Sega Visions: The Magazine That Turned Me To The Darkside

In the late 80’s and early 90’s there were two distinct camps of gamers: Nintendo
fans and Sega fans. There were no Sega fans in my circle of friends. In fact, I
didn’t know of anyone who had a Sega. Yet we assumed they were out there because
we, Nintendo fans, needed an enemy. There were rumors of friends of friends who
had a Sega Master System. I never saw these friends or their Sega’s, so I called
shenanigans on these claims. I was a staunch Mario 3 playing, Nintendo Cereal eating,
The Wizard watching, Nintendo Power subscribing, Power Glove wearing Nintendo fanatic.
Sega was crap. No, it was more than crap. It was shit. Nobody owned a Sega and if
you did, you were an idiot. I had never actually played a Sega. My hatred was blind,
but it was pure. Sega was anti-Nintendo, therefore I was anti-Sega. Then, the Sega
Genesis was released.

My anti-Sega stance weakened every time I had to jiggle a cartridge back to life
in the old Nintendo Entertainment System. You remember the ritual. You put the cartridge
in the NES, press it down, and pray to the gaming gods that it worked the first
time. Rarely would you achieve such a lucky press. More likely, the gaming gods
shat on your prayers and laughed maniacally as they gave you a flicker of hope and
then eternal blackness. You knew this would be a war. You took the cartridge back
out, blew in it, and placed it back in the system. A flicker, perhaps a few random
colored pixels, and then blackness. You jiggled the cartridge as it laid in the
NES. Flicker, nothing, flicker, nothing. You began to sweat. You held the Reset
button for 5 seconds. Nothing. 10 seconds. Nothing. You tried the little trick you
learned in ‘Nam where you placed the cartridge in the NES as closely to the edge
as possible and snapped it down. Nothing. You questioned how much you really wanted
to play this game, but you gathered your wits, yelled out a giant “Fuck You!” to
the gaming gods and entrenched yourself for the coming battle. You repeated these
same steps perhaps 30 more times, cursing loud enough to vent your frustrations,
but quiet enough to not get grounded for two weeks. Finally, the gaming gods decided
that you had been punished enough for lying to Santa Claus about being a good kid
and they blessed you with Nintendo goodness.