Sega Vision, I do believe that you have a strange way of working your company's software on to every single cover!
Sega Visions is exactly what you would expect from Sega. It's a game magazine that tries its hardest to be Nintendo Power, but it doesn't have the editorial talent, the production value or the marketing to compete with the big boys. Even at the time it looked dated, usually offering nothing more than generic previews and news written with a press release in hand. Sega Visions is not a good magazine.
This week I decided to go back and give the magazine a second chance. It's been a few years since I poured through the pages of Sega Visions, maybe there was something amazing about it that I completely missed the first time around. Sadly, the indecipherable reviews, poor game coverage and annoying interviews were still intact. As were the condescending pages specifically targeting younger (and girl) gamers. Sega Visions is a terrible, terrible magazine. I can see why they were giving it away for free.
Despite my negative words, I did find something amazing about it that I didn't see the first time around. I was amazed at how frequently I found myself questioning their credibility. This is a magazine that said a lot of outlandish things, but nobody ever called them on it. Well, today is Sega Visions' day in court. In this episode of They Said WHAT?!? I'm calling them out. Over the next two pages I have seven of the silliest quotes that made me say, "Sega, I Don't Believe You!"
Quote #1 - Boyz II Shill
Shawn "Slim" Stockman (Boyz II Men): "I'm a home person. I don't go out too much. I like to hang around my house in Philadelphia and play video games on my Sega
Seriously ... Decap Attack???
Genesis. Occasionally, I also like to go out with friends. On the Genesis, I really like John Madden '92 and I love Decap Attack. In Decap Attack you'll find a lot of shrunken head statues. Use your head to get the special bonus stuff hiding in the statues. To destroy enemy creatures, you can use your head or you can jump on top of them." (May/June 1992)
So let me get this right, Shawn "Slim" Stockman has several of the biggest hits of the 1990s, has millions of women throwing themselves at him, has enough money to do whatever he wants, can get into any place his heart desires and is famous beyond believe ... and all he does is sit at home and play John Madden '92 and Decap Attack? I won't lie to you, this
Okay, maybe I can believe that this guy wouldn't be out at the clubs picking up women.
kind of depresses me. I know why I do that, but there's no excuse for this guy to just lounge at home when he could be out there doing something exciting.
But I digress. My problem isn't what he does with his money, given how quickly everybody forgot about them, perhaps it's best he stayed at home saving money. The problem I have is believing that he would go into what sounds like a Sega Visions preview for Decap Attack. Go back and read it again, I think you'll agree that the second half of the quote feels awkwardly out of place. All of a sudden he become GameFAQs? Perhaps that's the reason you're staying home at night, because you're even geekier than the game journalist interviewing you. Either that or you didn't actually say any of this. Either way, Sega Visions, I don't believe you.
Quote #2 - Those Who Live In Glass Houses ...
K.V.: "In the June 1993 issue of EGM magazine, they said that monthly online costs of the Sega Channel would top $200! I referred back to Sega Visions (June/July 1993, p. 77) and
In June Electronic Gaming Monthly was reporting on Mortal Kombat and a $200 Sega Channel ... or were they?
you said it would probably cost $10 - $15 per month. Please tell me who has the right amount." (February/March 1994).
Oh Electronic Gaming Monthly, why did you have to go and say something stupid like that? There's no way the Sega Channel was going to top $200. All you're doing is giving Sega Visions ammunition to take down your credibility. It shouldn't surprise you that Sega Visions responded in the cattiest way possible. "While EGM sometimes scoops the other magazines with industry news, it doesn't always get the story right. That's the danger with always trying to be the first with the hot news -- the earlier the information, the less likely it is to be complete or accurate. We think the editors of EGM should have read the Sega Visions article before going to press with a ridiculous "scoop." Meow!
There's just one small problem -- EGM never said that the Sega Channel would top $200. Maybe "K.V." isn't good at reading comprehension; he didn't exactly come off as a scholar in his letter. Or perhaps he just remembered it wrong. After all, he's referencing a news piece that happened nearly a year earlier. I have to
Just don't drop it on your foot!
wonder why it took so long for him to compose this teeny tiny letter and send it to Sega Visions.
Because he gave the month and year, tracking down the original EGM write-up was a breeze. The extremely short piece (less than a quarter of the page) didn't mention a price, but made a few allusions to where the eventual price tag could land. "The Sega Channel, to be priced in the range of most pay-cable subscription services, will be launched in test markets this fall." That didn't say anything about a $200 fee, if anything it reinforces what Sega Visions is saying. EGM concluded by clarifying that "no price has been set."
It doesn't matter why or how "K.V." got it so wrong. I'm fine with him remembering history with his own unique spin, I'm certainly guilty of that. But Sega Visions should have double checked the veracity of the claims. In this case they look bad for questioning EGM's accuracy, and for that they should have issued a correction. With facts on my side, I find it hard to believe you, SegaVisions.
Quote #3 - Greendog Walks the Line
Ric Green (Greendog Creator): "[Greendog] represents the average teenager, with a cool but slightly awkward look. Unlike most of the violent or cute characters, Greendog can walk the middle line. He isn't
Contrary to what Ric Green says, Greendog will not do what this incredibly creepy dude is into!
violent, but can defend himself if pushed. Ultimately I see him as the protector of pop culture. Whatever our users are into, Greendog can do it in his games. Imagine Greendog bungee jumping, dirt-bike racing or jet skiing." (June/July 1993)
You heard him; Greendog can be whatever you want him to be. He walks the middle nine. He can bungee jump or ride a jet ski. He is everybody, and everybody is he. Part of me expects Ric Green to gush like this. After all, he did create the character and has every right to be as hyperbolic as necessary. But Sega Visions, I don't believe you. There's no way that this crappy character is all of these things. Greendog is NOT the protector of our pop culture. That's a bridge too far.
There's a reason the X-Games isn't held on a tropical island, it's hard to skate on dirt and sand!
See, I don't believe Greendog is as interchangeable as Ric Green would like you to believe. This slang-spewing surfer dude doesn't represent me. And I have a hunch he doesn't represent a lot of other non-athletic video game players. If he did then there would be a whole game based around the exciting journey I took to the kitchen to grab more fattening snack food while playing a more exciting video game. There's no level where you sit by the door waiting for the FedEx guy to show up with some crappy game for me to review. I didn't play a bonus game where I had to flip through every issue of Sega Visions just to come up with one crappy article. Greendog does not represent me.
And the idea that he is the protector of pop culture is positively loony. I don't even know where he would come up with something like that. This isn't Family Guy; he's not reminding everybody about lame 1980s references. Instead he runs through generic levels fighting shellfish. If he's the man tasked with protecting pop culture, then I fear that pop culture is in very bad shape. I know that Ric Green is a biased source, but I still don't believe him.