I'm Not Saying Emulators Are Cool, BUT… (The Jimquisition)
Discussing emulation as a games pundit can be risky business – it’s a taboo subject, and you can’t be seen to endorse it even slightly.
However, the existence of emulation ought to be treated more importantly and taken seriously, especially when you consider how devalued a lot of older games can become.
Also this week – highlights from Sonic’s 25th anniversary shitshow, and some amusing #FucKonami News.
I'm Not Saying Emulators Are Cool, BUT… (The Jimquisition)
Swach idea right here congratulations to Sonic the Hedgehog tis 25th anniversary this weekend and it's it's one of 25 years what are 25 years 25 years of some good stuff loads of disappointment so a little bit to hope here and there at the end but mostly still disappointment 25 years oh yes and also huge congratulations to Sega for in a special world breaking event that happened this weekend where Konami's famous III press conference was somehow topped now the sonic 25th livestream is the most cringy embarrassing amazing majestic shit show that has ever been witnessed by human eyes there's a compilation on my channel you can also watch the full video on demand you know on Sega's official channels and it's highly recommended from audio pickups to visual hiccups to cringey stuff on the stage to failed audience participation it is a treasure and national treasure do watch it Congrats Sonic the subject of emulation is a tricky one especially taboo in traditional games media where you're often not supposed to mention its existence and you certainly can't be seen endorsing it it's a bit like Voldemort from that movie Game of Thrones people vaguely allude to it in hushed tones afraid to speak its name lest such invocation bring its noxious presence Dawn's doorstep daring to speak in favour of roms that is versions of games usually old ones that are easily and freely downloadable for use on a computer or phone is often seen as advocacy for piracy this conflation is seen not just in games media but among plenty of enthusiasts communities as well as the games industry itself for obvious financial reasons a few years ago there was a famous bust up between a number of games journalists and Forbes contributor Eric Cain Cain had written a story about Nightmare Busters a quote/unquote brand-new SNES game that was being sold for $60 in Kane's article he pointed out that despite the billing the game was not actually new it had simply never gotten an official release before he then pointed out that the game had been previously available for the princely price of fucking nothing because roms of this unreleased game had been around for quite some time the article went so far as to contain a link to a download of the game a move that drew the ire of more established games journalists couple of prominent Geno's really laid into Kane calling him out for advocating theft which led to a lot of back and forth a lot of journals weighing in and all sorts of juicy passive-aggressive drama the final end result was that Cain removed the link to the emulation apologized for not considering how he could have been seen to condone piracy and that was that now there's a lot that can be said about the argument that was had there many sided with Cain suggesting that the journalists in question were needlessly hostile and determined to assume malice above naivety others felt Cain was out of line or at least agreed that directly linking to the emulation while the developer was selling an official version of Nightmare Buster's wasn't exactly classy but here's the thing though Erik himself removed the link apologized and even wrote a huge addendum explaining his stance and distancing himself from emulators there's something I feel the need to say in the wake of Nintendo recently announcing the NES mini itself a glorified official emulator of limited capacity Erik Kane had a point this is something I've been thinking about for years and have never gotten around to covering for one reason or another games media is so incredibly against mentioning emulators and roms and when they do it comes with a mountain of caveats the Erik Kain thing aside games media has always walked on eggshells whenever the topic comes up terrified to be seen as advocating theft and I do get that I mean if you're illegally downloading a thing that was being sold by an official entity then yeah you are stealing by modern standards which on a personal level is something you can also out between yourselves and your guts but whether it's stealing or not I absolutely don't think it should be swept under the carpet because the existence of emulators throw up some important questions about the pricing of older games and the consistent inability or unwillingness of the games industry to compete with easier and cheaper means of accessing their products the aforementioned NES mini is a prime example of this it's a $60 pretend console with 30 NES games packed into it there's no way to download or physically insert new games it's essentially one of those plug-and-play things you get a Walgreens my personal interest in the thing sits at zero and when I say that it annoys some people because heaven for vents you not be excited about a thing of someone else they tell me that $60 for 30 nes games is good value because it equates to two bucks a game and in tendo sells the same games on its Virtual Console for around five bucks now that's a compelling argument on its face on its face getting five-dollar games for a wholesale price of two bucks apiece is a great deal provided you believe one thing you got to believe that NES games are worth five dollars to begin with value is subjective of course and you may indeed believe those games are worth it I do not NES games are not worth five dollars to me in general the vast majority of them aren't worth two dollars to me in fact looking at the NES minis gang list I can point out maybe five that I buy for a bug it's not just that most nes games a crap though that's part of it it's that they've been inherently devalued over the years in a number of ways for a start several of those games have been available on dozens of a hundred in one plug-and-play cheapo consoles for decades then we have to consider the rise of mobile gaming which routinely provides addictive and long-lasting games for a dollar or less I can place tepee pants on my phone for free and get more out of it than the 30 seconds I'd spend in ice climber before getting incredibly bored of ice climb on an official level retro and arcade games have been released re-released remix and remastered so many times over the years that I really really don't need another fucking copy of Donkey Kong and then of course there's the aforementioned emulation and roms which nobody wants to talk about but exists nonetheless the ability to acquire any number of these games instantly easily for free in the face of all that I'll have a fuckin I'll be convinced to believe balloon fight is worth more than 50 cents at best just try just try and tell me I should spend more than a buck on balloon fight anybody ever tells me that my first instinct would be to spit on them just spit all on them for like a minute which incidentally means I spend a lot longer spitting on someone than I would play in goddamn balloon fight god damn I'm not saying we should be unwilling to pay for something if we want