I submitted a poem for an upcoming anthology about video games a little while back. It didn’t get accepted in the end, but I thought I’d publish it here rather than let it languish on my hard drive. I don’t claim to be a great poet, but it might make you smile if you remember Sega’s wonderful off-white machine.
The poem is about a time when I was working in GAME at around the launch of the Dreamcast in 1999. I would enthusiastically tell customers about how great the Dreamcast was, but they would inevitably buy a PS2 instead, which made sense. After all, the PS2 could play DVDs, and Sega’s last few consoles had been massive failures, so why take a risk? But the Dreamcast was weird, it was different, and I loved it – perhaps because I was a bit weird and different, too.
Too Quirky to Survive
Can I interest you sir, in a Sega Dreamcast?
Forget the Mega CD, the mushroom of shame
The Saturn’s last gasp, that’s all in the past
This is brand new, this is bright!
Down with black, in with white!
Does it play movies? Well no not exactly
But look how the memory card takes little batteries
And plays tiny games, like a wee Tamagotchi
On a teeny screen, big as your thumb
There’s nothing else like this under the sun
Does it have FIFA? Well football is boring
But have you talked with a sea man or gone taxi driving
Under Sega-blue skies? Or danced with Ulala?
Or caught a sea bass with a fishing controller?
Or fought ships in the sky as a pirate commander?
Yes Metal Gear 2, I know that it’s ace
But Shenmue lets you play Hang-On and race
In forklifts all day, and buy plastic capsules
And meet up with sailors, and fondle a cat
And really there’s no other game which does that
Now before you head off, just give me a second
To tell you about one thing I reckon will
Blow your mind: you can go online
And check your e-mail on console, or rescue mice
If you want to, and surely you want to play ChuChu.
No? Sticking with Sony you say? Well the PlayStation
Is OK I suppose, but I’d rather grind rails in Tokyo
Or fight Jack the Ripper, live a Phantasy life
So unique, so clever, so different, so, so…
What’s that you say though? Weird?
If you like. And you’re right. Call her quirky.
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