Video Games Won't (and Can't!) Save Its History | Past Mortem [SSFF] - friv2018games.net

Video Games Won’t (and Can’t!) Save Its History | Past Mortem [SSFF]

Stop Skeletons From Fighting
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Nintendo’s done it again! This time it’s a rampage against legally dubious ROM sites – causing beloved ROM site Emuparadise to remove all of its games. In this video we take a deep dive into the implications of ROM sites shutting down for the games industry as a whole, games preservation, and the games that are already lost. #stopskeletons #emuparadise #gamehistory

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20 Comments

  1. Have nuance not passing judgment I personally don't Cate but most peopel aren't downloading and obscure titles that arent available in their language or not being re sold to preserve history and most rom sites dont exist to preserve history they would advertise as such and pretend it is is naive

  2. Nintendo shutting down ROM sites, the recent removal of Super Mario 3D All-Stars from store shelves and Sony's recent insistent of shutting down PSN for PS3, PSP and PSVita justifies this, Nintendo and Sony don't care about game preservation nor the past, not even their fans, all those two care about is the future, money, and letting their legacy content stuff rot away to obscurity.

  3. I disagree that copyright law is too strict. On the flip side, it protects creators from having their hard work ripped off. For every corporation that benefits, there are hundreds of individuals that rely on selling their creations and holding the rights to reproductions. Someone put work into the creation, and they should to all reasonable extent profit from its circulation, be they an employee of a company or an individual author etc. Artists get screwed all the time by the publishers of their content, and while I'm usually on the side of understanding how the distribution of an artistic product is a really difficult business, the way you're acting here is overstepping the boundaries between legitimately defending the use of abandonware etc (or not totally abandoned in Nintendo's case; and I agree, they are very aggressive compared to the likes of Sega when it comes to marketing their products and monopolistic behaviour in the 1980s) rather than actual piracy, which hurts creators as well as corporations.

    Games cost millions of dollars to develop, require a large team to coordinate the really good releases, and as we've seen with the Cyberpunk debacle, companies are between a rock and a hard place with regards to public expectations and the limitations of their own time and resources. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't – if they release a buggy game on time, they get howled at, but if they delay it to try and get it perfect they also get crucified. Gamers are a very unforgiving market, and I understand that's probably because, compared to a book or even a film DVD or Netflix subscription, it's an expensive hobby. But we do ourselves a disservice by biting the hands that feeds us. Gaming as we know it wouldn't exist without Nintendo.

    As for money not going to an eBay 'scalper', I disagree. It's the market talking, and as a casual eBay seller, categorising me in the same words as someone buying up scarce consoles to sell on at a huge profit at launch is kind of offensive. Using that kind of language to describe someone who has a scarce cart they bought for the normal retail price that happens to have rocketed in value since they got it is …stupid. I have vintage books I bought in Poland in the early 2000s that have increased in value over 20 years, but I bought them as something interesting to have and sold them on to fund my purchase of other collectable items. So I'm sure you didn't mean to insult people, but calling anyone selling valuable games on eBay that they own legitimately is just that — an insult. I personally tend to buy original copies and hardware if I can; I recognise that my money not only supports the creators of a game, but also those who bring it to market, be it an eBay seller trying to make something of their collection that they own legitimately or an offline shop that gives me the convenience of stopping off on my way home to buy a physical game. (And yeah, I still buy physical media. It's much more rewarding to come home, stick in a disc and be playing within a few minutes rather than to keep the console running all night just to download and install a game. I do buy digital — I have to on PC — but tbh I much prefer the old plug and play stuff I had as a kid with an Amiga and an attitude.)

    I totally get the preservation side of things, and it's frustrating when the companies themselves don't release their back catalogue in full. There are a number of games I want to play, particularly that were on the Amiga, but don't have working files or the hardware to run them on (such as Black and White). I am interested in an emulation machine that can run Amiga games, but not as interested in one of those knock-off consoles with all the Super Mario hacks on them. As a gamer since I was 5 on a BBC Micro back in 1985, I appreciate we are in a tough situation, a kind of 'use it or lose it' scenario where we need to be more on the ball going forward (and with the industry as it is now I think that will be better; part of the solution is that hardware is converging to the point where we can store games and be reasonably sure we will have machines to play them back on later on).

    But your video lumps in anyone that prefers to deal in legitimate software and hardware with people who don't care about the industry, and labels legitimate sellers scalpers, and I don't think that is terribly fair, particularly because I imagine a lot of gamers use eBay and Amazon to buy and sell games and consoles that they can no longer find in retail stores. I have to say that many of the reasons I tend not to pirate is that I've had bad experiences with cracked discs in the past, and the real thing is just so much easier to use rather than jumping through hoops. However, I do see the difference between emulating games no longer easy to find new and active piracy of current content. It's just that your tone in the video seems to ignore this and other rights that the people who put up the money in the first place to generate this content have in return for that investment.

