EIF 2008: Nokia on 'the reset generation'

Nokia's Scott Foe argues that the 'reset generation' is defining the future of entertainmen
Nokia's Scott Foe argues that the 'reset generation' is defining the future of entertainmen

Scott Foe is a senior producer over at Nokia, one of the key guys behind the recently re-launched N-Gage platrorm (as well as the brains behind the massively multiplayer mobile game Pocket Kingdom).

Scott is speaking at this week's Edinburgh Interactive Festival about what he refers to as the "reset generation", which he describes as "young people who, when a situation becomes difficult or burdensome, quit and start over again in a different situation."

Foe will plans to discuss the impact of the "reset generation on the gaming world, talk around new titles such as Nokia's very own Reset Generation to show how youth is influencing games today.

Foe argues that 'the reset generation' is already defining what entertainment will be in the future. TechRadar caught up with him to quiz him a little more about his talk at Edinburgh.

Edinburgh virgin

Foe admits he's an Edinburgh virgin, telling us,"I am honestly clueless when it comes to the Edinburgh Interactive Festival: This is my first time out. That said, I'm sure that it's called "Scott-land" for a reason … think I'll be recognized?"

The Edinburgh Interactive Festival is all about trying to establish gaming as a more widely understood and legitimate cultural form, engendering networking between games professionals and developers and those from other creative industries such as film, music and TV.

TechRadar: Do you think (some) games can be considered as art? Or as culturally significant as movies and TV? If so, can you give examples of specific titles you would cite to back up your argument?

Scott Foe: Argument? What argument? Saying games aren't art is like saying people don't fart. And I guess dinosaurs carried no love for Picasso. Games are art, and Reset Generation is post-modernism – a game about games. Reset Generation is pointillism – the composition of Plumbers, Hedgehogs, and Level 50 Elves, dropping blocks, and rescuing princesses.

TechRadar: What are you speaking about this year?

Scott Foe: I'll be speaking at Edinburgh International Festival about the 'Reset Generation', the children who grew up with computers and videogames. We've reached a point in the first world where everyone under the age of thirty-six has played a videogame. What does that mean for the future of games industry and culture? Can there be a "YouTube" of games? An ".mp3" of games? Can gaming as passive entertainment – watching people play – ever achieve mass media reach?

TechRadar: What were your thoughts on E3 this year?

Nokia definitely "won" E3 – by not attending!

All kidding aside, I was at E3, and I must say that the heart breaks in the absence of familiar hubris. E3 – the E3 I knew and loved to file outrageous expense reports for – was proof-of-life for our industry, a reaffirmation of our strength and well-being. I hope that E3 is only "mostly dead" and that the powers that be find a way to give E3 the chocolate pill. If not for me, then do it for my dear old mother in Ohio, who would always call me to tell me that she saw E3 coverage on CNN. Remind my mom that we're out there.

TechRadar: Couldn't one argue that, since the Beats in the 1950s, youth/the modern teenager have always been something of a 'resetgeneration'?

Absolutely not: The Reset Generation, the children that grew up with computers and videogames, have certain attitudes and dispositions that set us apart. We are incredibly optimistic – push for a 'win' outcome in any given situation – and we demand 'control'. We had the reset button; we had the power button; soon we'll have the world.

Adam Hartley