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Internet stunt personality Jimmy Donaldson, better known online as MrBeast, has launched a one-time multiplayer mobile game and endurance test called Finger on the App. Participants are tasked with holding a finger to their phone screen in the app, and the last person to take it off wins a cash prize of up to $25,000.
As the manifesto on the app’s website explains, the game builds on the idea that people “love” their phones, often using them in bed, during commutes, at the dinner table and so on. “Finger on the App boils down phone use to its minimalist core, and yet, for the hours or even days this contest runs, your phone can provide utterly no utility so long as you play.” The final dollar amount of the prize is determined by players — everyone who doesn’t win can vote.
Of this challenge, MrBeast tells The Hollywood Reporter, “I think it’s going to be harder than most people are thinking. Even when we did the ‘Last to take a hand off [said item] gets $1 million,’ we expected that to go so long but it only lasted a couple of hours. I would say it’ll go on for a few days but not a week.”
MrBeast is known for posting social challenges and experiments on his YouTube channel, such as “I spent 50 hours in solitary confinement” and “I gave my credit card to random people.” He has amassed over 37.5 million subscribers since starting the channel in 2012.
As to what players will get out of participating in Finger on the App, the YouTuber simply says, “$25,000. To be honest, it’s not that deep!” He goes on to say, “I thought it would be a fun idea and we want fans to just have fun with it. We liked the idea of people being able to compete in challenges on my channel. I always do crazy things with my friends, so we wanted to do something fun for my fans to just play with their friends.”
Discussing how the app indirectly references society’s overuse of technology, MrBeast clarifies that he doesn’t think spending time on your phone has to be a negative thing. “You have so much information at your fingertips, so hopefully, you spend some time learning and researching things that interest you,” he says.
To those joining Finger on the App, the YouTuber offers a reminder that is particularly relevant during stay-at-home orders: “And you can get extra lives if you play together, so make sure everyone you are quarantining with downloads and plays too!”
The game is a collaboration with Brooklyn-based internet culture brand and art group MSCHF, known for projects including This Foot Does Not Exist and Puff the Squeaky Chicken.
Finger on the App goes live Tuesday at 12 p.m. PT. It can be downloaded from the App Store free of charge.
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