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
-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
-----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
AcyBS/Lf80mSWUO1boQpsvn8RnnKxrE+vUY5FxAnmYUaQ== [email protected]
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.