Forums - Gaming Discussion - Emulation - The Legalities, Ethics, Benefits and Drawbacks

Rather than derail individual threads by getting into debates about the ethics of emulation, I've decided to create a separate place to debate this.

A few thoughts... these are just examples, you don't need to answer them all in a list. :)

What are your views on emulation?

What benefits does emulation provide?

Does it impact game sales?

How do game creators feel about this?

What are the legalities and ethics around emulation?

What percentage of those that use emulators are engaged in privacy?

Are there sources of data to support this?

Let's discuss this!  Keep it civil, please.



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This space reserved.



So I am not gonna answer all of them cause it's 12AM and I need to get some sleep.

What I think of emulation is that it is a great way for people to play games at a higher rez with better performance and mod support. For example, with SMT x FE, you can replace all the censored stuff in the NA version with the uncensored stuff from the Japanese version and still keep the english subs.

Emulation can lead to piracy, I don't think there is much argument in that. However, imo, it's not the samething as piracy.

Ethically, imo, if you own the game, you are good but some people want you to own the platform as well.

What my issue with emulation and piracy on this site is not whether or not emulation can lead to piracy, its that every emulation thread shouldn't be about piracy.

Lets look at this thread:

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=228119&page=1#

OP: Shows a video about the improvements that an API can make to an emulator.

The rest of the thread for the most part is about piracy... I am sorry but what does piracy have to do with API improvements? If the thread was showing "zomg, look at how much better the game runs compared to the console version" then I can understand where the piracy can come into play. But piracy vs API improvements? The game doesn't even run nearly as good as the console version does... I mean, come on...

Anyway, that's my main concern.

If people want to talk about emulation and piracy, go for it but when the thread isn't about emulation and piracy but instead, something like API improvements, talk of piracy should be considered to be off-topic. Cause what does Piracy have to do with API improvements?

I am not gonna reply to any of the posts for about 12+ hours since its Monday and I got stuff to do like fapping but I just wanted to post it.



             

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What are your views on emulation?

I don't have any thing against the emulator, just don't pirate the games in order to run it.

What benefits does emulation provide?

Offical emulators provided by the hardware's owner provide ways for us to legally purchase and experience older games.

Does it impact game sales?

If I am pirating a game to run on the emulator then yes. There are people who wouldn't purchase virtual console or the actual games and instead pirate them for free.

How do game creators feel about this?

Well I'm sure they don't love the fact that their are people taking what their's for free. 

What are the legalities and ethics around emulation?

Emulator itself = Ok

Pirating the game in order to run the emulator = Illegal big time

What percentage of those that use emulators are engaged in privacy?

I have no hard numbers, nor way to compare contrast the amount of who do and who don't but you don't need that to see that there are a lot of people that use emulators are engaged in privacy.  But even if we were to say 1%, just because 99% people don't that doesn't redeem the 1% who do.

Are there sources of data to support this?

Yes, countless youtube videos and of course comments of people amitting to following the video on pirating games in order to run the emulator.

Although they're wise to fact, they don't share any of the download links (because they know piracy is illegal) to get the game but they might as well when they just tell them to search for it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdRYmRo--Xo

 

In conclusion there is really only one step in which to follow: don't pirate games.



Emulation has been a key element of gaming for over 20 years now, providing a way for millions of gamers around the world to easily experience the games of yesteryear and even titles that were never internationally released thanks to fan translations.  And considering the fact that companies like Nintendo are basically using the same types of emulation / ROMs that are widey available on the net for use in their Virtual Console service and NES Classic to easily distribute copies of their classic titles to consumers, I'd say the benefits of emulation far outweigh any negatives.



On 2/24/13, MB1025 said:
You know I was always wondering why no one ever used the dollar sign for $ony, but then I realized they have no money so it would be pointless.

Interesting.


What are your views on emulation?
> I like it!

What benefits does emulation provide?
> Preserve games, making vintage games more accessible (save states, game speed up) or enhance graphics.

Does it impact game sales?
> If you buy the games from PSN, eShop or XBL then sure!
If not then maybe. If you play a ROM of Final Fantasy 6 on a custom fanmade emulator instead of buying it then it impacts sales negatively... at least if you were willing to pay for it if you had no other means to play it. If you wouldn't have played it if you had to pay for it then not. If you then go to the store to buy Final Fantasy 15 because you liked 6 then it will impact sales positively. Who knows...

How do game creators feel about this?
> Given that it takes 10 to 15 years to emulate the plattform a game runs on i don't think the "creators" care much about it because they already got payed for their work. IP holders on the other side may not like it or don't care... who knows... :)

What are the legalities and ethics around emulation?
> Emulators are legal as long as no copyright protected code is being used. If you play your original games on the emulator then everything is fine. If you download or provide game ROMs then this is illegal... depending on the country you live in. Well in most countries it is illegal at least.

What percentage of those that use emulators are engaged in privacy?
> Privacy? Piracy? Something between 0 and 100%... it's a grey area so who knows...

Are there sources of data to support this?
> Have a look at digital sales revenues in the financial reports of the IP holders.

I'm the same boat as Yuri, but I also want to ask OP if he can answer the questions, because I want to know their side of the table as well as what eld them to making those questions in the first place. The answers to those questions will likely let me know though.

Chazore said:
I'm the same boat as Yuri, but I also want to ask OP if he can answer the questions, because I want to know their side of the table as well as what eld them to making those questions in the first place. The answers to those questions will likely let me know though.

They're just sample questions.   I didn't intend for people to think they needed to answer all of them.   I created this thread quickly to get something in place, to get the discussion out of the emulator thread.



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Chazore said:
I'm the same boat as Yuri, but I also want to ask OP if he can answer the questions, because I want to know their side of the table as well as what eld them to making those questions in the first place. The answers to those questions will likely let me know though.

stop trying to derail the thread.