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Jim Sterling think piece on emulation and the morality of emulation


kerszr
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85fILN_m5pg I love what Jim is saying here. I buy video games but I sure as hell am not going to buy a 300 dollar copy of little samson. Games media must compete with emulation, they are not. I think the virtual console is a step in the right direction but i think a lower price would do everything pretty good. Emulation is not a dirty word. Thought you guys might find this interesting.
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I always love Jim Stirling and this video is no exception, he nailed it on the head with his take on emulation. My big thing with emulation and debating its legality is the more often than not the very people who bitch and cry about it being illegal are the same people who buy repro carts and think those are perfectly fine when the vast majority of those are illegally using fan translations to profit from while the translators see nothing. But oh look we put a nice sticker on it and put it in a nice box, pay us 40-60 bucks for something we stole. The people who complain about emulator illegality are either the corporations or some jerk off who thinks their physical retro collection is gonna pay for their kids college in 20 years. It's like the comic book and sports card people back in the early 90s when everyone jumped on that bandwagon. These people out there now jumping into the retro collecting are just dumping all their money into something that is only going to lose value. Now having said all that if people are buying because they genuinely want to have and play these games that's great. But if they think they are making an "investment" they are making a huge mistake.
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I love Jim Sterling, so I'll definitely give this a watch.

lordmonkus said My big thing with emulation and debating its legality is the more often than not the very people who bitch and cry about it being illegal are the same people who buy repro carts and think those are perfectly fine when the vast majority of those are illegally using fan translations to profit from while the translators see nothing. But oh look we put a nice sticker on it and put it in a nice box, pay us 40-60 bucks for something we stole. The people who complain about emulator illegality are either the corporations or some jerk off who thinks their physical retro collection is gonna pay for their kids college in 20 years. It's like the comic book and sports card people back in the early 90s when everyone jumped on that bandwagon. These people out there now jumping into the retro collecting are just dumping all their money into something that is only going to lose value. Now having said all that if people are buying because they genuinely want to have and play these games that's great. But if they think they are making an "investment" they are making a huge mistake.

I'm actually a big collector of retro games - it makes me happy and it's a genuinely fun pass time and I've met and become friends with a lot of cool people because of it. With that said, I'm also a huge advocate of emulation. I find it hilarious that people would find any disparity/conflict between these two statements. I frequent a subreddit called /r/gamecollecting and I was a little dumbstruck by how completely and insanely negative people are there about this perspective when I tried to explain it. If you mention emulation and the merits thereof, people will lose their shit over there.

Here's what people need to understand - emulation is the only, and I do mean only, way to reliably preserve the art that all of us are so passionate about for future generations. All the physical media that we collectors are accumulating will eventually and inevitably fail, period. It may (and probably will) be after my lifetime, but it will happen. And when it does, then what? It's just gone forever because emulation is so bloody evil? Are you people insane?

I'll make this comparison. The Mona Lisa was completed in 1506. The photographic process as we now know it was in its infancy in the early 1820s with the earliest surviving photograph dated 1826 or 1827. Let's say that in 1825 there was a tragic fire and the Mona Lisa was reduced to ash. Barring forgeries, without the photographic process, that piece of artwork would be lost forever. Would the world be better off if that were the case? I think few would argue that it would be. So why in the shit do people act as though emulation is high treason?

I love video games. I love them as much as any other form of art; perhaps in different ways and for different reasons, but just as much. I love the history of them. I love seeing where they've come from and how that's affected what's come afterwards. I think that's a history that's worth preserving. Emulation is the way to do that. I think that, in their heart of hearts, most of the people that are so adamant about physical media wouldn't even disagree with that if they allowed themselves to think for two seconds. People need to grow up, think further than 15 minutes in front of their face, and chill the hell out. /drop mic

EDIT: Watched the video. Not the same focus that I would have taken (obviously, based on the above), but he does make some valid points; and it's hilarious as always Laugh I think the issue of value is a very real one - it's certainly at the forefront of my mind whenever I'm debating picking up a retro title, especially if it's higher end. I think there's definitely some merit to what he's saying, and it's part of the reason I love GOG. I do think that if some of this stuff was at a more reasonable price point, people would go for it more; but I think a distinction should be made between digital and physical for that discussion - physical copies are a finite commodity, so it's reasonable that the prices of those would increase over time as the supply does nothing but diminish; all you can do in that regard is ask yourself "Is this worth it to me?" My guiding rule is that I won't pay more than the original retail of the game and that's never served me wrong. I've literally only broken that rule once, and that was for Suikoden 2 - I bought a disc-only copy about 10 years ago for $60 and just last year bought a case and manual for $40, which still puts it below fair market value but above original retail. That game is... special for me though so I'm willing to make an exception. It is worth the price point for me. For digital though? Yeah, more than say $5 for a 20 year old game is pretty outrageous as far as I'm concerned. It's not necessarily a statement on the quality of the game itself (though it could be, like he said in the video) but more of a "Why am I paying $30 for a digital version on a proprietary storefront for a 20 year old game again?"

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Excellent rant! Emulation equals the historical preservation of these games and the so called pirates are mostly the only people interested in seeing it preserved so I have absolutely no qualms about the morality of emulation what so ever!
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