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Why Next Generation Magazine Sucks
Berin Iwlew - March 19, 1997

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 site."

"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 story."

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 industry."

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.

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