Curiosity- Where Social Media meets Gaming

Have you even been curious?  You must have at one point in your life.  Hell, did you not stumble upon this blog post because you were curious of what the contents contained?  Ever wondered if others were just as curious as you?

Peter Molyneux and his team at 22Cans have created a series of 22 experiments that involve mass amounts of people all across to come together and complete these 22 experiments in an effort to gather data on human behavior around the world.  Although 21 of the 22 experiments are still unknown to all but the 22Cans team, the first experiment was released to the world last week and it is called Curiosity.

Imagine a massive cube stored somewhere in cyberspace.  This giant cube is made up of smaller individual cubes.  This isn’t your normal cube though.  Over 60 billion small individual cubes make up the shape of the giant cube.  From the center of the cube, 60+layers of small cubes make up the thickness of the cube.  Now imagine that you are given the duty of destroying the giant cube but you can only accomplish this by breaking each of the 60 billion individual cubes one at a time.  At the end of your long endeavor, you are rewarded with something.  You don’t know what that something is, all you know is that you will receive a reward.  This is Curiosity.

Curiosity is a massive online multiplayer game that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store to your smartphone.  The purpose of the game is to break the 60+ billion cubes that make up the structure of the one giant cube by tapping the small cubes on your screen.  60+ billion is a lot of cubes to break for one person; in fact, if a single individual tried to break 1,000 cubes every day until they finished, it would take that person around 164,300 years (assuming they live that long) to completely break all the cubes.This is where the multiplayer aspect of the game comes in.  It is not just one person tasked with breaking all 60+ billion cubes.  There is only one giant cube in the world, this means that everyone who downloads the app is accessing the same cube all across the world.  Imagine hundreds of  thousands of people across the world working together in order to break billions of individual blocks.  But for what purpose?  Is it not useless and tedious to spend hours breaking blocks on your smartphone every day?  The answer to why over 600,000 people have already spent hours/days breaking millions of small blocks on their smartphones is curiosity.

22Cans used a brilliant viral marketing/social media strategy to bring awareness of their game/experiment to the world.  22Cans told the world that once all 60+ billion cubes have been broken, something amazing, something world altering will reveal itself but only to one person. That’s right, only the person who breaks the last cube of Curiosity will be able to view the secret promised by 22Cans.  What that secret is, only the team of 22Cans know and they are keeping tight lips on the matter.  By promoting this unknown secret using social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, , 22Cans has created so much social media buzz that tech bloggers (myself included) everywhere are spreading the word.  22Cans knows what they are doing.  In order to build hype about their experiment, they used the fundamental feature that every human being possesses against us, our insatiable curiosity.

This pic belongs to gizmodo and you can follow the link to the original image by clicking on the pic

Not everyone is playing for the sake of the prize.  Some users have logged into the Curiosity app not to destroy, but to create.  Users can use a section of a blank layer to draw pictures or create messages by breaking cubes in a concise manner.  For example, some users have made smiley faces, dinosaurs, and even memorable movie quotes.  I wouldn’t be surprise if in the next couple of days I see companies start promoting their brand on the cube.

Despite what your personal opinions are about tapping on squares, Curiosity is a strangely addicting game hyped up by the promise of an amazing award given to the person who breaks the last block.  In less than a week, the popularity the game has generated has exploded.  If this is the first out of a whole series of experiments, then I cannot wait to see the rest.

What are your thoughts on the Curiosity game?  Do you find it brilliant or stupid?  Let us know by commenting below.


One thought on “Curiosity- Where Social Media meets Gaming

  1. Pingback: App of the Week-1Mobile | The Layman's Guide to Electronics

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