Thursday, March 16, 2017

Emulators Helping Restore Video Game History

Emulators are continuing to keep the games from yesteryear alive and well. We know that emulators tend to have a mixed reputation. Technically, they are legal to use. As long as we don't distribute and profit off the original source code of the games, then we are in the clear. But there are those who argue against them; claiming that games are being stolen (which is not the case 99% of the time) or that developers are being left out of the loop and not receiving any additional revenue for their work. It's also important to note that most emulator sites run off of donations. They can't legally sell the ROM's. There is a difference, and a number of them will follow the letter of the law.

But emulators also serve an even greater purpose: preservation of our gaming history.

If there is one thing the media is bad at, it's taking the time to save their history so that the future can enjoy, respect, and learn from the art. It took the film industry several decades to realize that they should probably take better care of their reels. So many black and white silent films will never be recovered due to poor preservation practices.

How do emulators help? They allow for games from older consoles and PC's to be playable on modern technology. In some cases, they have even saved games from the dumping ground such as Primal Rage 2, an unreleased sequel that had arcade cabinets produced. Using an emulator, coders and fans were able to help bring the game back from the grave for people to see. Even games that were not released, they deserve the same respect of preservation as any other game. Not so much to play them, but to see all aspects of gaming history. Good, bad, and everything in betwee.


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