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A Look Back on my History With Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog has undeniably had a bit of a rocky career in regards to video games. Back when I received my first Mega Drive and a copy Sonic the Hedgehog in the Christmas of 1991 I was enamoured by the cartoon characters and colourful worlds. An obsession with the franchise was born at the ripe old age of 4 years old and I would follow it closely for the entirety of the 16 bit era thanks to the games and the supporting materials like Sonic the Comic, the Virgin novels and the create-your-own-adventure books.

Even though my family jumped on the Sony bandwagon for the 32 bit era instead of sticking it out with SEGA, my interest in the franchise never waned and in 1999 I opened Sonic Yoda; a Sonic the Hedgehog fan-site that joined the multitude of other Sonic fan-sites that existed at the time. My big heroes in this scene were Sonic HQ with its vast game information and The Sonic Stadium with its up-to-date news on the franchise. I wanted to run a Sonic fan-site on the same level of those guys. I wanted to run the Sonic fan-site I wanted to visit myself and that still stands to this day.

sonicyoda

In 2007 the website came to a peak. I accidentally “leaked” artwork from Sonic Rush Adventure which confirmed the existence of Marine the Raccoon before SEGA formerly revealed her. What really happened was I went to SEGA’s official website for the game and I managed to visit at a point where someone had prematurely uploaded the wrong header image and I print-screened the thing and uploaded it on Sonic Yoda. This put me in contact with one Kevin Eva who was SEGA community manager at the time.

I would eventually meet Kevin in person at “Wrecksfest”; a Sonic community gathering in London organised by Kevin under the branding of his Sonic fan-site, Sonic Wrecks. This would be my first exposure to the wider Sonic community and I would be introduced to some of my best friends. Some of those people include Miles Arquio, Adam Tuff and Svend Joscelyne, webmaster of The Sonic Stadium and a bit of a hero of mine. Nowadays he’s just some bloke from Essex who I hang out with (*wink*) but it’s bizarre to think how events would unfold after this chance meeting.

wreckfest

In 2008 I closed Sonic Yoda due to having a hard time staying interesting in a franchise that was responsible for such travesties as Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). I decided to amalgamate Sonic Yoda with MegaDriven, my sub-site which acted as a celebration of the 16 bit era. Under the name SEGADriven, I decided to create a SEGA-orientated fan-site that would be as in-depth as my new heroes, SEGA-16. Svend would end up hosting the website on The Sonic Stadium Network.

My connection to Svend and Kevin would lead to my volunteer staff position at Summer of Sonic from 2008 to 2012 which they both spearheaded with help from other Sonic community members. My position is pretty covert so I won’t go into details but it’s lead to some amazing experiences on stage. In 2009, myself, Svend and Adam would holiday in Japan together which has become a regular occurrence and in 2014 we would even celebrate Sonic’s 23rd birthday at the SEGA Joypolis on Odaiba in Tokyo Bay. Later that same year myself and Adam would also attend Sonic Boom in New York and I’d get to meet my fellow RadioSEGA colleagues as well as other Sonic and SEGA community members like Barry from SEGAbits and Matt from Tails Channel.

On Sonic’s 24th birthday I would like to thank the hedgehog and everyone who has been responsible for his ongoing success as he has introduced me to some of my closest friends and allowed me to have some of the most fantastic experiences any Sonic fan could ask for. The 4 year old me would never have dreamt that spiky little blue guy would be responsible for all this and for that I am forever grateful. Here’s to many more years of Sonic and many more years of amazing Sonic-related experiences!

sonic23rd

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