Ever dreamed of coming to a fan convention that pays tribute to SEGA’s line-up of video games, chat with other fans and meet guests that worked on your favorite SEGA titles? Kori-Maru here to bring you my impressions and experience hosting the second year of Fan Jam, a event dedicated to the SEGA fan community. Hit the jump to read what went down at this year’s event!
After the success of last year’s Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam event, I immediately devised a plan to make the next one bigger and better by opening a donation page for gamers to contribute as much as they can to make Fan Jam 2015 an awesome event for all SEGA fans. We have had several support from other SEGA fansites and dedicated gamers as they gradually spread the word about our event. In the end we raised enough money to cover the expenses for guests, games and prizes. Special shoutout to the Brotaku group for helping us out with several gaming marathon funding streams.
For 2015, the theme for Fan Jam 2015 was to focus on Shenmue’s 15th Anniversary (and this was before the 3rd game’s announcement at E3) by having the English voice actors from the games appear at the event. So as a gift to the Shenmue community we featured invited Lisle Wilkerson, known for her work on Shenmue II, Crazy Taxi and Virtua Fighter series. We also had Corey Marshall, Eric Kelso, and Paul Lucas as Skype guests. For fans of the Sonic Adventure series, we wanted to invite the former VA for Sonic the Hedgehog during that era, Ryan Drummond to SEGA Fan Jam. Unfortunately due to certain events, he was unable to make it to the party though he did leave a special message for the fans which you all can see after scrolling down.
Like the last event, Fan Jam was once again held at The Guild Hall in Savannah, Ga in a updated event space. We got the chance of showing off new and old SEGA games such as Sonic Lost World, Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax International Version, Virtua Fighter Kids, and Virtua Cop 2.
As Fan Jam opened to the public, many fans from Georgia, including Florida and New Jersey were excited to see a Sonic & SEGA fan event happen near the area. We had even more people show up than last year!
In order to make Fan Jam more interesting than last year we included more panels, fan films, gaming tournaments, and the newly added Artist Alley section. Some of the panelist that showed up for Fan Jam were very huge fans of their favorite SEGA franchises. Matt Mannheimer of Tails Channel as there and showcased the latest update on Sonic MisAdventures with a new trailer. DonkeyDude discussed his experience working on several voice acting gigs on various Sonic fan projects along with showing off his new series, Ask Tails Doll. Lucas Bradley of Team Dream as he and his other team members shown off an upcoming Sonic fan film, Jewels of Miracles.
Panelist from other SEGA fansites also came in to represent their favorite franchises. Seth from Puyo Nexus hosted a mini Puyo Puyo Tetris contest and gave 101 lesson about the series to the attendees. Justin Todd who happend to be sporting a kick ass Ryo Hazuki cosplay from last year came and once again represented Shenmue500k with a retrospective of the franchise.
Artist Alley featured two talented artist:
- SEGA Mew of Hidden Palace made these cool Sonic keychains featuring awesome artwork of Hipster Sonic from Sonic Boom.
- Tracy Yardley came back as a special guest selling Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comics, drawing commissions for attendees. He even made this amazing poster for Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam 2015 featuring SEGA characters from the retro and modern era. Can you name them all?
The attendees also really enjoyed the fan films at Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam 2015 and we hope that these filmmakers continue to make more films based on SEGA franchises. I have linked all the films for you all to give a shout out to these talented filmmakers on their YouTube Channels:
- Sonic: Sweet Dreams by SonicPox
- SEGA Shorts in 6 minutes by Roger
- Illbleed: Live Action Grindhouse Trailer by Megasteakman
- Bare Knuckle: Streets of Rage by Basil Masters
- Shenmue: Suka High by Rising Tiger Productions.
Lastly we’ve ended the event with the Shenmue 15th Anniversary panel featuring Lisle Wilkerson, Paul Lucas, Eric Kelso, and Corey Marshall. The panel was filled with passion and laughter (Thanks to Eric Kelso) as the Shenmue VA cast expressed their experience with the voice acting industry including how they’ve worked together on several video game projects, how they’ve met fans who supported the series throughout the years and discussed about their thoughts about the upcoming Shenmue III.
Once Fan Jam was over, I’ve invited panelist and my friends to a Japanese buffet with Lisle Wilkerson. It was a blast having fellow gamers and a famous video game voice actress to chat with. Hope to do this with other guests if Fan Jam continues to grow as big as other Sonic fan conventions such as Sonic Revolution and Weston Super Sonic.
Once again, I would like to thank everyone who supported Fan Jam throughout the whole year including Aaron Webber and Sam Mullen of SEGA of America for the inspiration. Be sure to support them by checking out the games of SEGA’s fall line-up including Sonic Lost World, Hatsune Miku Project Mirai DC, Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax, and Yakuza 5. All these titles are available now.
If you would like to check out or would like to attend Fan Jam next year. head to our event’s website for more updates coming shortly next year. Leave a comment of what you would like to see at next year’s event.