I've been watching a whole ton of Steven Seagal: Lawman. That show is incredible. Did you know that, besides being a cinema action hero, Seagal has been a cop for over 20 years? (Well, according to the man himself, anyway.) And now, at least on US television, he's also a Reality Television Star.

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But according to game historian Frank Cifaldi in this fascinating vaporware retrospective, in 1993 -- which I estimate is about when Seagal began to pursue hobbyist lawmanship -- publisher TecMagic licensed the action star's likeness for use in a Genesis and SNES cross-platform game titled The Final Option.

seagal kick "At the time," Frank writes, "the project was being touted as the first example of a movie star -- rather than an actual movie -- licensed for use in a video game." (Fascinatingly, though Seagal's visage itself was licensed, his digitized video game character was portrayed by none other than Some Other Dude.)

Then Frank gives us this great morsel:

"Celebrities are more stable than films," TecMagik director of marketing Jeff Tarr told The Hollywood Reporter, saying that Seagal was specifically signed because of his film's performances in the video tape rental market, especially among the game-playing demographic.

Though it's left implicit, Cifaldi's column suggests that the partnership with Seagal largely contributed to publisher TekMagic's untimely demise. The Final Option never saw the light of day and, however arguably, Seagal's star, too, has faded. I keep trying to tie this all into something profound about how celebrity, too, has changed -- about how, in these modern times, you no longer need to be a "star" to be "famous" -- but I can't quite grapple the thought.

[1UP's Retro Gaming Blog: Lost Levels]