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Gaming History You Should Know – Sega’s Genesis Modem May 30, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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It’s Sunday, welcome back to a new Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the best and most important independently produced gaming documentaries from across the web. As a PC user back in the mid-90s, I was strongly aware of the fact that I could use my PC to play games with people all over the world. Since high-speed internet utilities did not exist for residential consumers at that time, the only way I could get on the internet was with a telephone modem. For those of you who don’t know what that is, a modem would hook into a telephone land-line, and similar to how a FAX machine functions, and (depending on the configuration) transmits data either between two computers or one computer and their ISP. It was very slow, with even tiny downloads that would take hours, and very prone to disconnection but at the time it was the only way to play games online against people all over the world.

During the 16-Bit Gaming Wars, there were several attempts by console makers and their third-party hardware manufacturers to bring an online multiplayer experience to their game consoles. This was an interesting choice as game consoles typically supported two-to-four player gaming (depending on whoever else was on the couch with you at the time), and because of that online gaming was less of a priority. However, there were attempts. Today we are going to see the story of one of those attempts.

Enter Norman Caruso, better known as the Gaming Historian, with a documentary about the first attempt Sega made to bring a modem to their game console, the Genesis. If you had any interest in Japan’s gaming history, you need to give this video a watch!

As a person who lived in North America at the time, I vaguely remembered multiple attempts by Sega to incorporate a modem into their consoles over the years. The most successful of which was probably the modem that shipped with the Sega Dreamcast.

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