Australia is set to have a nice surprise come Sonic’s birthday – an official SEGA exhibit all about Sonic the Hedgehog! And leading fan website, The Sonic Stadium, is being profiled as an example of Sonic fan culture at the event.
The exhibit, taking place and organised by the Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI) will be the second ever video games event the establishment has held, and is fully supported by SEGA-Europe and THQ Australia, who distribute SEGA games in the land down under.
In an agreement between ACMI and The Sonic Stadium, video footage will be recorded of this website, with added voiceovers and information detailing what the site provides in context of fan culture, and displayed in a special section of the Sonic the Hedgehog exhibit. It will be accompanied by a text panel discussing the fan culture surrounding Sonic the Hedgehog, which mentions fangame development such as the popular ‘Neo Sonic Universe’.
The show will also feature playable Sonic the Hedgehog games, new and old, from Sonic 1 on Mega Drive to Sonic Heroes on SEGA PC. The Sonic Stadium has invited site fans in Australia to attend a special opening of the event, and help report on the exhibit exclusively for SONIC NEWS and TSS.
“This is a very exciting time, for not only The Sonic Stadium website, but for the fan culture of Sonic the Hedgehog,” said Svend Joscelyne, founder and head administrator of The Sonic Stadium and it’s network of related Sonic fansites. “Being featured in an official exhibit such as this will hopefully build further bridges and bring established fansite and official establishment closer together, rather being held at a 50-foot arm’s length.”
Contacting SEGA Europe about the decision of the inclusion of a fan website in an official exhibit, we found that the decision was likely made by the ACMI organisers themselves and THQ Australia, but agrees that as ACMI are a government organisation all dealings made for the event has to be approved officially. Indeed, an earlier idea to include playable fangames at the exhibit was refused by SEGA and THQ as it would have proved troublesome for them, according to ACMI. SEGA wishes The Sonic Stadium team the best of luck with the event.
The ACMI Sonic exhibit will be hosted in the ‘Games Lab’ area of the building, and will open the day before Sonic the Hedgehog’s 14th birthday – Wednesday 22nd June. It will stay open to the public until Sunday 2nd October. It will include special Sonic events including Sonic Eyetoy on PlayStation 2 and Sonic X screenings, of which admission is free. Find out more information about the ACMI and the Sonic exhibit by visiting its website.
The Sonic Stadium’s involvement in this event is part of a busy schedule ahead for Svend Joscelyne and the TSS Team, as they help promote the SAGE fangame event, launch their summertime awards ceremony, the Sonic Site Awards, prepare a special report from Tokyo, Japan, working on a secret project for its “Operation Grandslam”, and celebrates its fifth birthday on October 24th.