Why does emulation garner so much hate?

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Sut
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Re: Why does emulation garner so much hate?

Postby Sut » March 16th, 2016, 12:50 pm

Great post Scotland.
Personally I used to love emulation as having all these games and systems in one place felt awesome. Then I missed using the original hardware and went into full collector mode and dismissed emulation.

Now due to time and money constraints I've found my middle ground. I now have a set of systems that mean something to me and I've now stopped collecting further systems and will concentrate and getting great game collections for my chosen systems. I now use emulation for the systems I do not own especially MAME.

So I still scratch the nostalgia and collecting bug with my selected systems but have access to games outside this via emulation.

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scotland
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Re: Why does emulation garner so much hate?

Postby scotland » March 16th, 2016, 3:11 pm

I think I am with you on that middle ground.

An example is DOSBox. I buy a 1990s PC game on GOG, and the game runs on my modern device thru an emulator, DOSBox. Nothing was stolen. I really have no interest in a 1995 Dell desktop, but I do want to play Serious Sam or something. I am sure DOSBox is not perfect, but I am glad its around.

Here's the flip side too. I never had a Texas Instruments TI99/4a back in the day. I have one now, an honest to goodness early 16 bit microcomputer, and a bunch of bells and whistles for it too. Its real hardware, no emulation here. So, its better than any emulation could ever be. I am enjoying it, repairing it, learning about it, collecting for it. That's our hobby, right?

Yet in the end, its not 1981 anymore. Somebody owned this machine in 1981 when its educational and business software was state of the art, and not crude. When its games were awesome and cutting edge and not novelties. Someone owned this not as a retrogamer, but as someone with an entirely different agenda, who bought this as state of the art when Joan Jett and the Eurythmics ruled the airways. I can never really have that 1981 experience. How much less of an experience would emulation give me? I've got the gist of the system, how much do I lose emulating some of the games now? Are my emulated experience so much less 'pure' that it matters?

I think the purity argument that its only real if its on real hardware is a bit hollow. Its like saying that the village blacksmith at one living history site is a higher quality blacksmith emulator than the cheaper one at another living history site. For a lot of emulation, its reached the stage of being just fine.

Wallyworld
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Re: Why does emulation garner so much hate?

Postby Wallyworld » March 16th, 2016, 11:54 pm

I love emulators but they are no substitute for the real thing. I play my emulator box a few times a week because of convenience and to test the full library of games and seek out and buy the games that I really get into on the process.

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scotland
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Re: Why does emulation garner so much hate?

Postby scotland » March 17th, 2016, 9:14 am

Wallyworld wrote:I love emulators but they are no substitute for the real thing.


I understand, and I too appreciate tbe real thing...but...can you think of counter examples where emulation is not just as good but better? Here are a few thoughts

Early CD systems have long load times an emulator might reduce
Consider a CD-i game that Dave said needed light gun support an emulator might have
An emulator could play a patched ROM
An emulator could be portable.
An emulator might have better quality output
Save states, screenshots and other emulator options
Maybe an emulator could be better avoiding frame rate and slowdown issues

And a big one for portables, an emulator might have a much better screen.

SilveryFire
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Re: Why does emulation garner so much hate?

Postby SilveryFire » March 17th, 2016, 7:36 pm

Rich shelf collectors being jelly. They pay hundreds, if not thousands, to experience nostalgia or what they couldn't have as a kid. Now everyone gets to experience the feeling and collectors "boohoo", and shame anything with the word emulation. Elitist garbage. No time of the day for those people.

"Look what I spent today."

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scotland
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Re: Why does emulation garner so much hate?

Postby scotland » March 17th, 2016, 9:51 pm

Elitist means exclusive to a fixed group, and playing on original hardware is not exclusive at all. You don't have to be anything, including rich, to buy vintage game systems. Pricecharting has a vintage NES valued at $55. Certainly for the price of a single modern console any gamer could build a respectable NES collection.

