I want to share this short documentary I found about a character that I never knew I still love so much. At one stage, this guy was the number one “Most Recognisable” character in America, beating Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and his arch nemesis, Mario. He was the hero that every kid followed, and even me here in Australia, I couldn’t help not to be swept into his cult. I’m talking about Sonic the Hedgehog.
I recently came across Sonic the game while browsing around in the Android market. For a cent shy of a dollar (99 cents for those that don’t like to subtract), I was able to re-live all my childhood memories right on my new Motorola RAZR mobile phone. Now this part, this part right here, this is the kicker – it actually worked. Playing that game on my phone did really bring back a lot of the memories that I had, and you know what, they were really, really good and happy memories. As a kid, I loved Sonic and Sega, and being an only child, I smashed that game as much as I could. It was my release, my adventure, and I was so happy to have experienced it. Was I “marketingally” brain-washed? Maybe. To be honest, I don’t really care – the game was awesome.
After spending some time with the game, I ended-up doing a bit of research and reading on Sonic. While hunting for info, I came across this short documentary by Game Tap. The doco talks about how the character got created, why it was created, and what was the character supposed to represent. As a kid, I never knew this, but Sonic (the game and the character) were part of Sega’s marketing ploy to get one over its rival Nintendo; it wasn’t just a game, it was a marketing strategy as well. The marketing team had a lot to say on how Sonic should look, feel, and act, but at the same time, they treated him with lots of love, care, and respect. The head of marketing/design over in the US even went as far as calling herself Sonic’s “mum”, which I can understand and totally relate with.
So sit down, relax, and find-out how and why millions of kids around the world fell in love with this game character. Who knows, there might be another one coming from just around the corner, and the pattern of its success could be just like that of Sonic the Hedgehog. Enjoy!