Among retro gaming fans Tom Kalinske is somewhat of a celebrity now more so than ever thanks to the runaway success of Blake J. Harris’ book Console Wars which will soon be adapted into a documentary and eventually a feature film.
Even if gamers don’t know his name, they know his work. He was responsible for crafting Sonic the Hedgehog’s image, changing him from a from a figure with sharp fangs, a rock band, and busty girlfriend named Madonna, into the video game icon that Sega introduced in 1991. He was a pioneer of handheld gaming, online gaming, and video game ratings. He took video games from being products aimed at kids to a something that adults wanted to put in their living rooms.
Recently Kalinske did an interview with moderators of the subreddit /r/retrogaming, a discussion forum on reddit. The interview was conducted by myself as well as Daniel Schield for the /r/retrogaming Podcast. We not only retreaded information covered in Console Wars, but also new ground that isn’t well known and stories that have never been told before.
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