Op-Ed

Op-Ed
Defining The Reset Generation

N. Evan Van Zelfden | 8 May 2008 18:00
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It's a Friday afternoon, and Scott Foe is in a hotel room, 27 floors above the streets of San Francisco. In two hours, he'll be unveiling his latest project to the press. It's billed as "the highest production value mobile title ever."

From the man who produced Pocket Kingdom, the first MMO for mobile phones, that's a promising statement. "We spared no pixel, we spared no sound," he'll joke later that evening. But right now, he's brushing his teeth.

For the past two conference seasons, Foe has had to refer to the game under it's codename, "Project White Rock." Tonight, the actual title will be revealed to the press: Reset Generation.

Walking down Mission Street, Foe enters the Cartoon Art Museum - a gallery space for comics and newspaper cartoons, currently being transformed into a venue for the night's party. There's a bar, a stage, a projector, sound equipment and even some old arcade machines.

"It's named for the children who grew up with computers and videogames," Foe tells the audience in his opening remarks about Reset Generation. "These children have a certain disposition such that they feel they can just reset things when they mess up. They feel that every situation can be won. And every person in the first-world under the age of 37 has played videogames. It's now part of the culture."

Moments earlier, a half-dozen princesses arrived wearing gowns and tiaras. Waiters are arranging trays of classic videogame appetizers from Frogger, Donkey Kong and PacMan.

After the welcome reception, Foe explains that the game's developers wanted to pay homage to everything that came before, even as they were giving gamers something new. "We have 10 heroes pulled from the halls of high-score fame." Plumbers, princesses, cyborgs, hedgehogs. "We have Level 50 elves, and we have pixelated aliens from outer space bent on taking both your women and your quarters."

"And," says Foe, "we've got them all in the same title." He introduces each one of the 10 heroes by detailing the backgrounds of their creators - a range of talented artists from the worlds of gaming, cinema and comics.

Music sets the tone for the entire game, Foe continued, "and we're doing an homage to videogaming. After considering a number of famous videogame music composers, the team decided to find someone who truly loved videogame music, not someone who was simply doing it as a job."

Seth Sternberger, frontman for the band 8 Bit Weapon, told the audience: "I have to say, being a fan of gaming from both the golden age of gaming and computing, being involved in a project like this is truly a dream come true. You all know they don't put 8-bit videogame music in modern videogames today - they just don't do it - but here we are ..."

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