Rather like #idleRPG for irc, Justin Hall of bud.com is working on a “passively-multiplayer online game” where you level up based on what sites you visit and how frequently you surf the Web2net. (Aside: did I just coin that? Using Web 2.0 in a sentence tends to get klunky.) Browsing different sites changes different stats…for example, browsing Flickr lowers strength, but raises dexterity and wisdom. With the right format and a little Firefox extension (similar
to Swarm) to passively gather your browsed pages, I think this is a fabulously fun idea. Planned features include finding people with similar browsing statistics and gathering obtainable “items” embedded in browsed pages (I can see webmasters designing quests already). More about this from the developer:
“Oh look, here’s a collectible virtual tool I just picked up on the Make magazine site.” “I put this crazy unicorn up on my MySpace page – now
people are riding it!” Perhaps bud.com can channel information packrat tendencies by providing a playful structure for exchanging web curios: raising an avatar, and feeding it information.
Justin has a proof of concept page here. A single-player version is planned to be out this summer, with multi-player following in the fall. I assure you I will be signed up for the alphas as soon as I can get my grubby little hands on them.