Social experiment game 'Curiosity' makes a god of its winner

After four million downloads and 25 billion tiny cubelets tapped into oblivion, social experiment "Curiosity: What's Inside the Cube?" has reached its conclusion, with the veteran game designer announcing that its winner is to "become a digital god" in his next game, "Godus."

"[Godus] is about being a god to your followers," explained veteran game designer Peter Molyneux in a video sent to the "Curiosity" winner. "You will decide on the rules that the game is played by and you will share in the success of the product. Every time people spend money on Godus you will get a small piece of that pie."

The "Curiosity" app was launched on November 6, 2012 as a social experiment and a networking challenge for the team at Molyneux's current studio, 22Cans; launch day interest far outstripped the team's conservative estimates, overwhelming online servers and rendering the app temporarily unplayable.

Once players got into the game, they were presented with a giant cube; players tapped away at billions of its constituent cubelets until eventually, on May 26, all 325 layers had been removed to reveal its secret.

"I hope that you will find that this is worth the sore fingers that you may have gained through tapping," said Molyneux in the winner's video.

But "Curiosity" winner Bryan Henderson of Edinburgh, Scotland, told Wired that by a stroke of luck he'd hardly used the iOS and Android app -- "People are going to hate me for this, but I only registered for the game earlier this morning, about an hour before I won the thing" -- while Polygon learned that he intends to be "a pretty nice god, but getting to mess with people sounds like it could be fun."

Molyneux is now as well known for his enthusiastic visionary statements as for a resumé that includes 1980s and 90s computer game classics "Populous," "Powermonger," "Syndicate," and "Theme Park."

A penchant for esoteric game concepts led Molyneux to admit that he had "slightly over-promised on things on occasion" upon receipt of a BAFTA Fellowship in 2011, while parody Twitter account @PeterMolydeux inspired the Molyjam, an April 2012 worldwide game jam in which participants attempted to make games based on Molydeux's design outlines.

The real Molyneux's 1989 breakout "Populous" serves as the foundation for upcoming iOS, Android, Mac and PC game "Godus," which raised a £526,000 ($795,000) development fund via its late 2012 Kickstarter campaign.cp/kc