Famous game designer Peter Molyneux has kicked off his first of 22 mobile experiments today called Curiosity. It presents players with a large cube composed of an inordinate number of smaller cubes. That big cube is the same one shared by all of the other players around the world, and they have to work together to chip away at it to find what's at the middle. The catch? Only one person finds what's in the middle, and it's apparently a "life-changing secret buried inside." On the way, players earn coins which can be spent on more powerful cube-destroying tools. Sure beats tapping them away one at a time. The whole thing has a surreal, artsy vibe with wispy music. I'm just surprised that in-app purchases weren't employed to sell more coins.
I've played a little bit of it, and Curiosity seems like little more than a worldwide collective scab-picking game. Players just mindlessly scrape away at a layer just because they know that there's something else underneath, though I guess showing that this is how people act is kind of the point. There's already plenty of progress being made on the cube, revealing parts of an image on at least one side. In fact, it's so busy that their servers are having trouble keeping up with the activity. It's definitely neat to see thousands of users collectively weather away a shared object, and what kind of patterns emerge when they do it.
What do you guys think? Is there anything practical to be gleaned from an "experiment" like this? How long do you figure it will take to get to the middle? Or is there even an end to it? The app is free, so there's really nothing to lose from trying it out.
P.S.: Related viewing.