Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3873 posts) -

Being an iphone owner and having come from owning a Blackberry (shudder) Android has always been something I've heard about, but have had no experience with. It's always seemed like a potentially great platform with very few devices actually taking full advantage of what it can do, or just doing it poorly. My opinion has changed lately, in large part due to the Nexus 7, the first Android tablet that actually seems really great. I finally decided over the weekend to pull the trigger on the 16 GB model and holy crap is it ever rad.

In addition to not being as stupid expensive as an ipad, the thing that's totally great about this device, and Android in general, is the availability of emulators. It's probably somewhat telling about what I've been using it for that the $25 credit that was included with the Nexus has been almost completely spent on emulators. Being able to play pretty much any game from the N64 and PSOne on back, on a nice looking decent sized screen AND with great controls ala Wiimote compatibility...awesome...just AWESOME.

Guess who missed out on Earthbound. This guy. Guess who's gonna play it now. Same guy.

The question is, however...am I a pirate? Have I done bad? I'm not gonna pretend I own every game I've downloaded a rom for, but the way I see it, if I can't walk into a store and buy a game, or purchase it online from Steam or GOG, if there's zero legal way to buy the game new...I don't feel that bad. I've never pirated a game outside of this, I rarely ever even buy used games, I like supporting developers. I've downloaded an album or an ebook here and there but again, I try not to, I wanna support the people who create the stuff I like.

BONK!

So what say you? Is downloading the roms for the Sega Master System version of Space Harrier and the Turbo Grafx16 version of Bonks Adventure bad in your opinion? Or not a big deal. Lets keep it civil if we can. Do it for the kids.

#1 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3873 posts) -

Being an iphone owner and having come from owning a Blackberry (shudder) Android has always been something I've heard about, but have had no experience with. It's always seemed like a potentially great platform with very few devices actually taking full advantage of what it can do, or just doing it poorly. My opinion has changed lately, in large part due to the Nexus 7, the first Android tablet that actually seems really great. I finally decided over the weekend to pull the trigger on the 16 GB model and holy crap is it ever rad.

In addition to not being as stupid expensive as an ipad, the thing that's totally great about this device, and Android in general, is the availability of emulators. It's probably somewhat telling about what I've been using it for that the $25 credit that was included with the Nexus has been almost completely spent on emulators. Being able to play pretty much any game from the N64 and PSOne on back, on a nice looking decent sized screen AND with great controls ala Wiimote compatibility...awesome...just AWESOME.

Guess who missed out on Earthbound. This guy. Guess who's gonna play it now. Same guy.

The question is, however...am I a pirate? Have I done bad? I'm not gonna pretend I own every game I've downloaded a rom for, but the way I see it, if I can't walk into a store and buy a game, or purchase it online from Steam or GOG, if there's zero legal way to buy the game new...I don't feel that bad. I've never pirated a game outside of this, I rarely ever even buy used games, I like supporting developers. I've downloaded an album or an ebook here and there but again, I try not to, I wanna support the people who create the stuff I like.

BONK!

So what say you? Is downloading the roms for the Sega Master System version of Space Harrier and the Turbo Grafx16 version of Bonks Adventure bad in your opinion? Or not a big deal. Lets keep it civil if we can. Do it for the kids.

#2 Posted by TooWalrus (13206 posts) -

I say, ain't nothin' wrong with a little emulation. I use an Xperia Play just for that reason. Hey, I've got to be playin somethin' during long lectures. 
 
If a wholehearted love of Donkey Kong Country makes me a pirate, then damn it, let's drink some rum... together. Oh, I think talk of emulation is actually against the forum rules, so inb4lock?

#3 Posted by BaneFireLord (2935 posts) -

From a legal standpoint, yes you are. Also, this thread is going to be locked.

#4 Posted by SexyToad (2760 posts) -

Well I would think its okay if you own the game but I found out today that it's not. It's still illegal. That's the part I don't get. I would see a problem in downloading games you don't own a form of. But if you own the game I think it should be okay to own a ROM copy.

