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Molyneux unveils Curiosity, a social experiment with $77K in-app purchase

Industry veteran Peter Molyneux is set to release the first experimental title from his new start-up 22 Cans in the next few weeks, as part of his look into how social media can be used within games.
Industry veteran Peter Molyneux is set to release the first experimental title from his new start-up 22 Cans in the next few weeks, as part of his look into how social media can be used within games. Curiosity will present players with a small room that contains a black cube, Molyneux told New Scientist. Every player online is looking at the same cube, and as players chip away at the cube, it will become smaller and smaller until it breaks apart. However, only the player who dealt the final blow will be able to see inside the cube. The idea is that this player will then spread the news of what was inside the cube to other players via social networking. There is a twist. When the cube has been chipped away a fair amount, a number of special in-app purchases will be made available, allowing users to purchase special stronger chisels for money. One diamond chisel will be made available for £50,000 ($77,400), and will essentially ensure that the purchaser is the person who breaks open the cube, says Molyneux. "It's an insane amount of money," Molyneux said. "This is not a money-making exercise; it is a test about the psychology of monetization." This is the first of 22 experimental games, Molyneux revealed, and each will attempt to explore the psychology of social media in video games. Molyneux left Microsoft and Lionhead earlier this year to start his own independent outfit alongside former Lionhead chief technical officer Tim Rance.

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