to play it that's only fair in exchange of money for service but I hold true to the belief that the fight against piracy has never been more effective as when companies try to compete with piracy rather than attempt to destroy it as has been proven by the likes of iTunes and Netflix people are willing to pay money if it gets them their entertainment quickly conveniently and at a reasonable price and willing to buy a song for a buck on iTunes I'm willing to pay for Spotify bring them to access music whenever I want it hell I'll rent movies on Amazon video when I need to watch something for the hit gym quiz and podcast the spin-off doctors it's easier than looking for illegal downloads of the shit and the price point is exactly right a few bucks a pop this is not something the full scale game industry has ever wanted to learn I mean fuck just look at how much those arrogant shits at Square Enix charge for games on iOS while all their competitors are charging 2 bucks or less but equally engaging products just look at the way game companies dealt with piracy and second hand games restrictions and stone walls that only inconvenience the paying customer and made illegal alternatives more attractive and convenient so here comes the question the one that might make Ben Kuchera angry at me on Twitter here it is why should I be expected to pay $5.00 for Mario Brothers on a console look at the obsolete soon with no guaranteed ability to carry my purchases through to the next console when I could have had the game running on my desktop for free with no restrictions whatsoever by the time it took me to finish asking this question because it's wrong I mean that's the reason obviously it's it's the only reason because it's wrong and let me bust out those caveats right now because I'm just as fond of covering my ass as any real games journalist of course it's wrong the distribution of copyrighted code is illegal the acquisition of roms is technically illegal at least without the get out Clause of owning a legitimately purchased copy and has at the very least been deemed unethical by people much more Lerner than I it's wrong it's definitely wrong there's not exactly an argument that speaks to the value of the product itself is it that doesn't sell me on anything that's just a feeling to decency and it's corporations appealing to decency to which is fucking rich nothing in that argument posits a reason why buying an official ROM from Nintendo with all its restrictions and the fucking pain in the ass that he's using one of Nintendo's online storefronts is more convenient and worthwhile to me as a customer than the wrong alternative and at the end of the day the products are the same Nintendo's selling little more than unaltered roms with nothing added nothing giving it a unique selling point over the unofficial Avenue more importantly it's not offering anything more convenient to the end user no added benefit there's the age-old argument that people who pirates aren't going to buy a thing anyway so they don't count as a lost sale I agree with that up to a point yes some people will always pirate emulate whatever for as long as they can get away with it but there are those who do it because they're either financially restricted geographically locked out by companies that aren't selling shit to them in their location unable to buy what they want to play because a Nintendo or whatever simply hasn't decided to drip-feed a certain game to us or otherwise just don't want the added hassle these are all people who have demonstrated a willingness to pay if they could afford it if they could access it or if tossing out a few bucks would be less annoying than downloading and elsewhere I should know I've been in all three of those demographics before and none of this is to say emulation is rights or even something I'd encourage what I intend to say is that sweeping it under the carpet is a bullshit move complacent move and a move that could ultimately be ignoring potential added revenue since it ignores a service when that service could be competed with and taken a step closer to obsolete either way it's not my job as part of game media to be protecting these fucking companies because they sure as fuck don't care about anyone else so in that spirit Voldemort Voldemort Voldemort we know I was just thinking just thinking about how Nintendo is more than likely probably going to Content ID this video because I used some Nintendo footage under fair use exceptions and they're going to ignore the fair use thing and content idealist and either C's ad revenue for themselves or just block ad revenue altogether and I'm expected to stand here and tell you how it's wrong to steal from companies like Nintendo when companies like Nintendo have been stealing from youtubers like myself for years now so tell me again my moral duty here as you know Content ID has been found to make companies several millions since its inception and we don't know how much of that money stolen because that's what I consider it if you're ignoring fair use law to take money for yourself without you know a trial or hearing or anything like that then you are stealing so fuck you I think is there is there yeah that's the right phrase fuck you I again I'm not encouraging it I'm just saying I'm not fucking crying about it okay so thank God for me on that front Hulk the herald angels say it's time for fuck Honami news all the news that's victim IQ say fuck konami this week we have news coming from the deck halls of reddit where social media guy been representing Honami has been defending the company for months and recently has let slip a few things of interest to fuckin army watchers first of all some old IP is being renewed and they're trying to find a new fit for it many people are speculating that something to do with Silent Hill and also the future of Metal Gear Solid is still something they're keeping an eye on and all of this was couched with a lot of headlines where then while saying that they hope to earn back the trust of customers mmm-hmm that hurt my leg to do that because I've got a herniated disc so that's how much I was dedicated to laughing at the idea boo Konami is gonna earn back any trust seriously like that ow now companies say this all the time of course you know EA wants to earn back out trust Ubisoft wants to earn back our trust they always want to earn back out trust but Konami is a special exception because unlike EA Anubis oft who were demolishing trust while still making games and quality ones at that in some instances to the customers whose trust they're trying to went back Konami did just kind of fuck up they did just kind of fuck far off canceling silent hill's a shitting out a Metal Gear Solid the last one with Mike returns actions in bullshit treating Kojima like shite and then focusing on pachinko machines and mobile stuff you know they pretty much sent the message last year that they fucked off and don't give a fuck this isn't about earning trust this is about like first of all you've got to prove you give the slightest fuck about the audience you're now you know planning to pander to when you've finally decided to pull knew proper video games out of your asshole it's not about trust it's about you not being complete and data dickheads can you manage that I don't trust that you can fuck konami what's that that's the sound of 25 years of sorry