Pressing Pause

 

 

It’s true. I’m taking a break for the entire month of July, and I’ll be restructuring the site in August.

 

WHY YOU ASK???

 

  1. I’m no longer going to be using ROMs.

This was a decision I reached last week, and frankly, it came as a bit of a shock even to me. Questicle and Sega Does were built on ROMs. Without ROMs, these sites would not exist.

Most of you know I’m a Christian. I don’t really advertise it on the site, not because I’m ashamed, but because… this is a site about Sega games, not Christianity. Without going too overboard on details, God convinced me that I should no longer download or use any illegal ROMs.

If you don’t believe in God, I’m sure that sounds strange/nutty. That’s ok. Believe me, this wasn’t what I wanted to hear from Him, particularly with the goals and aspirations of the site. But I gotta be obedient. My relationship with God is more important than any blog.

So, no more ROMs. This is one reason why Sega Does is taking a break. I’m not going to stop reviewing Sega games. I’m just not sure how the blog is going to be handled. Am I only going to focus on North American titles now? Should I look for Japanese/European/Brazilian correspondents who would be willing to review games for their respective territories? I don’t know, but I’m open to suggestions.

 

  1. A break sounds lovely.

I’m not sure if y’all realize this, but I haven’t had a real break since I started the site over three years ago. Sure, I’ve had a period or two where I’ve only posted a review a week, but I’ve never not been working on the site. A month-long break sounds absolutely refreshing, and at this point, vital.

If you’re a patron for the site, you should have already received an e-mail with some of this info, in addition to information relating to your donation. If you’re a patron and you did not receive that e-mail/message, please let me know in the comments below.

This is not the end! In fact, I believe when the blog restarts in August, it will be a new beginning. I’m looking forward to how this all plays out.

If y’all have any questions or want me to elaborate more on my decision, feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I’m always happy to chat with folks.

Thanks, as always, for reading, commenting, lurking in the shadows. Your support means the world.

 

DC

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43 thoughts on “Pressing Pause

  1. Do what you gotta do man. You should probably recruit some correspondents from the retro gaming community if not then find some kind souls who’d be willing to lend you games to review. I shudder at the impossibility of buying all that software (I still refuse to pay that much fir Golden Axe Warrior ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    Godspeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds great. Looking forward to this “new game+” stage of Sega Does ๐Ÿ™‚

    It doesn’t make any sense to do things against His or your will.

    One thing you may want to be aware of, if it helps, is that you can actually buy legal Roms of Sega games (I think there are 43 or something there) on Steam. I’m not sure what exactly your exact direction and mission/calling is at the moment, but this may be something you’d be able to explore.

    Still, all the best and I appreciate the update. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for understanding, Paulo, and for letting me know about the games on Steam. I will definitely be pursuing legal emulation where/when it becomes available. Maybe Sega Forever will get fixed and become awesome? And also get put on the Switch? A man can dream.

      Like

  3. Like others have said, you’ve earned a break several times over by now Dylan. Maybe you should schedule a couple of decent breaks each year.

    I get it about the ROMs – hopefully there’ll be a morally digestible way for you to keep the obscure/international content coming, because you’ve been doing a marvellous job of it up to this point.

    Would you consider having placeholder articles for games you don’t own, with a short history and screenshots? Part of what makes Sega Does so amazing is the length you go to to contextualise games and present their history. I think that would still be valuable to the retro community even if you don’t play and rate those games. You could always come back to those articles when you’ve tracked down a copy of the game, or you could open them up to other contributors for the review portion.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Rom. And yeah, going forward, I think I will schedule more breaks. Maybe not a month, but at least a couple weeks here and there.

      “Would you consider having placeholder articles for games you donโ€™t own, with a short history and screenshots?”

      This… is actually a really cool idea that I never considered. I will seriously mull this over. Thanks buddy!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The placeholder idea is a really good one. Awesome for sticking with your convictions. It’s not easy, I know.

