Forumwarz is a multiplayer browser-based role-playing game based on a parody of Internet culture. Forumwarz is notable for its humorous and sometimes ribald writing and references to Internet memes.
At first glance, ForumWarz is just a fantastically offensive satire of the Internet. The interface fits right inside your browser to give you a new browser, crammed with dummied-up Google apps, message boards filled with gibbering morons, and fly-by parodies of technorati like BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow or supergamer Fatal1ty. It's an elaborate piss-take on the Web. But ForumWarz's real accomplishment is in threading an actual story through all the fetishes and so-three-minutes-ago memes.
Plot and setting
Unlike many traditional role-playing games, Forumwarz takes place on a fake, parodic version of the Internet. The primary battleground is Internet forums, as opposed to the fantasy settings found in traditional RPGs. Parody themes include furries, script kiddies, Boing Boing, Apple Computer, ricers, 4chan, Ron Paul, Fark, gamers, Bill O'Reilly, Otaku, Cory Doctorow, and the Church of Scientology.
The player begins as a bored Internet user, searching on a parodied search engine (a thinly veiled analogue of Google). Soon their search query is interrupted by an instant message from "Shallow Esophagus", a mysterious non-player character who introduces them to the concept of "pwnage".
The player soon begins "pwning", or attacking forums through various trolling methods. Following the first mission, one of three character classes can be chosen - emo kid, troll or camwhore. The archetypes were chosen as most "narcissistic and crude web forum stereotypes". The player may also chose to stay as a "re re", an idiot character. As forums becomes increasingly difficult to pwn, characters earn experience points in the form of "cred", thus improving their statistics.
The combat system is turn-based, and the player is given a set number of forum visits per day that they use to improve their character and proceed through the storyline. The player may attack virtual forums, each based on a different theme, with various attacks suited to their character class. Attacks consist of posting varying obnoxious comments and trolling, via an array of attacks specific to the user class including "self-mutilation" (Emo Kids), "threaten to contact authorities" (Camwhores) and "ASCII art attacks" (Trolls).
While attacking, the virtual inhabitants of the forum will respond and retaliate, causing the player damage. The hit points used in most RPGs are replaced with "ego" in Forumwarz - if a player's ego is reduced to zero, the player is defeated. Players can restore their ego using the game's version of health boosts - anti-depressants. For each thread in a forum that is successfully "pwned," or derailed through persistent attacking, the player gains "Cred" and will be sent gifts from random Internet users as a reward the following day.
Players are able to contribute to their own forums using forumbuildr v2.0 Beta, an in-game application named after Web 2.0 jargon. Each week, players vote on a topic to collectively build. Once a topic is chosen, players submit and vote on its components, including the content, logo and style sheet. At the end of the week, the forum is published and can be played by users.
Players also have the choice to interact in the multiplayer aspects of the game. This may be co-operatively, such as players joining together in klans, to work together in Domination raids, or just use is as a place to interact with others, aside from Flamebate. On the other hand, players may compete against each other, in several mini-games, such as the above mentioned Domination, in which players earn scoops. Players can also compete in INCIT, in which a random picture taken from Flickr is shown, and a motivational poster must be created, with a title and motivational text related to the picture. Players then vote which of the posters is the most amusing, the poster capturing the most votes being the winner.
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