The evolution of Sonic the Hedgehog

I decided to conduct research for my BCM215 Digital Artefact on the progression of Sonic the Hedgehog games, which have been one of my favourite series since I was a little child. 

            Sonic the Hedgehog is the title of a video game franchise. Sega publishes it, and applications are created by Sega, Sonic Team, Dimps, SIMS Co., Ltd., BioWare, and Sumo Digital. Sonic the Hedgehog, a video game for the Mega Drive video game device, launched the series in 1991. As of March 2011, the franchise had distributed 89 million copies worldwide, including platform games and spin-offs. This game’s concept is simple. You take on the role of Sonic, a blue hedgehog who can sprint faster than sound through a variety of challenges and stages. The goal is generally to complete the level while gathering rings, killing monsters, and fighting the enemy (José 2021).

            Analytical framework

            The fundamental analytical framework of my Digital Artefact is focused on structuralism. According to lecture week two, structuralism is engaged in the common organization and connections across texts, as well as the overlapping dynamics in their designs, with a focus on formal components such as setting, controls and interfaces, perspective, sound, graphics, and aesthetics. In particular, using structuralism, I will examine the direction of game development through three major factors: technology (platforms, versions, techniques), genres (education, racing), and design (visual, music, graphics). 


            I will investigate academic, journalism, media, and non-academic sources of information to support my analysis. The article “Timbre, Genre, and Polystylism in Sonic the Hedgehog 3” by Megan Lavengood is one illustration of an academic source I’d want to consult. This reference will provide you with essential information on the history of this game. However, I consider that for my research, I would use non-academic and media sources such as podcasts, software, gaming analytics websites, and game fan pages because I believe these materials will be more accessible and might provide more details than others. 

            Digital Artefact Plan

 I will be employing two programs at the same time to perform this DA. Every week, I will release my research blog on WordPress and a video on the same topic area on YouTube. By integrating these two platforms, I can diversify, avoid being tedious and repetitive and expand the viewership of my channel.

            Reference List:

8 responses to “The evolution of Sonic the Hedgehog”

  1. Hi Chau,

    Very interested in what you have so far. I’m an avid Sonic fan so I have more knowledge on this topic than I really should lol. One thing I’m interested in is how you’re going to approach talking about the history of these games. Are your weekly blog posts and videos going to cover different eras of sonic games, or are they going to cover specific games? The thing is with the sonic series is that it’s so large and diverse that you’d have a lot of ground to cover in a series of blog posts.

    I like the clear plan you have with this project as it helps to keep everything flowing well. I also like the framework that you’re going for. Again, sonic is a really diverse franchise and covering both technology and genre will help with narrowing things down.

    Best of luck for the rest of your DA!
    – Marcus


  2. Hey Chau! I’m intrigued by your choice to look at the topic of Sonic and can’t wait to see how you tackle the DA as you get further along with it.

    Overall, you’ve done an excellent job in making a pitch that is very easy to read and has allowed me to easily wrap my head around your project. Your frameworks seemingly will go in hand very well to produce a project you will be very proud of if you can put in the proper work.

    Through the use of a blog and video per week, I think you will have more than enough information researched to present a solid study of Sonic! Just a piece of mind though, don’t overwork yourself too hard and make unrealistic goals; e.g. too long of videos or too long of blogs, you don’t want to have too much work if you get what I mean!

    As I said previously, I’m keen for where this project goes and best of luck 🙂

    P.S. below are some links to what I believe could be useful!


  3. […] I demonstrated in the pitch, I will use my analytical framework to support my research for my digital artefact on the […]


  4. […] The Evolution of Sonic the Hedgehog […]


  5. […] I demonstrated in the pitch, I will use my analytical framework to support my research for my digital artefact on the […]


  6. Hi Chau,

    As someone who grew up on Sonic games and witnessed the evolution of the character and the game design philosophy firsthand, I am really interested in your project. I thought your pitch was well done; you communicated very clearly your intentions in analysis and the kind of media you are going to produce. The only thing I found lacking was an overarching direction for the project. I personally would have liked to see more than just “an analysis of how Sonic has changed”, maybe “I intend to discover in what ways Sonic has changed and WHY”, or something like that? I just think it would be much more interesting to go a little deeper, but maybe that’s just me.

    I also worry that you may have taken up too much work with both weekly blogposts AND YouTube videos. That’s a lot of work! I don’t think it is too late to change to just one or the other.

    By the way, I personally think that one of the biggest reasons for Sonic’s troubled transition into 3D is the nature of the original game design (go very very fast from left to right) was difficult to transfer to a 3D engine, whereas games like the Mario series, with more focus on platforming and exploration, were much easier to transfer. This resulted in a lot of ‘on-rails’ gameplay and constant cinematic cuts, first seen in the Sonic Adventure series on SEGA Dreamcast. While SEGA obviously struggled in terms of hardware and capital during the late 90s, I think this game design problem has much more to do with the evolution of Sonic games than SEGA’s capital issues do.

    I found this video essay by YouTuber Dave Lee Down Under, which covers the evolution of the series in detail. I think it is definitely worth a watch considering your topic:

    The books ‘Service Games: The Rise and Fall of SEGA’ by Sam Pettus also goes into detail on Sonic’s history, and may be useful if you can locate a copy of it.

    All in all: great pitch and I look forward to seeing your project evolve!


  7. […] Pitch 2: ‘The evolution of Sonic the Hedgehog’ […]


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