    I am reading a book from David Pierce and God is really teaching me to just obey Him. Your post couldn’t of come at a more appropriate time .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve always seen this blog as a gift! We have a saying in dutch (I don’t know wether there is an english equivalent): “You don’t look a given horse in its mouth!” It sounds way better in dutch though (Also the sentence is structured quite differently – Een gekregen paard, kijkt men niet in de bek!). It means: You ought not be overly critical about a present that you received! Anyways I’m genuinely grateful for what you have given us so far … and for whatever we might receive from you in the future!!!!

    “If you donโ€™t believe in God, Iโ€™m sure that sounds strange/nutty.”

    Well I don’t believe in God. But it doesn’t sound strange or nutty to me. And not just because I truly respect a person’s freedom to his or her religious views! But even more so because I have rather strong moral principles myself. It’s not because I derive my moral inclinations from other sources than god, that they are in anyway less profound/heartfelt or that they belong any less to a wider coherent moral framework. All this to say that I salute people guided by strong moral principles!

    I don’t know on wich exact moral grounds you oppose using ROM’s, as you have not elaborated on them. Perhaps the following ponderings (offered with sincere respect of your views) can serve as arguments (or not) in favor of continuing using ROM’s:

    While in a best case scenario our laws would be perfectly just/fair/MORAL/… and resemble a broad consensus in our society. In reality this is often not the case! For instance in the early sixties a lot of civil right groups’ actions, despite being morally right, were officially jugded illegal (a judgement sadly supported by a majority of the white population back then). On the other hand politicians today have a legal right, through legislation, to deny milions of people affordable healthcare. A grave moral injustice!

    The examples above are obviously extremes. They solely serve here to differentiate morality from legality. In no way would I want to link the trivial ROM issue to the aforementioned human rights issues.

    So yes it’s illegal to download ROM’s. But is it amoral?

    I would say INTENTIONS are pretty important in this regard!. (But than yet who gets to judge the intentions of other people???)

    – Do the people uploading these ROM’s seek money/fame or do they wish to preserve/share valuable media otherwise not easily obtainable?
    – What’s the reason for downloading a ROM?: A replacement for a legally owned but broke or useless (broken hardware/compatibillity) copy?/ Wanting your game experiences for free?/ A free trial in consideration of a legal purchase?/ reviewing the game and thus providing the public information?/…

    Wo will benefit from your legal buy?
    – the artists/designers/technicians/… responsible for the game?
    – the copyright owners? (By the way, Did they do enough to make the game available?)
    – retailers?
    – scalpers ? (an interesting article about these people: http://www.usgamer.net/articles/scalpers-and-collectors-battle-over-the-snes-classic-edition)
    – our economic system? – is it a fair system?

    Sorry for taking up so much of your time and blog space ;). It’s just that I’m really interested in all discussions relating to morality and videogames. Another topic that never gets discussed bye the way: Are/were videogames manufactured fairly? Was exploitative labor used in the production of cartridges/disc cases/…. what’s the ecological footprint of a game?

    Thank you verry much for running this excellent Blog. I look forward to your return in august!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You raise good points, Pieter, all points I’ve wrestled with at some point. It’s a frustrating situation. I think I may expand on this point in a blog post soon, particularly since so many people have brought up the ROM issue.

      And thank you for always leaving interesting, thought-provoking comments! I truly appreciate it.

      Like

  6. If I am reading this with my particular slant, I see a new Sega collector here. Welcome to the party! I can suggest as you bring physical games into your collection, do a review of them then. Also, perhaps a new series of posts when you come into a lot of carts at once? While the days of Funcoland deals are long gone, there are a few independent shops in Austin with a selection of games (Gamerz Galaxy, Gamefellas South, GameOver, and the ever-present Half-Priced Books). I did much the same by ditching my mp3s and searching for the CDs at thrift stores. I have not regretted it. Does this mean you would also collect vintage Nintendo from your earlier work? I have to admire the purity of the originals and your bravery for doing the right thing in this era of higher prices. Hey, less than the cost new at least! Be aware that the time between posts will increase and, please, don’t go dropping hundreds of dollars at one transaction: That is a recipe for burnout. Slow is the way to go, IMHO. Your audience of Sega fans knows all about dedication/patience after this long of being fans of the company.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “If I am reading this with my particular slant, I see a new Sega collector here. Welcome to the party!”

