Thursday, November 17, 2011

Emulators - Bringing Back the Past or Destroying our Future?

Now I know many of you who are reading this right now are like myself - you grew up with games on the intelivision, atari, 3DO, nintendo, and things of that nature. And much like myself, you would love and relish in the chance to relive some of those childhood memories by playing Tank Defender or Zelda once again. For most of us we cannot, and have to resort to the process of emulation and play them on our PC if we really want to.

But what if one of your all time favorite video games that is currently on the market is on a "private server" and you can play for free and get all of the awesome goodies without any of the "work" involved with getting them? Do you still play it, or do you step aside and play the real deal?

Many people in the MMO world have succumb to the the fact that they would rather play the free version of a game and do ZERO work for many of the items and goodies a game has to offer!

Let's take World of Warcraft for example. This game has had many different types of emulators in the past, and many of them have been shut down. Most of them due to "illegal funds transfers" to the hosting sites in the form of donations for "play to win items". In most cases Blizzard has come up on top in court and (as I stated above) many were forced to shut down and close their doors.

How about another example - The Star Wars Galaxies Emulator (aka SWG Emu). Yes, SWG is and was a fan favorite by many, but does it require an emulator to some very old and for that matter - out dated and dead code files that these tech heads have acquired illegally through the use of packet sniffers and many self made reverse engineering tools? I personally do not believe so. Aside from that the website has avoid prosecution from SOE / LA various times, and to top it of has had much of their donation money taken, stolen, or used by many of the people on board with the project for various "personal expenses".

With the launch date of SW:ToR on the horizon, and other games like Guild Wars 2 - will these games come under fire by the various "pirating" groups out there on the net? I hope not.

For many of us these games are a safe place to play and build friendships and acquire a strong sense of community within our chosen game. What many of these "emu" servers do is take from that community so that they can build their own due to someone else's achievements and glory.

Yes, my stance on the subject matter is somewhat 50/50 - but I do not wish for a game that I pay a set fee for every month to be turned away by thousands if not millions of players just because there is a cheaper (free) alternative on the internet. Most of the time this is how many of the great games of our time often get sour or bad reviews - due to players playing on free servers and not liking what that community has implemented and never actually playing the real game for what it is worth.

I generally see these "servers" (if you can call them that) as a problematic feature that is out there on the internet these days. If you want to "make money" (or donations as you emu people call them) - go and create your own video game, and not steal it from someone else and use the word "donation" to back up the fact that you are STEALING money from innocent people who are too dumb to see through your lies.

I know this is a sour topic on my blog - one of which I really should not be venting over. I just hope in the future that there will be a higher level of security features set in place for many of the great games of our time so many of the "criminals" out there cannot and do not take away from OUR gameplay as well as that of others.

I think I have spoken enough on this topic - so I shall see you all next time!

Cheers :)



  1. Old console emulation (NES/SNES, etc) developers won't see a dime of your used game purchases, and they don't make money off of those games any longer. Is it wrong to pirate them? Not really. They probably would rather you buy a remake or re-released version, though.

    MMO emulators? They charge you for server costs, if you're playing on an emulated server for a game that you purchased, I don't think that should be considered illegal either.

  2. And charging for something that is not your own personal Intellectual Property is a crime, hence - illegal.

  3. When you purchase a game (any game) it states in the EULA basically that - even though you have purchased the product you do not own any rights or claims to any of the software or content held within.

  4. Yeah, I wouldn't say they should be allowed to -charge- for their emulators. That should be illegal.

  5. Honestly, I think some things should be within the confines of fair use. Other things like charging should not.

  6. The "charging" aspect was one of the main reasons a fair share of the WoW Emulators had been taken down in the past.

    Many of the the server owner's were taken to court and were forced to pay fines and such for that reason.

    I do believe that they were also required to give back a fair portion of the funds they had "acquired" during the time that their servers were in operation - though I could be mistaken on that topic ;)

  7. I don't know of how much use this will be - but it sort of gives a few reasons why console emulation can be considered "legal" over the various other types of gaming emulation ;)