Classic Computers vs. Classic Computing

From: Jeffrey S. Sharp <>
Date: Fri Sep 14 10:03:20 2001

> What really puts me off emulators is that they're so awfully lame. How
> can an emulator be lame? Well, it's not as much the emulators as the
> crowd surrounding them. They're usually Win#? kids who know nothing
> about old computers, really don't care, and just want games, games,
> games, all for free.

Many kids (and adults alike) run emulators (e.g. a Super NES (older 16-bit
game console) emulator) to play games because the emu offer more
capability than the games' original platform. For instance, in some RPGs,
you can only save your progress within the game at certain times, which
can be few and far between. With an emulator, you can suspend the virtual
machine at any time you like and save memory contents and execution
context(s). Later, you can resume exactly where you left off.

Emulators also offer more portability than the real thing. A laptop with
emulators for NES, SNES, NeoGeo, Genesis, etc. can go in much smaller
places than the corresponding collection of the real hardware.

Most of the people who run these emulators are somewhat classic-aware and
are doing it for nostalgia. You have to remember that games have advanced
quite a bit since those days. Today's "Win#? kids who [...] really don't
care, and just want games, games, games, all for free", with their 1GHz
computers and ultra-fast 64MB-equipped 3D accelerators, expect much more
graphically from a game. To them, older games are bland and boring and
wouldn't be worth the time to run in an emulator.

Jeffrey S. Sharp
Received on Fri Sep 14 2001 - 10:03:20 BST

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