      Thanks ifkz! I don’t know if I’ll become a collector, per say. I imagine I’ll probably buy the game, play it, sell it back, and the cycle will continue like that. Unless I love the game, of course.

      I haven’t really thought that far ahead, but you’re right, Austin does have a surprising amount of independent retro game stores that will be useful. It’d be cool if I could partner with them in some way. Tell them about my quest, what I’m trying to do, then maybe they could advertise on the blog and I could “rent” games? I doubt it, but it’s one of several potential ideas.

      We shall see!

      Like

  7. Just remember, the only way to pay the creators (or more likely, the current rights holders) of an old game is via legal roms (ie Virtual Console) or other re-releases (ie the Disney Afternoon Collection). If you say, buy a game on eBay, the only people you are supporting are resellers.

    Personally I think it’s a shame that old games aren’t as easy to legally obtain as old movies or music.

    Liked by 1 person

    • While I’d love to support the creators, I know I can’t for most of the games I have left to play. ROMs are just illegal. I wish they weren’t. I think it’s silly that they are, but unfortunately, it is what it is. Reselling a game isn’t, so if I’m looking to complete this quest, this is the route I have to take.

      Like

  8. I don’t really see how this all plays out, unless you have considerable money to devote for fulfilling the original mission statement. I’d rather say it’s an impossible task. Though I could see it being possibly with a few thousand set aside to buy upcoming games on the secondary market, and resell them. And also maybe rely on donations of games and people lending games. (You can borrow any of my games for review of course, though the place your currently at, my collection is a little sparse since I sold the majority of my Genesis collection.)

    I don’t know exactly what God said to you, but I would consider using ROMS for anything not commercially available, as not stealing from anyone. Or no different than say checking out a library book. Which is like the large majority of the games you have to play. In some cases the company’s who made the games no longer exists. And then maybe just pay for stuff commercially available like VC releases (Wii, Wii-U, 3DS have a surprising amount of the library for sale.) maybe you could run that by the big guy upstairs. In my opinion dealing with digital files not being sold , your not stealing from anyone, certainly not collectors. I personally buy a ton of digital games that are available , even though I could emulate them. But sadly, no service exists that will let you play every game let alone 2-3 percent of them. Most of these games are lost to time. Also consider the only way to play games like Star Cruiser is probrably DL a ROM to apply the translation patch. Also I can assure you the publishers place very little value on the games that are available. What with some of the AT games boxes with 40 games selling dirt cheap, Genesis games on Steam being sub 1.00 for the most popular titles, and Sega launching a service making their back catalog (slowly) FTP.

    But I will agree a break is well deserved. Who wants to spend all summer playing games. (Besides me 12 years old.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think it’s impossible, but it will certainly require a rethink. And as you said, a good amount of money, which I frankly don’t have at the moment. I’ll be very curious to see how the rest of this month plays out. I feel as though things will be made clearer as July comes to a close.

