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

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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Written by Derek Alexander & Grace Kramer
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  1. (I kinda want to blame a large country for living on piracy and giving it a bad name… Especially that country didn't get that many support from console manufacturers that much back then.)

  2. I think I wouldn't be a gamer without emulation, I lived without much money as a kid and the only way for me to play games that were not even available in my country was emulation. So yeah, I get a bit anxious knowing that some sites are disappearing due to Nintendo's lawsuit.

  3. I think it's important to point out while a lot of old games have their source code lost, it's only recently console games are written in high level programming languages, they used to be written in assembly, so if you have a ROM you can basically get the "source code" back

  4. the-eye(dot)eu is a good site for roms,

    and for the roms not available in the main site, do a google search for "alvro the eye" without quotes, and then click the first link

  5. "economical damages", as if nintendo is still making money off of 99% of physical nes games

  6. Nintendo: Take these Roms down, your stealing! Thus, hurting our company!
    Gamers: we've bought these games 10x over. Can u put them on an eshop for cheap?
    Nintendo: Nah Fam 😎

  7. I Hate nintendo's business practices. Its self destructive to the industry

  8. I kind of think that digital only games that are forever lost because they had no physical form, like Scott Pilgrim vs the world or P.T. deserve at least a mention though.

  9. It's kind of ironic that Nintendo of all companies sued rom sites when it's arguably thanks to them that the interest for retro Nintendo games was kept alive throughout the years. Besides – this has been pointed out many times – Nintendo themselves can't be bothered to offer their giant back catalog anyway. The Wii Shop is dead, meaning that those hundreads of VC games are essentially gone from circulation. The Wii U offerings are pretty slim, in comparison, because they thought it was a good idea to re-release their older games again instead of just offering them on day 1.
    The Switch has had the worst deal, of course. With only NES being available to play on the system after 2 years, and a select few arcade titles that got re-released for the first time.
    Overall, the video is 100% right. Companies cannot be trusted to preserve history, whether they make video games, movies, music, what have you. The economic system we live under doesn't account for that. This is a massive part of the reason many games have been lost to time and many more will be unless they are preserved by a someone who cares.
    I doubt any more retro offerings will come to the Switch in a reasonable time frame, considering that Nintendo has been trickling down mediocre NES games for almost a year at a snail's pace.
    Third party developers have been re-releasing video games up the ass lately between the Castlevania collections, Atari Vault, and the like. But again, it's like a drop in the ocean and it wouldn't be happening hadn't it been for profit incentive.

  10. Hello, you absolute legend! While i must admit Derek and some of his silly antics hooked me to the channel, I've got to say, the videos I've enjoyed most, by quite a margin, are narrated by you Grace. I'm not sure exactly how the creative process works between you two, but i sure hope to see more and more videos by you, and particularly ones like this that have a broader scope and are important to gaming, and gaming historians.

  11. I have earthbound n it's strategy guide.

  12. Nintendo should make a streaming service like DISNEY PLUS, HULU or Netflix😣

  13. the arcade version of House of the Dead 1 has the same 'gushing blood' effect that was censored from all home console ports of House of the Dead 2. no wonder Sega doesn't have the code anymore

  14. Nintendo: Sitting on a mountain of old games.
    Me: can we buy those games??
    Nintendo: you can play the og Mario bros on switch but that's about it. No, you can't have Mother

  15. If you fail to use an IP it should become public domain.

  16. Preservation of ROMs is good.

    Distribution of ROMs you don’t own the rights to for a profit is wrong.

    Let’s get that straight.

    If you need me to spell it out for you, let’s say no one wants to buy your OUYA on eBay so you decide you are going to install 7000 ROMs on it and jack up the price while you are at it. That is wrong.

  17. Well, SSFF is right when they say that many old games are preserved today thanks to ROMs and "piracy", and is really very unfair that this kind of websites are eliminated and its creators are legally sued for that, because they really made good digital libraries for old games preservation, instead of that, Nintendo should have reached an agreement with the creators of these websites to make some type of subscription service where they pay a small percentage of money to the respective creators or company of each game every time the game is downloaded, similar to what Spotify does every time you listen to a song, and the money from games whose companies don't exist anymore could go to some kind of charitable foundation, or, in other case, just disable the download of only those games that are currently marketed. In the other hand, piracy is no longer necessary to preserve games from the early 2000s, except for the selfish reason of not wanting to pay for a game nor rewarding people for their work, because companies and developers have changed their mentality regarding the preservation of digital work and content nowadays, so it's very, very hard that any recent game could disappear forever from the world (maybe they can stop being sold, but their codes won't disappear). But in the case of classic games there should be an excption, especially for those games whose master codes were lost, and even more for games whose companies no longer exist, so at least they can exist and be digitally preserved in that way.

  18. Companies like nintendo claim that emulation sites negatively impact them financially. Yet I would argue that they create free advertisement. I only got into the Fire Emblem series because I tested the waters with emulating some of the GBA games and now I'm literally buying every single release since the DS. Nobody really gets paid to either upload or download these emulations. The most they do is make some videos or speedrun at an event which both gives lots of older games larger audiences.

  19. Nintendo is so far in the wrong, it's impressive.

  20. The reason they hit the uploaders and not downloaders is roms are legal if you own a physical copy.

  21. I meekly say my first Earthbound experience was on cart when it was new.

    I await your "OK Boomer" comments, below.

  22. Nintendo actually used the code they did themselves from the Animal Crossing version of Super Mario Bros.

  23. Why can't video game preservation sits act the same way PC ones do. PC games stay in in the public domain until they are available digitally at stores steam or GOG. This make it easier for GoG to recover older games they want to put on their site. It can be and should be the same for console games.

  24. Yo, the music from the intro was from Need for Speed Hot Pursuit for PS1, man, that brings back memories.

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

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

  28. 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…

  29. 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.

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

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

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

    Edit: I left out Super Nintendo.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

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

  36. 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.

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

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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

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