Tokyo-based serial software developer Jon Yongfook Cockle has begun to unveil his latest creation, a web and mobile Twitter client in the form of a sentiment-analysis based Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. It's called Littlecosm. Given the man who's making it, it's sure to be interesting.
Yongfook's previous work includes a recipe site called NibbleDish (formerly Open Source Food, before it was acquired by Tsavo Media) and SweetCron, a gorgeous self-hosted lifestreaming service that's a little like WordPress.org for FriendFeed. In other words, he's a super-geek who builds really interesting things.
From the developer's blog post announcing the project:
Littlecosm is at its heart a Twitter client. It pulls in data from your Twitter stream for you to read, but adds another layer of interactivity on top of it, in the form of game mechanics.
I'm taking the explorative / leveling concepts from MMORPGs and combining them with some high level themes such as good vs. evil, and the passage of time. Twitter data is particularly suitable for those latter themes. When we're angry, we tweet. When we're happy, we tweet. And it's all recorded on a timeline. I'm using this data to shape the game world.
This means that one person's Littlecosm will be entirely different to another person's. However, it wouldn't be "massively multiplayer" if there wasn't some crossover between worlds... :)
Game mechanics, sentiment analysis and Twitter - does that sound cliche? Coming from anyone else, there would be reason to be skeptical. Considering Yongfook's past work, and strong skills in visual design, this "passion project" is guaranteed to be worth a look at least.
Popular VC blogger Fred Wilson has written that social gaming could be an area where a killer app could emerge on the Twitter platform.
You can sign up to recieve updates about the service's availability at Littlecosm.com.