      And for the record, I, Dylan, agree with you that I don’t see the harm in downloading a ROM for any game not commercially available. Especially if I were to delete it right after I play the game (unless it’s an RPG, I don’t usually need to play the game in two or more separate sessions). For some reason, this doesn’t make them any less illegal, and I think that’s the real issue here. As much as I personally don’t think it matters, if I take a step back, it’s still stealing. If I could find some provision in copyright law that says otherwise, I would definitely look into that. Otherwise, third-party resellers and/or generous lending through collectors will have to suffice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe you could reach out to a few Youtube shows and borrow games that way? The biggest one with a 300+ collection of carts is Mark from Classic Game Room; I think a lot of his collection was donated by viewers (so he may feel less of an monetary pull versus someone who shelled out for each game). In the past day or so he did a video of his Sega Genesis collection and he had a few rare duplicates. Maybe propose a lending library of sorts with a few carts sent back and forth in a flat rate envelope each month?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I mean if Jeremy Parish can do it for Game Boy Works. But he currently has a much larger Paterson base. And isn’t playing nearly as many games. (I think, I have no idea how large the actual GB library is.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, the GameBoy library is larger than that of SMD – and again, tons of games are exclusive to Japan, as is the case with NES/SNES.
        Which brings me to the next point – in the case of Japanese games translated into English, using ROMs (or flashcards at least) could be inevitable if you want to understand what’s going on. Being a translator myself, I truly hate the unofficial repro market with a seething passion. They usually never ask whether your translation could be used as a basis for their repros or not, and it’s all just a bloody farce. However, with groups such Super Fighter Team etc. it’s a bit different and more tolerable. Speaking of which, I hope they translate more Japanese exclusives for SMD, like Maten no Soumetsu or some other games.

        As to your decision – do what you think is best for you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully it all works out in the end!

        Liked by 1 person

      • “In the case of Japanese games translated into English, using ROMs (or flashcards at least) could be inevitable if you want to understand whatโ€™s going on.”

        This is a good point. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about this.

        Thanks for your support, though!

        Like

      • So legally if you buy the game, your entitled to make a back up copy or modify how you want. So you could always buy the game so you own it. Play the translation patch. (You could even dump you own ROM and apply the patch yourself if your so inclined)Then sell your game and delete the ROM. It’s always legal to copy something you own as long as you don’t give it away or sell it.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I applaud your decision to play only legit physical media. The decision will be challenging, but not impossible. There will those very rare titles that are expensive and hard to find.

    Perhaps you should start an Ebay store where you buy loose carts only at the lowest possible price and condition (just needs to play) and resell them as soon as your done with the review. You would probably need a few hundred bucks to get an inventory started, then your cash would start to flow from the sales after your reviews are done, then use that money to buy a new batch of upcoming games and so forth. You will loose money from ebay’s commision (I think they take 10%).

    Pehaps it’s time to go on a fundraising campaign to push more people to over to Patron to offset these expenses. Or perhaps publishing your writings into a real book like what gaminghistory101 has done?

    Maybe start a loaner program where if your readers could loan you a copy of the game, they could get rewarded somehow? I’ve got some games for you I’d loan out regardless of a reward.

    Just some thoughts, will be interesting to see how this works out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Jason, I appreciate your support and your ideas. There’s quite a few things I could do, and I’m considering most, if not all ideas. I’ll definitely keep you guys in the loop as it gets closer to August.

      Like

  10. Good on your for following your convictions. It’s not easy, and while it may prove to be challenging to continue the project w/o the use of emulators and ROMS (especially screenshots), it’s not impossible. For what it’s worth, I would be willing to help you out by sending you the occasional game to review, if it’s something I have in my collection, provided, of course, that you return them when you’re done ๐Ÿ™‚

    And you definitely deserve a break. These kinds of projects are exhausting, and when you put out arbitrary goals for yourself, it becomes hard to meet those. When I was running a weekly internet radio show, it became rote to put together the playlists each week, and it went from being a fun hobby to a chore, and that sucked all the fun out of it. With my Game Boy review project, it may take me a decade to get through the library at the snail’s pace I’m currently taking, but I take breaks as necessary, and leave time for my own gaming enjoyment outside of the project so I don’t get burned out. I suspect that, if you’re sticking to legal emulation and physical media, you may end up having to take a slower, much more measured approach, and I have little doubt that such a move would help you keep from experiencing that same burnout. Enjoy July off, and we’ll all be waiting curiously to see how things progress for Sega Does in the future, whatever the future holds.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Repentance and ROMs | Dylan In Transition

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