Video gaming's favourite uncle Peter Molyneux unveiled the first fruit of his new company, 22Cans, at E3, and it's about strange as you'd expect. Curiosity is the first of 22 experiments into the psychology of players, based around chiselling away at a massive cube--and part of the experiment is selling a unique in-game chisel for £50,000 (around $78,000). Oh, Uncle Petey!
Curiosity is a simple game for "PC, iPhone, all that stuff" where players tap away at a giant black cube in a white room, chiselling smaller cubes off with each touch, Molyneux explained to GameTrailers (which is also where we got that snazzy image of the cube).
"Curiosity: what is inside the black cube?" it will ask. Every player in the world is working on the same cube, until one--and only one--will remove the final block and discover what's inside. This, Molyneux told New Scientist, is the crux of the experiment: how will this news spread across social network, will people work together, and how will they prove they opened it?
22Cans is also running an experiment in monetisation, selling chisels of increasing strength. An iron chisel for 59p (a buck) is 10 times more powerful than tapping, and it runs all the way up to a unique, one-off diamond chisel costing £50,000 (about $78,000). Will one player buy the diamond chisel outright, or a group, or no one?
Whatever happens, Molyneux insists, "This is not a money-making exercise; it is a test about the psychology of monetisation."
Curiosity should launch in a few weeks.