The Michael Jackson Conspiracy Involving…a Video Game?

Could this connection between Michael Jackson and Sonic the Hedgehog be true? Or is this another Internet delusion?

When Ben Mallison was a child in the early 90s in Manchester, England, his favorite video games featured Sonic, a blue hedgehog who wore red-and-white, Michael Jackson-style boots. Ben was a “Blue” — a hardcore Sonic fan. “I always batted for Sonic over Mario,” he remembers. He watched Sonic cartoons. He wore Sonic T-shirts. He carried Sonic pencil cases and backpacks to school. He slept in Sonic pajamas. He owned every Sonic game for the Megadrive — the game system known in the U.S. as the Sega Genesis — and its successor, the Sega Saturn. He collected “Sonic the Comic,” a biweekly magazine.

Ben and his friends loved trying to solve the mysteries surrounding Sonic. The games were full of Easter eggs and secrets: not only hidden bonus levels, but also art, sounds and even characters that were planned and then discarded. Some Blues went further, unearthing scrapped prototypes and unlocking beta versions of Sonic games. The quest for hidden features was at the center of Sonic fandom.

It gets weird. Really.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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