Intervention 2012

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22 - 23 September 2012 | Written by Maxxum

I had passed A.J. Rosa during Friday's burlesque show - he walks with a silent resolve that was perceptible only because his rhythm was out-of-step with others at the event. We sat down with drinks outside the convention, and talked for more than three hours. Below are excerpts from that discussion:

What started your fascination with SEGA?

My brother actually. The NES had come out, and my brother was a gamer. He had the Atari 2600, he got the Colecovision - and it was time for him to buy a new console. He passed on the NES because he didn't like all the kiddie stuff. He didn't really go for Mario and Link and all that, so he bought the Master System because one thing that we did do was that we would go to the arcades and we would play "Afterburner" and all those kind of games and SEGA was responsible for those titles.

[Later] he went and got the Model One, SEGA-CD, and we loved the shit out of it even though we had a lot of crappy FMV titles and stuff.


He had already moved on, I picked up the SEGA torch. ... I dunno, I've always had a fascination with SEGA because they were always there. I was homeless for about six months, and one of the things my mom would do to make me feel more normal was she would give me quarters because we were going Greyhound, going to all these places trying to stay with family, friends, whoever would take us in - she would give me quarters and SEGA was there; I was playing "Virtua Fighter" and "Virtua Cop" and it helped. And, when the Saturn came out, it was like yeah, I'm keeping this going. I still defend SEGA even though they made some horrible business decisions.

How did you make the transition to film-making?

When I was 10, I wanted to make movies but video cameras were too expensive. So, I kinda let it go. I've been fairly good with illustration since I was six, and it just came so easily to me, it was like, eh, this is kinda boring. And, I always wanted to get into story-telling and I played around with writing, and I wanted to make video games especially after I played "Resident Evil" and "Metal Gear Solid," I thought ooh, this sounds good. Then, I saw how much math was required and I said screw that, but, video cameras by this point had become much more economically viable.

I did a couple short films when I was 19 back-to-back, both were publicly shown and well-received, but I was 19 so it was like well, get older. ... so, I made some more short films, although they were okay, it's not going to get you noticed on YouTube or anything like that - but, I wanted to keep trying but I needed something to keep me busy between.

Trying to develop all these projects, getting actors and everything is very difficult, so I wanted something to keep my busy - and, I had this SEGA collection that I started re-building and I thought why not review SEGA, because most people I know were either Nintendo fans and missed out completely or they were teething at the time so they had no idea. And I thought, video games are an art-form too, and just as we appreciate old films, we should appreciate old games, because a lot of artists work on those just as hard as they do movies, or albums, or literature, whatever it may be.

Do you ever see a point at which you'll say good-bye to SEGA, or is this something you want to keep with you for a long time?

That was something I questioned for a long while. I tend to think of myself as a realist - I'm 28 years old, the likelihood of me getting a film career even doing something as small as making movies for SyFy channel is highly unlikely. But, say I was to make a living at it, I would still want to keep doing the SEGA stuff, because again nowadays people don't really realize, even gamers who grew up with it, it's like they kind of forgot about SEGA. SEGA did a lot of innovative things, and people just kind of brush it off and nowadays it doesn't help that SEGA is running itself into the ground.

They recently closed their European offices, which is a shame, they're concentrating more on apps for phones, when they do come out with a new IP, such as Binary Domain, they don't promote it. And, because of that, they're going down the shitter and I think that sucks because back when they were making consoles, they were the shit. Sure, they made a few mistakes ... still, I think SEGA is something that should be remembered.


After this point in the interview, everyone at the table began reminiscing about the glory days of SEGA, and classic video games in general. When we left for the night, we bumped into "Cosplay Burlesque", whom we interviewed late Saturday evening after their performance at a zombie rave.

The Beginning | Burlesque