My brother’s job is something to kill for: he’s a game programmer. We both grew up around computer games, and it’s hard to think of new games nowadays. Especially if the bulk of games nowadays demand so much in the way of commitment and skill, like PerfectWorld and Lineage. SecondLife is not a game, it’s a lifestyle choice. As a (former) gamer, I think that what the gaming industry needs right now is a game that you can play on the fly: something that does not demand extreme system requirements, extremely fast Internet access, and extreme commitments that would put many romances on the rocks.
It’s not that I’m clamoring for another Ultima game (although it would be nice to see it) or that I’m looking for a thinly-disguised copy of EverQuest. I used to play Magic: The Gathering, but as much as I’d like to see a rendition of it that is not based on cards, Magic demands a lot of commitment. This got me thinking about Online POG.
Where girls played jacks, we boys played POG. While “tatsing” has been around ever since tansan (bottle caps) was around, POG is essentally the same: only that instead of using tansan, you used round cardboard chips and turned them over by “slamming” them with either a coin, another chip, or a Slammer. Back then, Coca-Cola was more gallant with its promotions: we used to keep a store, and the cases we returned earned us kids a canister of POG chips. Slammers were particularly coveted: it had to be just the right weight to turn chips, and it had to look cool. Although as a former POG player, I preferred using those old dodecahedral two-peso coins (back when we still valued Andres Bonifacio enough to give him his own coin).
The success of Audition and O2 Jam among casual players nowadays means the perfect market for making a Web-based POG game. I envision a rather simple interface akin to computer-based pool games: the power of your POG-slamming is defined not only by a power meter (how long you keep the left mouse button down), but the way you drag your mouse also plays a significant factor in the game. POG chips can be bought online, or taken for keeps at POG games where one’s chips are on the line.
That’s a good game idea…