It all started with a blog post..
A few months ago I wrote a blog post about accessible gaming. The blog post detailed how the amazing charity Special Effect had opened up the world of gaming for my son Chase. Little did I know that this would start a chain of events that would culminate with us being invited to Sega Europe HQ and meeting Sonic the Hedgehog!
Shortly after writing my blog post Special Effect asked if I minded my details being passed over to David Lilley. David Lilley is the Managing Director of Gaming Events. I quickly received an email offering Chase and the family tickets to either EGX in Birmingham or EGX Rezzed in London! We’re very fond of EGX as it’s where we first discovered Special Effect. We decided to visit London as it’s much closer and also happened to be running on Chase’s Birthday. Massive thanks to David to reaching out to us and providing us with tickets for the day.
Chase and the rest of us had a great day checking out the new games as well as stopping in at the special effect stand. We then found the Sonic Mania stand. Chase absolutely loves playing Sonic Racing All Stars and immediately spotted then massive Sonic statue they had. We went over for a picture and Chase then asked to have a go of the game.
A lovely lady called Julie helped make a space for his wheelchair so he could play Sonic. We had a great chat with Julie about Special Effect and the amazing work they had done with Chase. We also talked about how much Chase loves playing Sonic All Stars Racing transformed. You can check him out in action here
At the end of Chase’s go Julie gave me her email address and said to send her details of Chase’s gaming story. And this is how we ended up with an invitation to visit Sega Europe HQ!
Visiting Sega European Head office
Fast forward a couple of months and we had a confirmed date and time to visit Sega Europe HQ. Chase (and to be honest, the rest of us) were ridiculously excited to be what we consider the European home of Sonic!
The reception at Sega HQ was amazing. Straight away we spotted the huge Sonic statue that we also saw at EGX Rezzed. We made sure we grabbed a picture once again with Sonic.
We were taken past some of the meeting rooms. All of the meeting rooms are themed based on a Sega game. I have to say Football Manager was one of my favourites as it had a massive football pitch drawn out of the floor on the meeting room. We went through to the board room and saw the absolutely massive screen Chase would later get the chance to play not one but two of the new Sonic games out for release later this year.
The Main Offices
First up was a tour round the office floor, we checked out a few of the other meeting rooms and said hello to lots of people working in graphics, PR, Law and HR.
We also went in the most amazing room that was filled to the brim with Sonic merchandise!
Back around the office again there was the most amazing area filled with retro consoles and games as well as a Virtua Striker arcade machine.
A full size tennis table caught Brooke’s eye and she wanted to have a match against one of us.
There was the most amazing 8 bit art wall here covered with loads of my favourite Sega retro console characters. Alex Kidd, Streets of Rage, Altered Beast, Golden Axe and Echo the dolphin were just some that we spotted.
We made our way into the office break room. There we stopped to have a drink whilst the kids had a biscuit each. Even the toilets had the most amazing Jet Set radio art on them
Testing Games at Sega European Head Office
Our next stop was a floor down to the mega top-secret testing floor. Continue reading