Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Long-Awaited Virtual Hang Out

This is a sort of game I dreamed of finding for years. I had long wanted to play a computer game that focused on providing a pleasant place to hang out.  Not thrilling. Not competitive. Not risky and costing multiple virtual lives. But an imaginary place on a computer to spend however long surrounded by a subtly varied environment of sights and sounds and contents that engage the mind gently.

About 30 years ago I recall playing (for a magazine review) a text adventure game that included a scene in a museum-style room. Some of the exhibit cases contained items with clues to solve puzzles on the path to completing and winning the game. But the setting included many other exhibits that I could navigate between to enjoy the fascinating descriptions of the contents. I wished there was a game with no puzzles to solve, no winning goal, but plenty of that style of descriptions of museum exhibits to entertain me at length.

Four years ago I was introduced to Pet Society on Facebook, I was amazed to find this was just the sort of virtual hangout I had dreamed of. Even better, it was a social game that had real people behind the scenes featuring each pet, not just static files on a disc.
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