Hi there, my name is Joe Henthorn, and it really is surprising I haven't ended up here sooner. I suppose I should start with a little chronology, which is fun for me as an aspiring historian (which is a fact about me you should know!). I've been playing games for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is sitting on my uncles knee as a three year old, playing the brilliant "Alex Kidd in Miracle World" on the Sega Master System (it was the built in game. Built in!)
I suppose my Uncle was a kind of fanboy, and these earliest memories of him shouting at when I asked if "we could play Mario instead" obviously rubbed off on me because I was a Sega fanboy for the next 10 years (and to a certain extent, I suppose I still am). The superlative Mega Drive came next, which really cemented my love of gaming, and it was also this console that started to interest me in concepts such as Speed Running (I don't know if it was actually called that back then). I used to flick through defunct issues of Sega Power to find challenges, like finishing the first level of Sonic the Hedgehog in 30 seconds (my record ending up being 26, a skill I have unfortunately lost over the years).
I continued to back Sega throughout the dreaded Saturn era. I didn't even have any good games, not even NiGHTS, reportedly the best Saturn Game. I'm kind of proud of my unswerving loyalty in these circumstances, and the skills I developed defending the Saturn and the Dreamcast have probably helped me develop as an Historian. Argue, argue, argue. Although it was during this time that I slipped over to the dark side to play Playstation Games, like the first Metal Gear Solid and Crash Bandicoot 2. Oh, they were so good.
Obviously, the DC was next. I loved this little machine - so small and cute! The graphics were brilliant (the first Soul Calibur game still looks passable today!), the games were excellent, and the concept of online play was nothing short of revolutionary (although it ended up being a failed revolution, much like 1848 in Germany I suppose). Ty title he Dreamcast also provided me with my favourite game of all time thus-far, a fairly obscure JRPG called "Skies of Arcadia", which was absolutely amazing and beats any Final Fantasy title you care to mention, I reckon. Try it!