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Mame4iOS and Piracy.

01-28-2013, 05:12 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 447
Mame4iOS and Piracy.

It's funny how most conversations about jailbreaking descend into a war between those who decry it as just outright piracy and those that don't. Especially if said jailbreak topic is to do with emulation.

Now an every so often an app comes along that through a certain loop hole allows that emulation functionality on your clean, 'un-jailbroken' devices and the discussion of piracy is nowhere to be found. There is no guilt to be had anywhere in the App's thread - hey, it's on the App Store? Of course it must be legal!

In fact everyone leaps together to work as a community to uncover which of the pirated games they can download from the Internet and run and which won't work.

As well as that, the App in question gets front page coverage on this website and a little 'wink, wink, nudge, nudge' for any dim-witted would be pirates to realise what they could be using this App for.

I have no problem with the emulation of older console or arcade games. I just find it funny that the website that holds itself as the bastion of game developers, that ridicules the very mention of questioning a game's price tag, let alone getting that game for free illegally, should be such a strong advocate of a tool for piracy.
01-28-2013, 05:27 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Croatia
Posts: 933
If Nintendo, Sega , Sony or any other older, or even newer, game console/ handheld system legal brand and product owner would make their older games available thought third party , of course developed by them, emulator and have interactive store in that emulator from which anyone could legally buy older games ( they don't even have to optimize them much , just so that they can be played at normal speed ) , for reasonable price, that would be a perfect solution in my opinion.But it will never happen , so it's more than obvious why people want to play their childhood games even more when Apple doesn't allow it , forbidden fruit is best fruit.And , ironically , many older games are years ahead in gameplay compared to most games we get served in App Store.

01-28-2013, 08:16 AM
I think it's pretty easy to see an ethical difference between emulating arcade games which were never released for personal purchase but only sold as arcade cabinets (and which have not been produced and sold as new for decades) and stealing games which independent developers are currently relying on to pay their household bills and fund their new and ongoing projects. They may be in the same ballpark in a legal sense, but one is clearly a lesser evil - and by a not insignificant margin.
01-28-2013, 01:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 447
Yeah, it's not like older developers try to port, remake, or remaster their arcade titles for iOS. It's all fair game, if you'll excuse the pun.
01-28-2013, 03:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,739
Most people excuse piracy for anything they consider to be a retro game. If they can't buy it new, stealing it is okay.

...gotta be honest it is more of a moral grey area than stealing new games. Another example of ethics rarely being black and white.
01-28-2013, 06:19 PM
Indeed. I'm not saying it's 100% A-Okay, just that acting as though they are exactly the same is facile and reductive.
01-29-2013, 08:23 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 447
Facile? What a lovely word. Well I guess that's me been proven wrong. The moral of the story; that if it feels good, do it.
01-29-2013, 11:58 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 11,349
Originally Posted by MidianGTX View Post
Most people excuse piracy for anything they consider to be a retro game. If they can't buy it new, stealing it is okay.

...gotta be honest it is more of a moral grey area than stealing new games. Another example of ethics rarely being black and white.
I admit i'm one of those people. If i can buy it (Eg Raiden) i will as i want to have a 'proper' ios version of it. If i cant buy it i dont feel guilty in the slightest by playing some 30 year old game.

If it also works the other way round, so many companies had old games gathering dust doing nothing.

Then thanks to emulator authors emulation became huge, 'we' started playing the old retro games, companies realised they are still popular and started re-releasing them in packs on the PC, consoles and now iOS. So because of 'us' still playing these old classics we've kept many retro games 'alive'.

Same for MAME, if it wasnt for the mame team most arcade classic originals would have died a death, not preserved. Thanks to them people still loving playing these classics.

Companies make a lot of money by re-releasing retro classics, theres some games i've bought on several platforms from the ZX Spectrum to the Megadrive to Playstation to iOS.

Yep its a grey area, do i feel guilty when i play some 30 year old MAME game 'illegally' - not at all, i feel guilty about things like speeding in my car not playing some old relic of a game. Emulation has helped companies make a lot of money. I buy a magazine - Retro Gamer - every month, if it wasnt for emulation that magazine wouldnt be around. Retro is huge thanks mostly to emulators.

If i was an evil pirate i would jailbreak all my iOS devices instantly so i can find apps illegally and put every emulator known to man on my device and never buy re-releases as i do every month (Eg Rally-X, Galaga, Lode Runner etc).

I always buy retro re-releases on iOS even if i have the rom on MAME, again games i cant buy i dont feel guilty by playing those on MAME.

To be fair there will be a chunk of people who wont for example buy Metal Slug as they now have it for free on MAME which i personally dont think is good. But many of these people are the types to wait for games to be free and never buy many.

I spent 50 a month at least on iOS apps, so i dont feel guilty in the slightest when i sit down later to play Ladybug on MAME a 30 year old game i cant play otherwise.
01-29-2013, 12:01 PM
Joined: May 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 6,758
To be fair not all jail breakers jailbreak just to pirate stuff or to emulate.
01-29-2013, 12:31 PM
I don't know why personal conscience makes emulators ok to toucharcade. If you don't own a legal copy of the game then it's illegal to download. Just because you don't feel bad about it doesn't mean it's not pirating. Obviously, you aren't going to get in legal trouble for it and you aren't necessarily hurting any developers but the same can be said about pirating games that are on the appstore. I don't have a problem with it but toucharcade is a little hypocritical.