I was a SEGA kid.
Our first family gaming console was an NES. I grew up playing Mario, RC Pro-Am, 1942, TMNT and Bubble Bobble.
It was always a struggle between me and my sisters of who got to hold the controller. We were less contentious when it was a 2-player game.
As they got older, my sisters lost interest in video games. But I was still there, blowing on cartridges that wouldn’t load.
So when the Sega Genesis came out with 16-BIT GRAPHICS!!, I had to have it.
I grew up on a farm, and we had to do actual work for anything we wanted (not needed).
So when I told my parents I wanted the Genesis, they were like “Ok. If you string trim the entire fence line, we will pay you $2 an hour. That should earn you enough for this thing you want. Go forth.”
Now when I say I grew up on a farm, it was primarily a cattle farm. And cattle like to eat a lot of grass. They also like to roam about to find that grass. So, we had A LOT of fences.
I got to work with our gas-powered string trimmer. I had a can of pre-mixed 2-stroke gasoline, a bottle of water, my Walkman with the only Led Zeppelin tape I had, and the burning need to play as a blue hedgehog.
I started at our mailbox with my sights set on the end of our property. I would string trim 50 yards or so, set the trimmer down, go back to collect the gas can and my water bottle. Rinse and repeat. I’d spend probably 1-3 hours a day during the summer repeating this cycle. The further I got, the further I had to walk again to start the process over every day.
To keep track of my hours, my mom made me one of those poster boards with a giant thermometer on it. I would fill in the lines with a red marker for every hour I worked and the dollar amount I had earned. As the summer wore on, I watched that thermometer rise, figuratively and literally.
When I finally finished the fence line, I noticed that where I had started, the grass was already tall again.
But that didn’t matter!
Off to EB Games, a brick and mortar store where they sold physical copies of games and consoles.
I brought that bastard home and played Sonic The Hedgehog for the rest of the summer.
That experience really cemented my love for video games and for the Genesis. I was hooked on SEGA from then on.
Until the N64 came out.
And you guessed it. It was back to the fence line to earn enough to buy that console and be completely blown away by Mario 64.
But. I’m still a SEGA kid.