On Christmas of 2000, I received a present. It was the Sega Dreamcast, and it was the future.
I played it upwards of six hours some days when I was a kid. It was always the first thing I ran to after completing my homework. But then I watched as stores began to stock less and less games. I still remember the first time we went to Target and they had none. "Look into burning games", said the Target employee. "You can burn Dreamcast games."
The optical drive broke a few days later, officially ending that early Sega-dominant chapter of my video gaming life.
I never forgot the Dreamcast, even as I moved onto the Gamecube, PS2, and pretty much every console except for the original Xbox which I probably really would have enjoyed. In 2009 I bought a refurbished VA0 DC for $40 after a guy said that would be cheaper than repairing the one I had, but I still couldn't figure out how to burn. It took me until June 2017 to finally sit down with my Macbook and figure that out once and for all. The first game I ever burned was the Toejam and Earl 3 beta, one of my favorite childhood franchises and a game I surely would have owned had it been formally released.
Since then I've been enjoying something of a personal Dreamcast renaissance. I've got a VGA box, arcade stick, official GDEMU, Dreamconn+, DreamPi and everything else I never got a chance to enjoy back in those early days. Recently I've been waiting on news about the DreamPort, Doom Online, and thinking about trying my hand at some rudimentary Dreamcast programming. I've never had an experience like this with a gaming system but then again the Dreamcast is a special thing. I look forward to learning more from all of you!