Peter Molyneux’s Curiosity was designed to be a social experiment of sorts with the intention of informing future game design.
Curiosity – What’s Inside the Cube launched in November 2012 with no shortage of excitement, at least from the designer, Peter Molyneux himself. The game is simple. You chip away at tiny cubelets, which are part of a larger, layered cube. Each layer has its own design so you don’t get too bored while you’re hammering away at it. The ultimate goal is to get to the center of the cube and discover what’s inside, hence the title Curiosity. The cube was comprised of literally billions of cubelets to begin, which would be a daunting task if Curiosity didn’t boast nearly five million participants since its launch.
To date, upwards of 25 billion cubelets have been cleared away by the almost five million players, leaving only 50 of the 300 something layers left to dig through. For a sense of scale, at one cubelet per second, clearing 25 billion cubelets would have taken a single person over 800 years. Curiosity has been a bane of productivity for some, racking up roughly 50 million man hours of time spent with the game.
The final push to the center of the cube is expected to take anywhere from 1 to 50 days, depending on the chiseling fervor. Of course, the ability to add cubelets might make the home stretch a little more challenging. Despite the griefing potential, for everybody out there who couldn’t be bothered to help chip away the first 272 layers, I expect the final 50 layers to be a much more compelling objective. While those who’ve been there all along might be nonplussed when a newcomer gets to the mystery bit in the center, that possibility has to be part of Molyneux’s grand scheme.