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Emulators – Nostalgia or Nuisance?

Growing up in the 90s, I played a lot of what we now call classic video games. From Sonic the Hedgehog to Mario; Pac-Man to Tetris, I think I’ve played some of the greatest games of the early eras of video games and I’m happy to keep playing modern games. Now comes a time that these older consoles aren’t as easy to get a hold of, but there are ways to go ahead and get games of yesteryear.

Here on Ubuntu, there’s a wealth of emulators available for a variety of different old school consoles. Windows has even more native built emulators and I’m sure Macs have more unique ones to add to this list. With this in mind, I thought I’d pause and pose an open question to all of you.

Kega Fusion on Ubuntu

Kega Fusion start static on Ubuntu – Nostalgic!

What are your thoughts on emulators?

Now, considering I’m a fan of video games, I see them as a potential nuisance for a company. There’s a chance all of their hard work is stolen away by these emulators, which allows people to play whatever game they want on whatever device: But then there’s the gamer inside of me that says that it’s time we embrace the openness of open source and share older games without scrutiny. It’s a seriously grey legal area, so what are your thoughts on emulation?

I personally feel that emulators should be legal if a console is past a certain age, in hopes to provide users access to a console they might not be able to get. For example, SNES certainly isn’t still in production and a lot of video games from the SNES era are considered a “must play”. Same as how a book can end up for free in a library, is it so wrong to presume that video games get the same sort of catalogue available to the public?

Let me know what you feel about the subject in the comments below or on our Facebook or Twitter pages. As a gamer, as a developer, as a reviewer – Whoever you are, what’s your stance on emulation?

5 responses

  1. Murray Butler

    I never usually emulate games, especially if the game is available through some means (no matter how difficult).
    Though I would make an exception if it was a game I wanted to play and it wasn’t commercially available (a cancelled game or a game never released outside of it’s home country (Japan being most prominent))
    I also think the law is open to interpretation (Warning: No legal background) as the emulator itself isn’t the legal issue, it’s the ROMs themselves, and if we begin discussing about that, we get into the subject of independent teams rescuing abandonware and the legal grey area that can occupy.

    TL;DRADC (Too Long; Didn’t Read and Didn’t Care) Emulation is only okay in my eyes in the game is commercially unavailable

    Like

    September 14, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    • Great comment!

      I’m with you here. I normally will buy the game – But this is a subject that’s really been intriguing me recently. You’re absolutely right that the emulators themselves aren’t the legal issue (Although there have been some claims against emulators, such as the Bleem! situation.)

      Like

      September 14, 2015 at 9:17 pm

  2. I love emulators. It allows players to still enjoy titles that aren’t available on current gen systems. It’s also a handy way of capturing footage if making videos is your thing.

    Like

    September 15, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    • Thats a part I am really curious about: is it legal to record an emulated game? You made the footage from, potentially, an illegal source :P potentially!

      Liked by 1 person

      September 15, 2015 at 6:16 pm

  3. Personally, I think emulators are a necessity for games that have received no localization outside of their country of origin. I’ve played many such games such as Live A Live, Treasure of the Rudras, the fourth Fire Emblem game, and Prosecutor’s Path, the sequel to Ace Attorney Investigations. With the exception Treasure of the Rudras, which I played with a physical cartridge, I experienced those games on emulators. It’s really cool how fans can make their own translations and allow greater accessibility to these (understandably) underrated classics.

    Like

    September 15, 2015 at 11:16 pm

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