My screen name is sirbargearse but my name is Brian Costelloe. I'm 38 and consider gaming as more than just a past time. It's a culture! I can remember thinking Space Invaders was so cool when released in the early 80's. The sight of a spacies machine in the original cabinet at the local milkbar is something I'll remember for the rest of my life. Playing the cocktails tabled version for the first time was damn "skillfull"!
Game & Watches were another thing I remember when casting my memories back that far. Basically I've had a fixation for games since then. I didn't actually own a console till 1986 though. It was a Sega SC-3000 PC. Getting a new game for that thing meant mail order. I'd check the letterbox like a crackhead trying to find a hit! LOL
Gaming was one thing. The collectable game related merchandise was another! I love hunting down anything that is related to video games. I've got mostly Sonic the Hedgehog stuff like Sonic basketball, Sonic Curtain holder, Sonic Money box. You get the drift. When I was in highschool getting EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly) was such a buzz. Seeing what new titles were being announced was all I would be focused on. I collected mostly UK magazines as I found them more entertaining and less commercialised. I was so interested in gaming mags I just had to do something about it. So "The Sega Times" was born. The Sega Times was a fanzine that I put together all by myself with nothing more than a dot matrix printer, SC-3000 PC and a friend who owned a Photocopier. I'd print the articles out on paper and "blu-tack" them onto a "bromite" master page along with cut outs of gaming images I'd find in magazines relating to articles I had written. I'd draw (rather crudely) the covers to the magazines and I'd print up about 50 of these and sell them at $3 a pop. I'd send Sega (known locally as Ozisoft at the time) a complimentary copy in the hope of getting games sent to me for review. It worked. Not only did I get games sent but also get news of new titles, release dates and general gaming gossip. I did this fanzine for about 6 months before it landed me a job in the Big Blue, Sega.
Worked in Sega from 1991 to 1993 mostly in the Sega Hotline answering kids queries on gaming related problems. Most of the callers were from kids but alot of parents use to call up as well with problems on games like Alex Kidd in Miracle World or Phantasy Star. You'd get some nutcases phoning up trying to play pranks on us but we thrived on that sort of stuff so much they usually would get scared and stopped calling! During my time in Sega I also did reviews for Megazone magazine. Megazone was an all format mag distributed in Australia and New Zealand. Bias as hell though as it was owned by distributor of Sega games. But my personal reviews mostly remained unchanged.
After a few years of reviewing games, answering frustrated gamers calls and doing roadshows of games in local shopping centres I moved onto to work in a local gaming shop called The Gamesmen. But while working there I was continuing reviews for a new magazine called Hyper. But I was now an outsider. Contributor only and not an in house writer. As a result my association with the magazine dwindled and eventually the reviews stopped. I've been out of the gaming scene since. I was glad to have been in the industry during one of the most innovative and exciting periods. The early 90's have often been described as the Golden Age of games. I agree 100%. Now I just own a Nintendo DSi, Xbox 360, PS2, PS3 and hoping to get a Sony Vita soon. My collection of games are mostly 90's titles but at 400 games all up, I don't get bored much!