The American government recently made an attempt to enact rules to regulate protection of intellectual properties and to take down piracy. Thanks to the millions of people who shared their anger for overbearing protection and angry high school kids cheating on their homework, both the SOPA and PIPA bills have been suspended for reconsideration. What great timing for this, and the re-release of Sonic CD for PC platforms via Steam, as it lets us recall an incident as early as 1993 during the US Senate hearings for violent video games.
If you recall the lengthy retrospective on the Sega Mega CD, as well as another one of its landmark titles, Night Trap, the developers put out a short documentary named “Dangerous Games” regarding their perspective during and after the hearings from producers, actors as well as avid ‘gamers.’
Y-You don’t? Well I can’t blame you. After all, it was one of those schemes from the higher ups of Sega who were ready to capitalize on the popularity of their new flagship console of the 90’s. Competing with the CD-Rom technology of the PC Engine, and to attempt to stay above the rest of the competition, Sega was ready to stay among the pioneers of the uncharted fathoms of a disc-based medium. While not as successful as the Core system, the Sega Mega CD still acts as a milestone of game development that would bring the game industry it’s future, today. The add-on brought upon innovative gameplay, political controversy, expanded the possibilities of sound, graphics, storytelling, and of course helped with the transition of a cartridge based format to compact disc as a storage medium. Without a doubt there should be a buzz of excitement around the upcoming re-release of Sonic CD despite not actually coming out on a CD based consumer format. What a shame! On the bright side this is a good of time as any to highlight the add-on’s history and to show that it was more than just ‘The Sonic CD add-on.’