy of this...


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