Thursday, July 24, 2014

Staying Optimistic, Plus Uplifting Fan Mail

It has been in fact a long time since I had posted on the blog.  Rest assured, it makes me feel crummy when an idea starts to coalesce in my head and for whatever reason I peter out.  Racing games, Shenmue, Yu Suzuki, E3, my job, Slidell, Orlando, Austin.  Don't worry, I've paid plenty of attention to those things.  I'll probably address them once inspiration strikes (which can be a day to a year, I won't make any guarantees).

I did get an email on May 2013 that piqued my interest.  It's an email from a Musings of a Sega Racing Fan fan!  I remember reading this the day it was sent but for some reason I didn't reply.  I wasn't feeling good that day.  But it still perked me up a bit and reminded me what all this blog nonsense is all about.  I won't share the guy's name or e-mail unless he's okay with it.

Hello Eric,

it's been years since I planned on e-mailing you, but I never did.
You could have been my brother, I have always been passionate about Sega Arcade racing games. Really just Sega.
I have my own arcade room, which had it's fair share of Sega cabinets the past years. Some get replaced, some stay etc.

I started with collecting pretty much every Sega console and game ever released. In the end I had about 300 boxed mint versions of basically every console release, from every region, in every different visual version. The next step of course was going for the real thing, arcade machines.
I have owned pretty much every version of Daytona USA. The single LE, the Deluxe version (god, that thing is really to big I can tell you, it's practically unmovable), wooden twins, plastic twins etc.
Also Daytona USA 2, Scud Race twins etc.
In general as soon as I decide to sell one to get something else, I regret selling it and buy another one back. I think I had about 10 Daytona USA twins in the past years due to this, I just can't live without it :)
I don't play daily, I sometimes don't play for months, but I just must need to have that stuff in my arcade room.
Sadly, most Model 2-3 games start dying out in the world due to oldness (especially Video board problems in all these games), I guess it's a matter of time before almost no Model 2-3 game will be operational anymore. More the reason to hold on to working ones and hope they keep working.

I have no clue why I mail all this to you, I guess I just wanted to get in touch with you once, and tell you I have enjoyed your blog the past years, and really appreciate it.

*insert first name*

Thanks man.  I know it's been 433 days since I actually "replied" to your email.  It meant a lot to me reading it then as it does reading it now.  I don't own an arcade cabinet, mainly because they're so huge and I live in a second-story apartment, but I want to get that Daytona/Sega memorabilia.  I wear a Daytona (NASCAR) hat to work every other day, which is a pretty clever way for me to take Sega everywhere I go!  I should buy more Sega stuff, I should go to Daytona again and wave that stupid sign.  I don't care, it makes me feel good.  Sega fans have always been diehards and it shows.  Keep up the good fight!

But let's face it--Sega is a really stupid and disappointing company.  They blew up their consoles, beat Sonic into the ground, and disregard all their classic IPs.  I've been lackadaisical when it comes to getting the latest Sega news cause frankly, I know it's not going to be any good.  Sega makes a new Sonic, a new Yakuza, publishes another Aliens game, Hatsune Miku, what a piece of shit.  And then there's the classics we already have on consoles, PCs, and emulators.  I don't know whether it's a result of depression, work-related stress, aging, or the complete lack of progress made to any Sega racing game, but I definitely haven't been playing games as often as I used to.

But that's okay.  I think these games have gone past the point of me wanting to play them.  They've become "cultural"--they've shaped who I am and what I think about other games.  Daytona, OutRun, Sega Rally, Scud Race, Crazy Taxi--all games that are burnt into my psyche.  It's stuff that makes me exclaim "now THAT is cool!"  You take a game like Daytona, it only has one car and three tracks, yet somehow it's more memorable than 99% of the games I've played in my life.  I mean, just thinking about them, the cars, the atmosphere, the adrenaline, the soundtrack at any time gets me excited.  This doesn't mean I won't play these games anymore, it just means playing them is no longer a "requirement" to sanity or well-being.

I'd like to think that in all the disappointment in the last 14 years, at least Sega games made my life a little more blissful, optimistic, ambitious, and intriguing.  I admit this isn't the first time I've said this on my blog but living in a "post-Sega world" where I've become more realistic than I ever have about what they are capable of and how the game industry works, I think it's a pretty big damn deal.

As to what I've been doing recently, I've been flying under the radar but rest assured--I'm working.  I'm actually making forward progress with my career and when the time comes to work for Sega, for someone else, or on my own game, I'll be prepared.  Do not doubt me.  As for my readers (whichever ones are still left), stay loyal fans, don't give up, tell your friends, show off your flair, and MAYBE a little Sega goodness will rub off on your friends or game developers!  Take care!


  1. All those consoles plus arcade machines??? That guy must be a million(s) dollar baller.

    About the failing arcade machines, it's not uncommon here to see DU2 with uncentered steering wheels and no SFX or music.

  2. It's been a while since I dropped by here. Still, you've done a great job offering up your commentary and your personality. I wish you the absolute best in all of your work. It is also great for you to receive such amazing fan support from that fan who typed up that E-Mail to you. Hang in there! Take care and be well.