Its not elitist, its about authenticity versus modernity and both authenticity and modernity have merit.

Its a bit like engine swapping in classic cars. To some, keeping that old engine is an essential part of the experience, but to others, the modern engine lets them enjoy the car in other ways, such as the ability to drive it to more car shows.

Wallyworld
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Re: Why does emulation garner so much hate?

Postby Wallyworld » March 18th, 2016, 1:01 pm

SilveryFire wrote:Rich shelf collectors being jelly. They pay hundreds, if not thousands, to experience nostalgia or what they couldn't have as a kid. Now everyone gets to experience the feeling and collectors "boohoo", and shame anything with the word emulation. Elitist garbage. No time of the day for those people.

"Look what I spent today."


You are dead wrong!

If playing a game on an emulation machine is good enough for you that's great. I enjoy collecting and playing games. A big part of the nostalgia for me is having the original cart with the original box looking at and feeling it in my hand and playing it on the original hardware. Loading up a digital ROM after picking it from some huge list of ROMS and playing it on some random 3rd party controller doesn't squash my appetite for my nostalgia high. I'd much rather pick a game from my game shelf which is full of games I adore. I enjoy looking at the artwork figuring out which game is going to be played tonight.

I own a Retron 5 and love it. Machines like this are almost like a hybrid of authentic and emulation. It's just an emulator but it does fill a large part of whats missing from just playing games on my emulation machine. I still get to shop for a game to play off my game shelf and playing it feels pretty authentic since I am also using the original controller. Retron 5 and other clone systems are a great way to enjoy games in high def and using the emulation tools but still retain some of the physical Nostalgia feel. Original hardware is great but sometimes I prefer having the ability to save when and where I want to instead of waiting on checkpoints and obsolete password systems. Just depends on the game type to decide which console type I'll play it on.

Suggesting jealousy has something to do with any part of this is ludicrous. I think everyone should be able to experience the great games of the past regardless of there income level. For this purpose emulators are a absolute blessing.

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scotland
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Re: Why does emulation garner so much hate?

Postby scotland » March 18th, 2016, 3:05 pm

Wallyworld wrote: I own a Retron 5 and love it. Machines like this are almost like a hybrid of authentic and emulation


I hear ya. There are things that are not original, but almost, and provide nostalgic joy while being convenient.

The Retrons and other 'multisystems', where you still have original controllers and your original limited library, which makes you appreciate or despise each game one at a time. The down side is that its not the original system, and by emulating multiple systems, begins to break down the qualities that made each distinct and special.

The flip side are multicarts. The whole library on original hardware, but now you can flip through them like channels on a television.

The Flashbacks and Plug and Plays are still other hybrids. Yes, they are emulators of varying quality, but they have limited number of games that avoids the 'too much of a good thing' issue with emulation, and using form factors that pay tribute to the original hardware to invoke some nostalgic joy.

There are so many ways to enjoy our hobby these days. Older and younger retro gamers in particular may have marked differences since the importance of nostalgia or authenticity is marked between them, but we can find common ground.

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Hardcore Sadism
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Re: Why does emulation garner so much hate?

Postby Hardcore Sadism » March 18th, 2016, 3:49 pm

Honestly I don't care whether or not I play a 2600 game in its raw form or Emulated. Also we're getting to that point where the cartridges will show age regardless of upkeep. They might not work like they used to.

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scotland
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Re: Why does emulation garner so much hate?

Postby scotland » March 18th, 2016, 10:00 pm

Hardcore Sadism wrote:Honestly I don't care whether or not I play a 2600 game in its raw form or Emulated. Also we're getting to that point where the cartridges will show age regardless of upkeep. They might not work like they used to.


Point taken. The key word is "play".

The most frustrating thing is yet another hardware failure on a Friday night game session. When you want to play a game, and end up diagnosing how serious the latest failure is, thats another lesson that fighting entropy is a losing fight. Emulation that works beats original hardware that doesn't work every time.


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