Former BitTorrent Chief Aims To Create The Apps Of The Future

1-800-N0TH1NG is a new interactive media lab that wants to make media consumption feel like a game

Bbble lets you be your own game show host or play alone — 1-800-N0TH1NG
Sep 22, 2016 at 10:28 AM ET

Do you love besting your friends at trivia night? Now there’s an app for that. A new app called Bbble launched Thursday for iOS which bills itself as a new kind of social video game. It lets you create your own trivia questions using video snaps, and then challenge your friends. Or you can play on your own by answering other people’s questions. It’s like if Snapchat and QuizUp had a baby.

Bbble is a product of 1-800-N0TH1NG, a new interactive media lab headed by Matt Mason, former content chief for BitTorrent. While most social media platforms have incorporated game apps, and lots of games have a social element, Mason and 1-800-N0TH1NG are aiming to take it further by building game mechanics into different media experiences.

“We are focusing our resources on anything that uses game mechanics to push boundaries, boundaries in technology, in culture — there are so many places worth exploring,” Mason said.

The group’s first test of that approach was the first ever live action video game called RoboKong. Quietly launched in August on the game-streaming platform Twitch, it allowed different players to take control via video chat and guide the main character, a soldier, in real time as he tries to escape from a lab full of mutants.

Mason told Vocativ that it was a huge effort to pull it off — it required some 30 actors and stunt people and was filmed in a former slaughterhouse in LA — but it was all worth it. The game attracted 700,000 viewers in the four hours it was live, and garnered more than 26,000 messages from fans.

With Bbble, Mason and his team wanted to essentially let you create your own game show with your friends. Time will tell whether 1-800-N0TH1NG can hit upon the right formula to hook people, but it certainly seems promising since there’s almost nothing more satisfying than beating a friend at trivia night. And if you do get hooked, don’t worry: There’s more where that came from. 1-800-N0TH1NG plans to release three more apps by the end of the year.