Most people ignore the button on the right. After all, it’s the “Power” button that turns the game on, and the one that shuts everything down when it’s finished. “Power” is what people use most often.
“Reset” is reserved for those desperate times, near the end of the game, when Mario has come so far but just can’t make it anymore; he’s losing lives because those angry flowers keep pelting him with fire. Worse still, the creatures that look like mushrooms grew legs are falling out of the sky and smushing the poor little plumber. (Full disclosure, it may have been twenty years since I last played any type of Nintendo game.) At those times the tally of points in the corner of the screen is so impressive that you could cry from the exertion of getting your video game character this far. But the flowers keep breathing their hot angry breath and suddenly fish start jumping out of nowhere. There are two options, you can push onward and eventually watch Mario’s little figure drop out of the screen, clutching his hat in distress, or you can end it on your terms, knowing that there will be a next time, another set of flying fish, more angry flowers, but in that game, both you and Mario will come out swinging, so you reach for the “Reset” button.
I pushed “Reset” today, the small switch that makes my life start over. It was nerve wracking, and briefly I wondered whether it was the right decision. But what one needs to remember is; you’re never truly starting over, all those skills and tricks that were learned the first time around, make the following attempts that much easier and faster. However in that moment, when you’ve given up everything that you’ve worked for, before the next game has begun, life can feel like a free fall. Occasionally in Nintendo, and the real world, there are times where nothing more can be gained from following a particular path, even if it is possible to move forward. In that terrifying and exhilarating psychological drop, it’s important to reach for the good things, as you push the button and let the bad road fall away.