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You probably use Firefox. Why? Probably because you’re a smart cookie and you know that it’s faster, more secure, and all that jazz. Well, I’ve grown tired of that. I want Firefox to be the most fun browser to use. I want to trick people into getting blown up with my browser!

What? I can do that? With PMOG, it’s possible!

PMOG, which stands for “Passively Multiplayer Online Game,” is a 200k browser add-on for Firefox that makes social browsing a lot more fun and interesting. Sign up and install the toolbar and you’re on your way to underhanded online fun. How does it work?

PMOG Toolbar

The PMOG toolbar sits at the bottom of your Firefox window and gives you ready access to your supplies: mines, armor, portals, lightposts, and chests. It also gives you quick access to your PMOG profile page and an IM bar that lets you message other players. As you progress in the game, you’ll collect datapoints (money) – you’ll need them to reload your inventory in the PMOG shoppe.


the PMOG profile page keeps you informed of activity: yours, your allies, and your rivals

When you visit a site, you can leave behind a mine and the next player to visit will receive a damage message when they arrive. Your toolbar gives you the option to turn on armor, which will, of course, absorb the damage should you wander across someone else’s mine. Fortunately the game gives you a way to strike back – by deploying a “St. Nick,” which will damage whoever placed the mine the next time they drop one. Take that, fiend!

My buddy mines, and I hit it! Fortunately, my armor was on…

If you’d rather be generous you can leave behind a chest, which can contain datapoints or items like mines and armor. Since PMOG players can create alliances and rivalries with each other, chests are a great way to move items from player to player to give your side an advantage.


The toolbar also includes lightposts, which allow you to tag web pages in order to create a mission for other players to take. Think of it as a guided tour – find ten great pages about Gmail hacks, lightpost them, and then use the mission creator to set it up for others to try out (don’t forget to lay your mines along the way). You can also leave behind a portal; if the next player decides to use it, they’re taken to a URI that you pre-set when you place it. It’s a great way to trick someone into a mine, or to lead your allies to hidden chests.

PMOG Portal
Me placing a portal on the Make Use Of site…But where?!

Setting up missions is a great way to get friends, coworkers, or visitors to your site to visit a collection of pages. It’s a lot more entertaining than just shooting a bunch of links off to your preferred social bookmarking site. I mean, you can’t level up on, can you?

PMOG Mission
A mission! Do I take the challenge now, queue it for later, or get back to work? Hmmm….

The only downside to PMOG right now is that it’s still pretty small – there are only about 78,000 mines on the web. That being said, it’s a great concept and a lot of fun if you can get some mates to sign up with you. It’s a really creative way to add some entertainment value to social browsing. As the user base grows, this will turn in to an immensely fun – and hilarious – way to make browsing the web less tiresome.

Still curious? View the PMOG screencast from their launch:

If you don’t PMOG, you should. It’s good, harmless fun and it lets you game while you’re doing real work. Now how can you beat that?

Go sign up, install the toolbar, and keep your eye on the comments section for a mission from me!

  1. AskTheAdmin | Karl Gechlik
    June 27, 2008 at 8:28 am

    I love the idea of PMOG and played around with it when it was first released but found it froze up my FireFox more than once... That was enough for me to give it the boot.

    But yes it was fun and just needs some tweaking!

  2. Peter
    June 26, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Agreed, PMOG is pretty cool, though I don't get into it so much for the Mines as the Missions. Some of them are well put together and it's like a more focused version of Stumble. It definitely introduces you to some lesser-known sites available or gives a good overview of a topic if people put together decent missions.

    I'll be honest in saying that the mines are annoying more often than not to me, but that's more because I'm into the Portal or Seeker path. (Why those are opposed in "alignment" still eludes me to some extent. Same with vigilantes. I get the "chaotic" type explanation, but at the same time, it seems kind of odd.)

  3. Ken Burkes
    June 26, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    A word of warning: Anyone who is about to play the game, realize that your productivity is going to get slammed in the face. By now, I'm sure everyone is using Firefox to do their research. Throw in a couple of mines and you'll never get your work done. I myself have been a big fan of PMOG ever since I caught wind of this great concept a few months back, but I've had to uninstall or disable PMOG because my productivity has gone down the drain.

    I'm sure every boss out there hates you Lee. Thanks for reminding me of PMOG. Perhaps I'll get back into it. After all, it is summer and I've got plenty of time to waste...

    • Lee Mathews
      June 26, 2008 at 9:31 pm

      Yeah, well, after the maelstrom that surrounded my last post (about browser-based emulation) I figured I pretty much doomed myself to being pegged a productivity killer.

      Not to worry! I've got some more "productive" posts in the pipe!

  4. ninja_angel
    June 26, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    PMOG Rocks!!! Level 7 now and just trying to find time to do missions and lay mines ;)

  5. Wez Pyke
    June 26, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    It's a good idea but I don't like the interface its quite ugly.

    • Ken Burkes
      June 26, 2008 at 6:14 pm

      I agree. It looks a bit too 'medieval' for me. However, if the fan base grows, I'm sure there will be many people who learn to change the theme for the better.

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