This morning, I discovered PMOG, the Passively Multiplayer Online Game. It's an interesting take on Web 2.0 combining user-driven elements with a vaguely game-based overture. The whole thing is then given a steampunk veneer.
The basic idea is that your character (that's mine on the left) can take on "missions" laid down by other players. Missions generally consist of following a series of links from one site to another with some short annotations provided by the person who developed the mission. The sites are generally tied together thematically, and the idea is that it can expose you to some web sites or knowledge that you might not have known about. Topics vary widely, and I undertook missions earlier today to learn about different bacon/chocolate confections, how to build your own lightsaber, and the background of artist Enki Bilal.
But beyond that, any player can leave items behind for other players to find. Some may be crates of goodies, some might be mines that literally knock your browser for a loop. There are also different "vocation paths" a player can follow, depending on if they prefer laying traps for others, providing assistance to others, or a handful of other "professions." (This is the game portion of the site.)
The reason I bring it up here is that I've already found a great number of missions that are designed to showcase different web comics. They usually amount to "Here's a handful of online comics I like" but the added annotations, combined with the gaming aspect make it a much more interesting and enjoyable experience than scrolling through a long bulleted list somewhere. Missions generally don't last longer than eight screens (at least the ones I've seen so far) so it doesn't take long to run through somebody's list -- which is then recorded on the PMOG server so you won't have to try to remember which missions you've already gone on.
It's a fun an interesting way to discover new comics. Today alone, I've become a new regular reader of No Pink Ponies, Cat and Girl, and Lackadaisy thanks to PMOG. Not surprisingly, a number of the comics people cite tend to veer towards the gamer-themed comics but there's still quite a wide range of styles and types of humor represented. I saw everything from FreakAngels to Garfield Minus Garfield.
If you're feeling the pinch of an ever-tightening economy and looking for more comics to read for less money (like me) it might well be worth your while to check out some of the missions available on PMOG. And you never know, you might even have some fun now with me and all the gang, learnin' from each other while we do our thing! Na, na, na, gonna have a good time!