Witness the Life of a Sega Video Game Tester (in 1996)
Take a totally awesome look at Sega of America's headquarters in Redwood, California during the 1990s. “Sega Test” is an MTV-style “trainumenatry" that features Sega of America's test department in 1996. The 28-minute video was used to train new recruits and employees on the ins and outs of the video game company’s corporate office. Game testers would spend up to 90 hours a week playing new titles to try to find mistakes, glitches, and inconsistencies, while also evaluating how much fun a game was to play.
While the video offers a nostalgic look back at the video game industry in the mid-1990s, it also (inadvertently) captured an interesting time in Sega’s history. In 1996, when the video was made, Sega was trying to cover all corners of the market with both a new system—1995’s Sega Saturn—and add-on components like Sega CD and Sega 32X, which extended the life of its aging-but-beloved Sega Genesis. But the competition from other consoles, namely Nintendo N64 and Sony PlayStation, proved too much for the company. Five years later, in 2001, Sega stopped making hardware altogether when the Sega Dreamcast failed to live up to market expectations—making it game over for any more Sega consoles.
Images courtesy Green Mill Filmworks/Vimeo