    However, I'll end up by saying that I'm a patron of your channel and you have a lot of good content. But as a content creator myself — with my writing, I hope to break into the knotty world of publishing it one day — and as a seller of collectables online in a different market, I have to take issue with some of your points in the video. However, there is no way I'm going to stop watching. Perhaps there is a way to debate this issue without being indiscriminate in your use of language or polarising in tone. I think that would go a long way to a rapprochement between gamers and the companies who make the games and to find a way to re-align our goals with one another.

  4. Watching this in 2021, and thinking how much history tends to repeat itself, specially with forms of art that were born from technological inovations.

    What I mean by that is that this whole debate has already happened with the movie industry, where a big chunk of the earliest movies, from the 19th and early 20th century are completely lost.
    We just started preserving and restoring movies from the first 30 to 40 years of cinema like in the 1930s.
    And, also, that's not a global thing, so, we have parts of history lost in time, like the earliest wuxia movies from China, and nowadays, in Brazil, we have a whole thing going on where our current presidency just shut down the entire preservation program.

    So, big parenthesis just to say that a lot of this hits home.

  5. I know this is way after the fact but I feel this is one of the best episodes on SSFD. Well done.

  6. I'm not against the piracy per se, but I don't understand that kind of entitlement. The games are somebody's intellectual property, you didn't create it, you don't have any moral rights to steal and play it.
    Unless there is a way to guarantee that no one can obtain a ROM dump without the original cartridge, and a copy of emulator without the original console, they should be removed from public access. Libraries which deal with preserving of books do not steal them, and claiming the pirate sites are any good is just dishonest.

  7. this video is everything I thought about my whole life.

  8. I've got a 1TB drive with the romsets of several consoles. I downloaded all of that the day after emuparadise went down. So I know at least I have access to all those games, and maybe one day when Nintendo has finally won and no rom sites remain, I'll be able to share my collection and cooperate with the revival of retro roms on the internet.

  9. Xaivo sonic hero [escalator totodile]. says:

    Nintendo doesn't realize that you can never stop pirates, all you can do is convince them to not pirate by giving them a better option.

  10. My Android phone has emulators for GBC, GBA, Atari 2600, and N64.

    Edit: I left out Super Nintendo.

  11. You're singing music directly into my earholes with this video. Hell yeah.

  12. Roms should be legal once production of a game has been discontinued

  13. Similar infuriating problems – fan games that are better than the source are published, for free, with credit, and no profit. These people spend years doing it. "Cease and desist. We don't want people to think we can't make games, so we'll cry in a corner and say 'you stole our game, copyright go brr.'" Bull. Shit.

  14. Easy thought – Game companies should only be able to attack ROM sites if they are selling their ROMs. Sites like Emuparadise weren't profiting directly from distributing stuff like that. If companies like Nintendo really want to 'preserve' games, then surely, surely they should do a better job of it than small collections in Virtual Console and bizarre spoon-feeding of content that we should already have – we shouldn't have to wait months for Blaster Master to be put on Nintendo's systems again, or for companies like Konami and Capcom to make incomplete collections that gate lesser-known games. There is a difference between piracy, and protection. Games won't be around for long enough to be public domain, and its the fact that consoles have issues too. One day, there will be a time when there are no more working 2600's, or N64's, or PS4, or other such things. Film, music, they don't get that. Game companies are killing the history of gaming, and their argument of law is at best immoral and potentially not even legal. It's horrible…

  15. As much as I wanted to play Dark Cloud, I waited till they would sell you the game out right.

  16. Meanwhile Sega not only sells their roms on steam for many of their hit genesis games, but does so with their own custom emulator that’s been updated.

    Even has VR support, CRT views, and workshop support for romhacks!

  17. Something doesn't have to be available to download for free on the internet for it to be 'preserved'. Something doesn't have to be available to everyone for free to be 'preserved'. You don't have to personally own something for it to be 'preserved'. The fact that ROMs/source code exist at all means that they're preserved, even if only one person on earth physically owns it.

    Emulation isn't even necessary to 'preserve' video games. That code being stored on stacks of printer paper? That's considered preserved, even if it's not a very good way of storing it and isn't something that can actually be played in that form.

    I've watched several videos on this topic, and it seems like all of them have the same perspective of trying to romanticize emulation as if it's doing some sort of service to the gaming industry. Sure, some people might care about that, but the fact is most people just want to play free games and putting files up for download on the internet is not preservation, that's distribution. How can anyone seriously use 'it's too expensive to buy the actual hardware' as an argument for why downloading ROMs is ok? There's plenty of stuff in life I can't afford, but that doesn't mean I'm going around trying to get it for free. I just accept that I can't have it and move on.

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