by Jeffrey Demelo on Nov. 7, 2012
Curiosity is a cube, made up of billions of tiny cubelets, waiting to be broken down to its core by the people of the world in which we live. It’s not just another one of Peter Molyneux's crazy ideas; it's also a social experiment disguised as a video game. It’s a canvas for art; a bathroom stall occupied by the world. It’s a gleaming hope of unity as a pixel-popping society.
Curiosity is indeed all of these things, and so much more. What it will become will only be determined by those who contribute, its promises resting on the finger-tips of all of us scanning the surface of this planet-sized cube. We wonder, so we continue; until this curiosity is settled or the cat meets its demise.
I stumbled upon the surface of Curiosity in its infant stages, cur-ious-ly - no pun intended. I noticed the cubelets of its skin barely marred by scars of our people. I scanned around this gigantic geometric shape, searching for signs of life, eventually finding what I was looking for. This collective had started stripping a chunk off of Curiosity, leaving a 300 x 300 cubelet mark on one of six of its surfaces. I began to join in, tapping at the screen as if engaged.
Matter of fact, I was engaged; the idea of being part of this "collective" of people hunting a mystery beneath the surface of a planet-sized digital cube was enough, but for how long?
In 20 minutes I learned the laws of life on Curiosity. With no explanation, experimentation can teach you just as much. In that time, I worked swiftly, clearing 20 x 20 screens of cubelets like it was going to be the last thing I did. With my exhaustion came revelation. As I backed away from the surface which I scarred, I not only realized exactly how large the cube sits - and how long it could possibly take to break Curiosity down to nothing - but how interesting this social experiment really is.
The section of which I spent 20 minutes clearing was barely visible from way back here. Doubts began pouring in. I look around to see what I've missed in the last half hour. What I now saw on the surface of Curiosity was not the same as when I arrived. The collective had started to express themselves through art and cryptic messaging.
"This cube will kill us all. God help us."
As I read this, I continued down the path of deleted cubelets. My mind racing; will we as a "people" actually accomplish the designed destruction of this cube? Can we band together to make it happen?
"We Can Do It"
This shining light of hope, disguised as one of thousands of messages etched onto Curiosity, curved my belief. Seconds later, that same hope disappeared into a crater of cubelets.
Why would anyone erase that wonderful message, I thought, soon realizing whomever was responsible for the act was just doing exactly what we were all asked to do; delete.
What If I was the only one on the cube at the time to see it? I contemplated continuing to preach the message, in hope that it could influence but one other soul to pass it on like an inspiring chain-letter.
Minute by minute, I continue to watch Curiosity change. That awesome Kirby rendition some brilliant artist took the time to etch into Curiosity, gone; along with the hundreds of other hand-crafted pixel-art that soon became the surface of this humongous cube.
The sadness sets in, followed by overwhelming joy.
I didn't want to see our collective's tattoos disappear off the skin of Curiosity. Yet, when I thought about my unique experience while exploring the cube's surface, I was ecstatic. Maybe I was the only person to see some of what I saw. Maybe I missed out on tons of other great markings left on the cubes surface, inevitably deleted before I would ever see it for myself. It's a bitter pill we're forced to swallow when planted on the surface of this cube; for it is a living, evolving thing...much like those of us composing its populous.
Curiosity's first layer is nearly completely peeled off now. Turns out the cube is filled with the same stuff you find in a Spencer's Gifts lava lamp. Things are calm. Cubelets are disappearing at a slower rate. The fun has died down, now that the surface has diminished into tiny Cubelets islands. It won't be long until Curiosity becomes another open canvas.
What will happen now? Have the real artists plotted some amazing pieces of art to etch into the cube, once its second layer is revealed? What cryptic messages will be read? How long will this go on? How long will the population last? Exactly how many layers are there? Exactly what's at its core? When will...
One thing's for sure, we will find a way to communicate through Curiosity. If we bond together, we can accomplish anything, even the cube. Download Curiosity by 22 Cans now. Be part of the collective.