RIP, Michael Jackson, King of Pop and Arcade fan
By the time you read this, you have probably already heard of the death of Michael Jackson, who died just a few hours ago of a cardiac arrest. While fans will pay tribute to his musical career (which is undoubtedly one of the most influential career’s in music of the modern age), Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report has penned a tribute to the King of Pop that also focuses on a lesser known aspect of the man – his love for arcade games and in particular of Sega-made machines. In fact he even starred in a couple of arcade titles, one was Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, made by Sega and the other is discussed below. You might remember that it was only a couple months ago when an auction company was going to sell off his entire arcade collection, but that fell through as he wanted to hold on to it. While he was embroiled in controversy in recent years, people will certainly remember him more for his music than anything else. RIP MJ
Here’s Mr. Williams arcade tribute to MJ:
The sad news of Michael Jackson’s passing at 50 years old marks the loss of an influential star in the music universe – but also an individual that was shaped by his loves. One of his loves being video amusement.
Michael Jackson’s links to the amusement and attraction scene had been a constant, a love affair started when he was younger having been denied gaming when in the Jackson Five – never growing up, he started to feed his craving to play after leaving the group.
After starring in the Walt Disney 3D film attraction ‘Captain EO’, in 1986 (closed in 1994), Michael had followed the latest amusement titles having amassed a major collection over the years – a bone of contention as this collection was attempted to be auctioned, along with much of his property from the NeverLand personal theme park he created.
Michael had established a good relationship with key executives at Sega over the years, and it was obvious that they would try and put him into their games. He was first immortalized in the 1990 arcade title ‘Michael Jackson – Moon Walker’. A game with a unique style that continued the MJ cult based on the film of the same name, having his direct input in the development of the eclectic title.
However less well known, Michael Jackson was the lead character in the SEGA Advance Simulator-One amusement experience ‘Michael Jackson’s – Scramble Training’ launched in Japan in 1992/3 for the JOYPOLIS series of venues. The innovative AS-1 interactive simulator a unique game experience – in 1993 the game was re-edited with Michael Jackson’s removal.
At this time there were rumors of other games having been developed based on the Michael brand, but no others materialized and his involvement with the JOYOLIS venue (and Disney) was dropped, all this after allegations of abuse started in late 1993.
Whatever your feelings over his music or lifestyle – a major African American celebrity with an influence on video games has passed. RIP MJ
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