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Does using an emulator make you phony retro gamer?

Discussion of all emulators, i.e. M.A.M.E, Stella, VICE, JNES, GENS32 etc.

Does using an emulator make you phony retro gamer?

Postby Mamecade » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:51 am

Some say that if it weren't for emulation many games would have disappeared and been forgotten years ago while others say collecting the original systems and arcade machines is the only way to be a retro gamer.
Does playing Pitfall using STELLA on a modern PC make you a retro gamer or do you need to insert a dusty cartridge in a 30 year old Atari to be a retro gamer?
Where do you fall on this argument?
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Re: Does using an emulator make you phony retro gamer?

Postby JimmyD » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:17 pm

Anyone who says that using an emulator over the real thing makes you somehow less of a true retro-gamer is probably having a mid-life crisis. What about the plain and simple fact that many of today's gamer weren't even ALIVE in the early '80s? A person born on Jan. 1, 1990 would be 21 years old now! Old enough to drink and die for his country. Certainly old enough to be called a retro gamer if he wanted to be.

Of course, there is something to be said for having "been there, done that" as it were, but if a kid today wants to love Ms. Pac-Man on MAME the same way we did pumping quarters into the machine, that kid can rightfully be called a retro gamer!
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Re: Does using an emulator make you phony retro gamer?

Postby vintagevideogamegeek » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:22 pm

If you play retro games, you are a retro gamer. Plain and simple. Using emulators is a matter of preference. I personally do not use them, but I don't consider myself any better or worse of a retro gamer because of it. I just prefer playing the actual games on the actual systems.
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Re: Does using an emulator make you phony retro gamer?

Postby Mamecade » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:57 pm

vintagevideogamegeek wrote:If you play retro games, you are a retro gamer. Plain and simple. Using emulators is a matter of preference. I personally do not use them, but I don't consider myself any better or worse of a retro gamer because of it. I just prefer playing the actual games on the actual systems.


Of course you would say that you prefer playing on the original hardware. Not everyone is as blessed as you are with your dozens of game systems and hundreds of games for them. I'm always blown away at your collection when you showcase stuff on your Youtube channel. No one can doubt you are a retro gamer.
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Re: Does using an emulator make you phony retro gamer?

Postby JimmyD » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:20 pm

vintagevideogamegeek wrote:If you play retro games, you are a retro gamer. Plain and simple. Using emulators is a matter of preference. I personally do not use them, but I don't consider myself any better or worse of a retro gamer because of it. I just prefer playing the actual games on the actual systems.


Yeah, nothing quite beats the feel of playing on an actual cabinet, right? Good times...

By the way, Mr Geek, I just found out about your channel due to Mamecade's reply, and I'm sorry I never saw it before. You have a great looking channel and one more subscriber!
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Re: Does using an emulator make you phony retro gamer?

Postby vintagevideogamegeek » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:37 am

Thanks fellas!!!
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Re: Does using an emulator make you phony retro gamer?

Postby Boomerang70 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:22 pm

vintagevideogamegeek wrote:If you play retro games, you are a retro gamer. Plain and simple. Using emulators is a matter of preference. I personally do not use them, but I don't consider myself any better or worse of a retro gamer because of it. I just prefer playing the actual games on the actual systems.


I feel any one who plays and enjoys games from lets say for the sake of argument, 12 years or more from the past is a retro gamer but there are different grades of retro gamers.
The casual gamer who might use an emulator or an old system they might still have from years ago. The collector who seeks out to get his hands on all things retro to add to his collection. The purist who needs to play the original game and system, etc. They're all retro gamers. So emulator use doesn't make you any less of a gamer, just a specific niche of one.
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Re: Does using an emulator make you phony retro gamer?

Postby markvergeer » Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:14 am

Using emulators will probably the only way to experience the old games in the not too far away future as the old systems are corroding and rotting away as we speak. Plastics yellow, turn brittle, capacitors dry out rendering the consoles and systems non-functioning.

To brush away emulation as something phony and horrible is to brush away any means of preserving a part of human culture that needs preserving. Emulation may actually be the only way to actually preserve gameplay as the big companies are only interested in earning money in the here and now and are more and more drifting towards a situation where a game is nothing more than a digital download tied to a specific machine with a closed / drm / encrypted environment. Picking up a game like that say 20 to 30 years on will probably be out of the question when 'activation servers' or other methods of 'activating' a game will be obsolete.

A rather dim view? I am not sure....
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Re: Does using an emulator make you phony retro gamer?

Postby Boomerang70 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:20 pm

markvergeer wrote:Using emulators will probably the only way to experience the old games in the not too far away future as the old systems are corroding and rotting away as we speak. Plastics yellow, turn brittle, capacitors dry out rendering the consoles and systems non-functioning.

To brush away emulation as something phony and horrible is to brush away any means of preserving a part of human culture that needs preserving. Emulation may actually be the only way to actually preserve gameplay as the big companies are only interested in earning money in the here and now and are more and more drifting towards a situation where a game is nothing more than a digital download tied to a specific machine with a closed / drm / encrypted environment. Picking up a game like that say 20 to 30 years on will probably be out of the question when 'activation servers' or other methods of 'activating' a game will be obsolete.

A rather dim view? I am not sure....


Whoa Mark, that is a grim view. Do you wear a black hood robe and carry a scythe? Just kidding, you are right though. Maybe one day there will be a format that isn't susceptible to rot and age. A new digital format... ummm encrypting data onto cubic zirconium maybe. :lol:
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Re: Does using an emulator make you phony retro gamer?

Postby Seb » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:15 pm

Everyone who plays older games in one way or another, is a retrogamer in my book. Simple as that. Even if you only play a couple of your old favourites on the Wii VC for example, at the moment that you are playing, you're playing a retro game and are thus a retrogamer at that time.

It's funny how we humans treat labels and have different definition for them and like to defend them. If someone doesn't act in the same way as our label, they are now allowed to wear it. For me personally a retrogamer is someone who plays/appreciate old games. They don't necessarily have to own them. Even though I personally prefer the actual thing, that doesn't have to be true for everyone, and for some people it's just not possible, I mean these collections do take up some space...
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