#5 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3873 posts) -

@TooWalrus said:

I say, ain't nothin' wrong with a little emulation. I use an Xperia Play just for that reason. Hey, I've got to be playin somethin' during long lectures. If a wholehearted love of Donkey Kong Country makes me a pirate, then damn it, let's drink some rum... together. Oh, I think talk of emulation is actually against the forum rules, so inb4lock?

I'm always down for rum. Wasn't aware of the illegality of discussing this though. I'll brace myself for a locking.

#6 Posted by Akyho (1654 posts) -

@BaneFireLord said:

From a legal standpoint, yes you are. Also, this thread is going to be locked.

Legal yes, Thread lock maybe not.

Emulators and Roms are a fact of gaming right now. The problem is the laws on copy write are archaic on all media.

We need a right good update to it all, that dosnt mean that an update will completely legalize Emu's and Roms. However it will give us a better frame work of how the law perceives it.

I myself have been getting feverish to play roms more portable than at a pc. I just simply want to play the Super Robot wars series of games in English. Which there is a few translation patches that need an emulator.

I am trying to acquire an psp and hack that, as everyone totes it as the ultimate emulator. Would help me play ps1 games.

OF WHICH IF I USE ROMS OF PS1 GAMES THAT I AM CERTAINLY BREAKING THE LAW.

As Sony is selling them on psn. That I will have to buy and not DL.

The argument for roms like nes/snes/genisis and the likes. is the hazy part.

Only recently have they started to be more serious about re releasing.

The general thought on Roms is. "Can you buy it legally from the people that hold the license right now?" if the answer is yes "BUY IT!" if the answer is no "Emulator away."

#7 Edited by Mirado (993 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy: Did someone say rum? I thought I heard someone say rum. Are we up to drink rum?

Thread locking aside, I agree 100% with your sentimentality. If I can't pay whoever owns the IP, then I don't shed a tear. I assume navigating the murky waters of copyright law prevents most companies from releasing games into some sort of unified nostalgia store (or, y'know, because they haven't figured a way to monetize it to their satisfaction yet), but if a service is not provided to get your hands on a game, and if the game in question is out of print (so only overpriced ebay carts are left), then go forth with my blessing (for what it's worth).

Now, to that rum...

EDIT: Of course, I'm not going to bother addressing the legality of the argument as I think it's pretty clear what the holders of those properties think ("Just because you can't buy the game from us doesn't mean you should be playing it for free) but, fuck `im. If they want my money which I am happy to give, create a way for me to do so.

#8 Posted by Snail (8606 posts) -

I don't think the people who did those games care at this point: as a matter of fact, if anything, they're probably glad there's an easy way for people to play their decades-old games in the current day and age. It's not like they'd be making any money off of it. Actually I think I bought Bonk's Revenge on the Wii Virtual Console. That kind of service might be a counter-argument to my previous statement.

I regret that purchase.

#9 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3873 posts) -

@Akyho: Totally agree that copywrite laws are completely outdated, seems like a hard thing to fix but somebody should.

@Mirado: Plenty of rum for everyone on this ship. Rum and scurvy.

@Snail: Hmm totally forgot about Virtual Console. That makes me feel a little less justified...a little.

#10 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4352 posts) -

Playing Mario RPG on my Galaxy Nexus brought back some awesome childhood memories so it's cool not having to jailbreak an iphone do the same thing, but I'm going back to iphone when I can because I'm not that invested in emulators or customizing my phone a lot.

#11 Posted by believer258 (11922 posts) -

I of course agree. I really like emulators and roms, and those seem to be doing a pretty good job of preserving old games where, due to copyright laws, companies can't seem to do that themselves very well (or they abuse the power).

