This is in response to the article written by Shamanix. Even though I
don't agree with the author, this is not meant as a flame. Actually I'm
glad that he took the time to think about what he was going to say
before he expressed his point of view. If you have not read it I
encourage you to read it. He expresses the view of a person who saw the
emulation scene grow to what it is today and fondly remembers the old
times, "the height of emulation", as he calls it. In my view the height
of emulation is yet to come, but it all depends on what we do. Currently the
emulation scene is being destroyed from within and from without. We have
arrived at a crossroad in which we must deside what we stand for. But,
who are we anyway? Who is part of the emulation community? Is every one
of those people who visits an emulation site for the first time to
download Ultrahle because he read that he could play N64 games for free
a part of the emulation community? I would argue that he is not. Who is
part of this community then? I believe that before we deside what we
stand for we must know who we are? This is only my humble opinion about
A member of the emulation community is someone who truly cares about
games, old and new. It's a person who cares so much about games that he
does not want them to die in oscurity. It's a person that learns
programming to create a program that can play those games of old so that
those younger people who never knew they existed can find them again and
enjoy them more than many new ones. This person does not create the
emulator to make money, his profit is the challenge of the task and the
admiration of the true members of the community.
A member of the emulation community is a person who
spends his money in an old arcade board and dumps the information so
that somebody can create an emulator for it. It's a person that creates
a webpage whose goal is the growth of this community, by informing,
training new emulator artists in the craft, and supply us with the
emmulators that we love to play. It's also a person that without
resorting to insults takes his time to express his views in an
intelligent manner. In short is every person that supports the community
in one way or another. If you don't give something to this community you
are just along for the ride.
This is who we are Shamanix. The warez sites are something different.
The ISDA may put us all together but we know better. We are not the
losers who don't care if a site goes down as long as they get the rom
they want. We are not the lamers who harrass the emulation authors just
because we don't have a life. We are gamers more than anything. We
probably have owned most of the systems that came out and a great
ammount of games. We don't condone piracy because we know that piracy
destroys the source of emulation.
The ISDA does not understand who we are and labels us as criminals.
They shut emulation sites down "in the interest of their clients". They
don't see that we are the ones who make new systems successful and keep
them going when not even the company who created them supports them. I
was one of the first to buy a playstation at $300 and I still buy games
for my Saturn ( X-men vs Street Fighter and Vampire Saviour ROCKS!!!). By
alienating us you are alienating your best customers. If you are not
smart enough to embrace us, let us be. We care about games and we care
about this community. We want to preserve those games that the games
companies have forgotten as well as the ones they just have created.
This brings us to the current situation. Are the new emulators good or
bad? I cannot answer for the whole community on this I can only answer
for myself. But first let me ask you a question. Is the internet good or
bad? What does this have to do with anything you may ask. Well, at this
moment moment somebody in the world is learning how to program a game
from a website while another downloads a pirated game. In this moment
somebody is raising money for orphaned children through the internet
while a pedophile is uploading pictures for more of his kind. The
emulators are amazing pieces of technology that show how far in terms
of sophistication the community has grown. They can be used to play our
Playstation games with a superior visual quality that not even our
consoles can match. If every pc owner downloaded these emulators and
bought games for it the sales would double and Sony would not be mad at
all. The N64 emulator could be there for me to play when my N64 console
goes to console heaven where my Atari 2600 and my NES are. But, I'm also
not naive. An N64 emulator can also be a tool for piracy and could very
well bring down that particular console. This would be indeed a shame.
However I cannot find fault with the Playstation emulators. The CD-Rom
formats protect it from this problem. I know that there is also the
problem of CD-RW but that was there before the emulator came out and
will be there even if the emulator was magically gone.
I do believe that the N64 emulator came ahead of its time to the
community. But only because or the cartridge format of the N64. If
Nintendo had put a CD-Drive on that sucker we would not be having this
issue. It's an incredible piece of technology and it would be a shame if
the authors desided to leave the community for good. Shamanix critisized
the authors for their statements regarding the emulators. Shamanix
argues that you cannot rightfully say that an emulator was not intended
for piracy, because if you release an emulator it will be used for
piracy. In some ways I already talked about this also remember my
question about the internet and think about it. But I'll bring up other
point about the motivation of emulator authors. Why do you think the
UltraHLE created the emulator? It's a lot of hard work that they won't
profit in any financial way. Why do it then? Well this is my theory.
They started working because they love games and wanted to create an
emulator that everybody thought it was imposible to create at this
point. The ultimate emulation challenge: the Nintendo 64. When their
talent brought them to a point in which they were proud of their
acomplishment they showed it around to some members of the community who
were so dazzled at the technology that they did not consider the
rammifications of this emulator. These webmasters encouraged them and
gave them what every emulator author want: the admiration of his peers.
Think about that for a moment. If Sardu did not want to be known and
admired as a programmer why would he release Callus or genecyst? At this
point that that was what the community was going to give to them. They
did not stop to think of all the consequences though. This does not mean
that they are not valuable members of this community they only made an
incredible emulator an a couple of mistakes.
These are issues that the community as a whole must deside. The ISDA
cannot shut us down because emulators by themselves are not illegal.
Don't let them convince you otherwise. Lamers may annoy us but never
destroy us. Currently the emulation community is more dynamic than ever
with more projects being undertaking and more media coverage than ever.
The path that the community takes depends on the views and actions of
his true members. Particulary the opinions of the emulator artists and
the maintainers of the main emulation sites. My opinion in the end does
not matter more than the opinion of the rest of the community. But you
must speak up and let yourself be heard. Not by flaming and insulting
but with opinions that are well thought out so that we can take you
seriously and we can see that you are a member of the community no
another lamer among us.
Very humbly Reaper.
P.S. If you care about what I've said reply
something of value to this post. This is not meant to be the official
stance of the community, it's only food for thought , the starting point
of a discussion which I hope is meaningful and valuable.
P.S. to Shamanix: Nice essay, good to see
somebody who cares for this community. Any reply is more than welcomed.