Can we create a new gaming interface?
Unlike music production where there are many different interfaces to create music, in gaming there is only one. So, we decided to hack a Nintendo Gameboy and create a new gaming interface via twitter, so that people could play Mario as an MMO game.
We chose a prominent moment in digital culture by launching it in the middle of ‘Internet Week’ and ‘Mario’s 25th anniversary.’
The results we’ve got via twitter and email suggest that it’s an interesting idea, but this didn’t translate into playing time.
We got about 600 visits in 2 days. Around 20 – 30 people tried it. Only 3 or 4 engaged with the game, tweeting a few times trying to achieve something and not just sending things randomly. But lots of people deleted the tweets after sending them.
From that behaviour, our conclusion is that one of the big obstacles for people to investigate and understand the game through trial and error is the spamming effect on their followers. For a lot of people, twitter is the platform they use to show to the world how interesting and insightful they are in very few words. Therefore, sending “nonsense” to hundreds of people is not very appealing.
A technical fact, is when we reached the pick of 15 people at once (a bit lame for a pick, I know) looking at the game (few of them tweeting), twitter behaved quite unresponsively. So this probably frustrated the few of them trying to play the game.
Having said that we think online cooperative experiences have a bright future. Watch this space for more MMO hacking experiments.