Yeah, it's technically pirating, but if you download a 20 year old game to play on the train to and from work or during your lunch break or during class or whatever, nobody fucking cares. The copyright owners might but most of them seem more concerned with keeping out pirates of modern games rather than pirates of games they stopped supporting ten, fifteen, twenty years ago.

Online
#12 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

Technically you are a pirate, but "morality" and "the law" are not synonyms, so who gives a fuck.

#13 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

It's one thing to pirate games that aren't supposed to be lapsed copyrights. It's another to play games that should be available for free to the public. They aren't going to get a sale on those because they aren't being produced anymore, and tracking down a way to play those games in their original form can be difficult to impossible if they aren't the more common games/systems. Plus, those kinds of games rarely stand up to the typical sit down and play a console game experience, but are great for handheld gaming. You could argue that many of the games are available on other services, but again, those should have been available to the public ages ago, so I don't really think you should worry yourself. Nintendo is making plenty off of the current Mario games and will never make anything off of a SNES Mario cartridge today. Ya aren't stealing, no matter who says you are.

#14 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3873 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: Yeah that's kinda my thought. As much as I'd like to get the systems and the games I don't really have the room or cash to go after all that stuff right now. Maybe down the road but for now it's great to be able to play some of this stuff. I can finally see why Earthbound is so great.

#15 Posted by louiedog (2335 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy said:

Being able to play pretty much any game from the N64 and PSOne on back, on a nice looking decent sized screen AND with great controls ala Wiimote compatibility...awesome...just AWESOME.

Out of curiosity, do you own a laptop?

#16 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3873 posts) -

@louiedog said:

@TheSouthernDandy said:

Being able to play pretty much any game from the N64 and PSOne on back, on a nice looking decent sized screen AND with great controls ala Wiimote compatibility...awesome...just AWESOME.

Out of curiosity, do you own a laptop?

no sir. just a desktop

#17 Posted by George_Hukas (1317 posts) -

Sucks this thread will get locked.. its happens over less. I mean, we can Quick Look games in MAME but can't talk about it in the forums.. so retarded.

Pleasuredome 4life

#18 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy: To be clear, I think "don't have the cash" is a bullshit excuse. But in this case, it's just hard to aquire the means to play the originals at this point, so it's sometimes the only way to easily play this stuff. You can't really just go to Best Buy or Wallmart (or any retail location that I know of) and pick up a SNES and a bunch of carts.

#19 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3873 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: well no, I don't want to spend the money on a CRT and the systems and the carts on eBay. So while yes technically I do actually have the cash in my possession saying "I dont have the cash" is accurate enough for the purposes of this thread

#20 Edited by ShaggE (6459 posts) -

I'm not going to get into an unwinnable argument, so I'll just say that classic emulation and abandonware (and I mean abandonware, not "every PC game over ten years old") are understandable to a degree, and I lean towards the "pro" side.

I find game curation to be highly important, and if certain laws were followed by everybody, a LOT of games would be lost to the public.

#21 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy: The point is that "I dun wanna/can't spend money on -insert thing A-" doesn't mean it's ok to steal it. Short of that thing being sustenance.

#22 Posted by JoeyRavn (4974 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy said:

My opinion has changed lately, in large part due to the Nexus 7, the first Android tablet that actually seems really great.

That seems like an extremely limited view on the Android tablet market. I couldn't disagree more.

#23 Posted by WilliamRLBaker (4777 posts) -

I've always been confused as to just how emulators can be charged for on these platforms...free? I get it your technically not doing anything illegal by giving away an emulator for free...but charging for it? I just never understood that.

#24 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3873 posts) -
@MordeaniisChaos I didn't say it was. If that we're the case I'd have way more pc games then I do now.

@JoeyRavn I'm going by the majority of the reviews I've read of most android tablets which seem to range from ok to terrible. If your experience has been different then that's great.

@WilliamRLBaker yeah I dunno either people get away with a lot more on the google play marketplace then they so on apples store.