New discovery game is a creepy virtual popularity contest for Twitter (exclusive)

We got a sneak peek at Mind of Man, a popularity game for iPhone and iPad that uncovers how your friends and enemies really perceive you. The game, released this month, is the brainchild of indie gaming studio 2PaperDolls, which specializes in creating game experiences to blur the lines between reality and fiction.

The game is about revealing the dark side of your digital persona. By analyzing your text and behavior on Twitter, including your flaws and antisocial tendencies, the game creates a unique avatar known as a “MindPrint.” This avatar is then pitted against your friends and favorite celebrities.

What’s cool about it? Mind of Man uses sentiment analysis to determine whether you have a celebrity twin or an archnemesis and reveals how much social media influence you really have. Andrea Ravenet, community manager, said the experience is like holding up a mirror to see how you appear in the Twitterverse.

“We’re having fun — a lot of fun–  lifting the mask of persona,” said Ravenet. She added that Mind of Man is less of a game, and more of a utility to reveal how the crowd perceives a voice on Twitter.

Be warned: This is not for the fainthearted. The creators say on the website that its core technology “peers into your soul and sees how blackened, or saintly, it really is.” Ugh, creepy.

In an Orwellian twist, the game consistently reminds you that you must fulfill your duty to the Mind of Man (MOM). You’ll notice that the promotional image depicts a shadowy puppet master and strings. According to Ravenet, this was intended as a social satire to remind you of the all-powerful entity that can slowly unveil aspects of your online persona. Not sure I buy it.

Is it just me, or does this game seem like the creation of an obnoxious teenage girl on a power trip?

The site responds to perceived criticism by claiming that judgement “strengthens the collective mind” and a little “vote-sourced pyscholinguistic artificial intelligence never hurt anybody.” Given the prevalence of cyberbullying in recent years, I don’t agree that learning to judge each other better is a positive lesson for gamers.

So why should we play the game? The creators claim that your MindPrint will net you discounts and prizes from retailers. “Players earn both virtual and real-world rewards for judging each other,” said 2PaperDollars’ Louis Ravenet in a release.

Mind of Man will be available for free and through premium subscription on the App Store for iPhone and iPad, but it does not have a release date yet for Android.

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