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Sega Channel

by on April 9, 2014
 

Back when I was a little girl, I had this neighbor named Josh who used to babysit me, and sometimes I’d go over and play his Sega Genesis. Not because I didn’t own one, because I did (because I had no friends), but because he had Sega Channel.

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Sega Channel was an online game service developed by Sega serving as a content delivery system. And once you had bought the ability to use it, EVERYTHING. WAS. FREE. TO. PLAY. It was the netflix of gaming, in retrospect. Then, Dreamcast came out also with online capabilities which nobody really seemed to give a shit about. In fact, thinking back, nobody really seemed to care about Sega Channel either as Josh was the only person I knew who had it. But think about this; here’s Sega, a company now laughed at, who basically pioneered online gaming. They really did. They were groundbreaking. The dreamcast in and of itself was a groundbreaking system that is totally underrated, but that’s a different post for a different day. Anyway, it makes me really curious why people don’t thank Sega for what they did. Now obviously, Segas grip on online services kind of failed because at the time, the internet was just not that popular. Now however, you’re born and get your birth certificate and your tumblr all at once. Lately, I’ve been seeing these “consoles” that are basically rom machines that allow you to play any game that’s installed on it. There’s an Atari one, a Sega one and I’m sure a Nintendo one. It’s for the retro crowd and for the fact that it’s really tough to not only get those consoles now if you don’t already own them but also set them up because those consoles required you to plug them into your CABLE outlet, no AV cords.

I think we take online gaming systems for granted. Look at Xbox Live. Just look at it. We’re so fucking spoiled. Look at PSN. We’re SO. FUCKING. SPOILED. And so self entitled to believe that they owe us everything on earth when we should just thank our lucky stars they even EXIST. You go back to the original Xbox and look at XBL it was nothing. It was NOTHING. Hell, even on the first 360s it was in it’s infancy and barely anything. But now? Oh, now you can buy music, rent movies and now use apps for things like Youtube and Netflix. Now I think it’s ridiculous to pay Microsoft to watch Netflix considering I already pay Netflix to watch Netflix, but it is on their servers I guess. I understand. I just hate it. And everything I just stated is what everyone hates.

“Oh, the Xbox One isn’t a gaming machine!”

Picture 3You’re right, it’s an entertainment system but guess what, it’s technology, and that advances. I was a holdout for so long on apps like Instagram and Vine and all this newfangled stuff (I still hate Tumblr with a passion) and it’s just me getting older. The systems are awesome, and in their own right, everything they can do is awesome. Xbox Live and PSN are amazing services offering things that years ago we only would’ve dreamed about. It seems like we all want super awesome stuff like this but as soon as it becomes a reality we hate it. Obviously these online systems have their own problems (downtime, removing content, drm for sure and a few others) but on the whole, they’re unlike anything we’ve had before. I’m not in anyway praising the mainstreaming or dumbing down of consoles for the everyday average person but it is amazing how cool they are and all the things they can do now, and it’s amazing how much everyone HATES it, with an unbridled and-to me personally-unreasonable passion at times. The way I embrace technology is like this. I think back to my grandparents, and I KNOW they had this conversation and conversations like this:

“Did you hear about this, Bill? They’re making-there’s gonna be-you can put a tape into a machine at your home and watch a movie like you’re at the theater! That’s incredible!”

or

“I just heard that soon someone can call you at home and if you aren’t there…they can…LEAVE A MESSAGE…”

And we laugh at those things now. We laugh at the idea that that was once science fiction. That was once an impossible reality. But those conversations happened. We know they had to have. So, with that in mind, I try and just embrace technology, flaws and all, because I should be thankful I even HAVE it. We live in such a cool age, where almost anything seems possible, that it’d be almost ignorant NOT to embrace stuff, even if it doesn’t work completely right. I mean people make so much fun of stuff like the achievements for watching a movie on the Xbox One and whatnot but god, it’s better than NOT having any of this stuff, isn’t it? Sega Channel and the Dreamcast really deserve credit for pioneering the online capabilities for gaming as do Playstation on the PS2 in Japan. And we should all just sorta…calm the FUCK down, and enjoy what we have for god sakes.

I can watch any episode of Farscape I want at any time! It’s the future folks! Embrace it!

Ok that was kind of a cheap shot, but whatever.

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