Molyneux to release experimental title Curiosity

Peter Molyneux at Develop 2010 Screenshot - Peter Molyneux

In the following weeks, former Lionhead leader Peter Molyneux will debut Curiosity, an experimental title from his new studio, 22Cans, that shows how social media can be used in games.

Curiosity sets players in a small room with a black cube, Molyneux told NewScientist. Players can chip away at the cube, and other players online, looking at the same object, can add to the fractures. The player who makes the final cut will be able to look inside — and share the discovery with others via social networking.

When the cube takes a certain amount of damage, however, in-game purchases will allow players to buy stronger chisels, giving them an advantage over those competing for a glimpse of what lies within the cube.

One diamond chisel costs $77,400 — ensuring the owner will break into the object.

"It's an insane amount of money," Molyneux said in the interview. "This is not a money-making exercise; it is a test about the psychology of monetization."

The first 22 of these experimental games will study the psychology of how social media works in games and affects players.

Follow @wita on Twitter for tales of superheroes, plumbers in overalls, and literary adventures.

Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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