Online gaming has a new genre in the online-only multiplayer racing game Motor City Online. Players log into a muscle-car-era virtual world of breakneck speeds, hot cars, and (potentially) thousands of other drivers. The game begins similarly to other massively multiplayer online games. After installing the game, you log onto the Internet, create a player account (credit card required), and choose your first beater car. Once you've set up your account and your online persona you're off to the races. A skill-level system allows you to see the relative experience of other drivers, and races can be designed with a handicapping system to give newbies a reasonable chance of winning. The racing itself is fun, with smooth graphics and interesting tracks, and often more challenging than what you'd find in a traditional single-player game, since human players are more creative than any game AI. Since Motor City Online takes place in a fictional city modeled after every teenage-buddy movie set in the 1950s and '60s, there is more to do than simply racing. Every track and quite a few nontrack areas, like bowling alleys and malt shops, have a system for people to sit around and talk about their vehicles, trade or buy parts from each other, boast about their best races, or simply shoot the breeze. When you're not on the track you can turn on the in-game radio and hear original surfer music interspersed with weather comments and road conditions. There are plenty of character personalization options: you can get a custom set of plates from many states, territories, and provinces around the world, or design an animated alter ego with many choices, from beatniks to bikers to go-go dancers. Like-minded players can form rider clubs. Club officers get paid a stipend of in-game money for their duties (and hence can get even better stuff for their own vehicles), members get connections and help in acquiring that rare part, and clubs with good drivers can be recognized by Motor City as the owner of a particular course... until another club dethrones them. In the end, the game is about racing. Chatting here and club rankings there give a fun social feel to this online game. If cars are your thing then the feel of the racing, the intricate (if not 100 percent accurate) manipulations of getting every erg of performance out of your vehicle, and the fun of getting that outrageous paint job will make Motor City Online an enjoyable (and much cheaper) simulation of amateur racing. --Brus Wasson Motor City Online is a multiplayer online game that you play via the Internet. A stable Internet connection is required to play. Electronic Arts charges a small monthly fee for this game, separate from your Internet service provider access charges. You must provide a valid credit card to register and play. The first month of this fee is included in the purchase price of this package. After your first month, you can use your credit card to buy more time.