A Nostalgic Holiday Season: Playing Your Favorite Retro Games For Free
It’s always around the start of winter and the holiday season that I get a lot of nostalgia for my childhood. Like many people my age, I grew up with the golden age of consoles. The Nintendo Wii, Gamecube, and the Sony Playstation 2 to name a few. Also like many people my age, I don’t have half the games I did for these consoles that I do now. Many of us sold these games and consoles as we were growing up and no longer have them. Enter the wonderful world of emulation. With a little technical know-how any computer can be fitted to run games from just about and game ranging from the NES to the Wii, and even the 3DS. Plenty of people have downloaded the disc images of their favorite games to their computers and enjoy them without having to put down a bunch of money for a retro console and games. Playing your favorite childhood games is easy, all you need is a ROM and an emulator. ROM stands for Read-Only Memory and is basically a snapshot of the data on a disc or game cartridge. The aptly named emulator is a program that emulates the hardware of a given console. It’s too good to be true, getting to enjoy the classics for free. Getting an emulator is easy, the best ones are usually found with a quick Google search and the browsing of some old forum posts. The problems arise when trying to procure your ROM of choice. Technically, it is illegal to download and share ROMs online. However, it is completely legal to use software to copy the data off of a disc or cartridge and make your own ROMs. I’ve always seen that as a hassle as my main reason for emulation is being broke. I won’t tell you not to download a ROM even if it’s a game you don’t own, plenty of people do that. Overall my opinion of it is like this: If you like the game a lot after playing it for free, consider buying a copy of it even if you don’t own the console it is for.