Why Next Generation Magazine Sucks
Recently, I went to the local book store and saw a copy of Next
Generation, April Issue. To my surprise, it had an article in it
on "emulations". It almost blew my mind! I HAD to buy it to check
it all out. I thought that FINALLY the outside world would know
about the true emulation scene. Well, I was wrong.
I started reading it. All it had was a bunch of crap about the
"classic" console and arcade emulators. I was expecting more about
the SNES, Gameboy, NES, Genesis, etc., emulators. Hell, let me just
quote what it said on "Emulations".
"Emulation is not strictly limited to the classic 'packs' sold by
Midway or Namco. A fairly large and thriving Mac and PC emulation
scene exists on the Internet. Unlike with official classic packs,
though, the legality of unlicensed emulators is a little thornier.
There is no problem, of course, with writing a program that emulates
hardware - part of the definition of a universal computer is that it
can emulate any other computer - but a problem arises when hardware
that runs ASTEROIDS (fairly easily, actually) and distribute it freely,
but the code for the game, stored on a software ROM, is still
copyrighted by Atari - distributing is illegal. When using an emulator
for a classic microcomputer like the Apple IIe, the problem is
compounded - not only are some of the ROMs in the machine still
copyrighted by Apple, but most of the software is still copyrighted.
"None of this, of course, has stopped the ROMs for numerous arcade
games and microcomputers, and thousands of software disk images of
old game and utility disks, from appearing in several well-known FTP
[I'd like to KNOW these "well-known" FTP sites. -Ed] and web sites
across the internet. The copyrighted issues are actually not so cut
and dried, because while running Lords of Conquest on an emulated Apple
IIe might be illegal, since neither Electronic Arts nor Apple are currently
marketing either product, it's likely that the damages that they could
recover would be negligible.
"The situation would be quite different if Activision decided to crack
down on people trading old copies of Infocom games, which are still
being sold, Williams went after people who had ROM images of Defender
available on a site, and Nintendo wanted to shut down the people
providing Gameboy and Super NES ROM images online. [Archaic Ruins had a
law suit filed against it in May of 1996 -- hey!] Most maintainers of
emulator web pages realize this, and while you might find a link to
Commodore 64 software, or the ROMs for a TRS-80, you aren't going to
find a link to a great Super NES or GameBoy archive on any legitimate
"We can't imagine why anyone would want to play Super NES or Gameboy
games on a PC?, since most people have a SNES or GameBoy that can play
the games better anyway, but with microcomputer games, it's a different
Okay, lets stop the insanity right there. HELLO??? NEXT-GEN?? WHY do
we want to play SNES and GameBoy games on our PC?? BECAUSE, we ENJOY
having over 1000 games at our disposal (AND on our hardrive!)! :) Lets
continue, shall we....
"Considering that the lure of nostalgia is strong (and that not many
classic microcomputer players had any respect for copyrights, as evidenced
by the number of pirate splash screens on cracked disk images found online),
we don't expect that potential legal issues will stop many fans from playing
microcomputer classics on (potentially ILLEGAL) emulators any time soon.
"With the ability to play everything from Colecovision to TRS-80 to Apple
II to Commodore 64, and (most importantly) to play games that have been
out of print for years (like Spy's Demise on Apple II, or M.U.L.E. on the
C64), the underground emulation scene isn't going to go away any time soon
And in our opinion, it shouldn't, it's keeping alive an important part of
video game history that otherwise would be vanishing as 5.25 inch disks
slowly decay in garages and closets.
"Many of the companies that produced these games are no longer in
business, and the ones that are often have no interest in preserving
their back catalogs (many no longer even have copies). It may be that
the underground emulation scene will be the only source for researchers
to turn to when the time comes to finally document the history of our
Now, kiddies, wasn't that just nice and fun and, best of all, educational??
Remember, children, don't pirate those ROMs because all those big time
companies are gonna lose a LOT of money if we distribute a 1978 game that
nobody cares about. HEH. I fart in your general direction. Next Gen even
added a picture of John Stiles's main "Emulation on the Macintosh" page.
But they blocked out the URL and the out a picture over the icons of the
SNES, NES, and Gameboy.
Date: Mar. 19, 1997|
Author: Berin Iwlew
If you've ever wanted to write a journalistic article about emulation,
interview an author of an emulator, or write an editorial expressing
new insights on the emulation scene, then perhaps you should submit an
article to Archaic Ruins!|
The criteria for having your work published is that your work must show
effort. Interviews must contain at the minimum, 10 questions. Editorials
must be at least 2 to 3 pages and quotations from multiple sources to support
your views and opinions. Humorous writings are also accepted!
- The Archaic Ruins Staff