Persistent Browser-Based Games

What is a PBBG?

A persistent browser-based game, or PBBG is a computer game that satisfies the following two criteria:

  1. It is browser-based. The game is played over the Internet using only a web browser.
  2. It is persistent. Progress in the game is achieved over multiple playing sessions.

PBBGs merge the depth and longevity of an application-based game with the accessibility and portability of a browser-based game. PBBG can be spoken as pee-bee for brevity.

What is this website?

In a nutshell, this website advocates the adoption of the label persistent browser-based game, or PBBG, to describe browser-based games that allow progress over multiple playing sessions.

What is a PBBG?

The PBBG definition is quite broad. The PBBG genre encompasses games of all traditional genres: role-playing, strategy, sports, simulation, and so forth.

PBBGs may be single-, multi-, or massively multi-player games. However, since an Internet connection is required to play, most developers incorporate massively multi-player and community elements into their PBBGs. A multi-player PBBG can be referred to as a MPBBG, but multi-player game play is usually assumed.

PBBGs may be text-based, or they may take advantage of browser plug-ins such as Flash or Java to create a more dynamic game play environment.

The PBBG definition is device-independent. In particular, a persistent game played within the web browser of a cell phone or other wireless device is still a PBBG. Such a game may be referred to as a mobile-enabled PBBG.

What is not a PBBG?

A PBBG is not the same thing as a MMOG (massively multi-player online game), generally speaking. There is some overlap, but MMOGs include games that are run as an application on your computer. Application-based games do not have the portability that PBBGs do, because you can only play them on a computer that has the game installed. Think of PBBGs as a subset of MMOGs -- those that are browser-based.

A PBBG is also not the same thing as a browser-based game, generally speaking. Browser-based games include arcade, poker and puzzle games which are over as soon as you move your browser to a different web page. These games lack the longevity of PBBGs, where progress is made over days, weeks, or months. PBBGs are a subset of browser-based games -- they are persistent browser-based games.

Why do we need YAA (Yet Another Acronym)?

There exists a vast collection of online games that are often referred to as browser-based games or MMOGs, but which are really the intersection of both. The terms browser-based game and MMOG do not adequately describe this segment of the gaming industry. The PBBG designation is a solution to this problem.

Widespread adoption of the PBBG designation will:

  • Make it easier for players to discover new PBBGs.
  • Encourage the development of new, better PBBGs.
  • Encourage the provision of tools and resources designed specifically for PBBG developers.
  • Establish a more cohesive identity for this segment of the gaming industry.

How do I get involved?

Simply use the term PBBG.

If you are a player, try searching for PBBGs using your favorite search engine. You will find many.

If you are a developer, publicly designate your game a PBBG on your website. PBBGs will not be known as such until their makers and players acknowledge them as such.

PBBG Warp A directory of top PBBGs.

PBBG Dev Website was made for and by PBBG developers. It features a forum and wiki.

Top Web Games A top list of PBBGs as voted by players.

How do I find out more about PBBGs?

The PBBG project has already accumulated substantial grassroots support -- the links page is a testament to that.

See also: PBBG on Wikipedia