GDC 2008

GDC 2008: New Site Tests Gamer Knowledge, Hints At Upcoming Nokia Title

| 28 Feb 2008 18:00
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A website connected with Nokia's N-Gage platform tests visitors' knowledge of gaming history.

ForTheLoveOfGaming.com features a 15-question quiz spanning four decades of gaming trivia. Correct answers display lines of what appears to be concept art for an unnamed title.

"For the love of gaming" has been a theme for Nokia at this year's GDC. During the morning keynote of GDC Mobile on Tuesday, Nokia's Anssi Vanjoki wore a T-shirt that prominently displayed the phrase.

I sat down with Scott Foe, a producer at Nokia, and demystified the reason for the site's existence ... almost. He told me he was working on "Project White Rock," a multi-platform game built on Nokia's re-imagining of the N-Gage brand as a Symbian-based mix of Steam and Xbox Live.

"Generally when we give out information," he told me, "we give it out based on the size of your readership or how powerful a journalist you are. This time we're taking a different tack. We're giving out information based on how much you know about gaming." Then, he invited me to take a shot at the For the Love of Gaming quiz.

I breezed through the first two pages before encountering a question that would cause even the staunchest of nerds to balk: "In Diablo 2, which monster drops the highest-level items?" It wasn't the first time Diablo 2 foiled me, and this time was no different from the others. Once I stumbled, I fell, and I ended up getting a nine out of 15 on the quiz, which Foe assured me was "pretty good."

Then, he handed me a glossy, white thumb drive encased in a clear vial. "Hang onto this," he said. "You'll need it later."

On the drive was an assortment of songs with a very old-school, 8-bit Nintendo vibe. They all were composed by 8 Bit Weapon, and all but one were instrumentals. The track with vocals was "2D Died," a parody of Don McLean's "American Pie" that shouts out to every sprite-based game of note. (It's available on the For the Love of Gaming website.)

Also on the drive, inside a folder named "Keychain," were terminal apps named "-- KEEP THIS SAFE --," "4304" and "4304.pub" respectively. When I opened them up in a text editor, out came the following:

From "-- KEEP THIS SAFE --"
d14e 2092 2e52 e849 70c7 7a98 09fa 4e4f

From "4304"
-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----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-----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----

From "4304.pub"
ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABIwAAAQEAm5z+NgMcYEQeY86vzx45xPqgNHHbQiy7LGWmn
+P9n5QGTR8YvVl9wzB85LaCs34xSmdp5jSIFSccO+JZnQgUVRk4VY/SDfUjkM9rCN
YHBi6/udZaaNvLuTJI7q/KtLZ7mQKPeKFe1ymCecNUromrK4fymrgSRepRPNzZH8q
v7kdiNjPT3iXGA84Axm8W7rLH9Hlhu85i4HCw6ZLZihE837gIZC1149r7AyisKFZ3
tIcuCYzUMORaAO/QddvPz84RRVchCAGANJuqTPm5LuyR6dAdXVZn+IbsBMd8m3q8X
AcyBS/Lf80mSWUO1boQpsvn8RnnKxrE+vUY5FxAnmYUaQ== whiterock@fortheloveofgaming.com

So, there's an email address in the last string, and the second one is some sort of encryption key. The first looks like something in hexadecimal. Needless to say, I'm left with more questions than answers, but it looks like the continuation of the alternate reality game that got leaked our way last November. The For the Love of Gaming site claims if you answer all 15 questions correctly, "another block might just drop into place." Since I returned from the show, all I've managed is 12 correct answers, so I may have to pass the ARG torch onto someone with a better grasp on old-school gaming trivia.

Jordan Deam contributed reporting to this article.
Full disclosure: TAP Interactive, a sister company of Themis Media, which owns The Escapist, does work with Nokia.

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