Posted: March 4, 2005

Robert Mruczek Comments on (Church of Mame)

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The Religion, The Good Book of Mame

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The first message originally came from 'Twin Galaxies' RMRUCZEK TG Board of Directors Location: Brooklyn, NY Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:04 pm Post subject: You Can STart Right Now !! The Gamers Church of Mame is Accepting New Members... Link Twin Galaxies Forums Emulation Gaming Church Main MAME BBS Page Link -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- **************************** THE CHURCH OF MAME Celebrating our 45th Anniversary !! The "Church of MAME" is a tax-exempt religious organization established for the sole purpose of celebrating the euphoric high achieved by setting video game world records. We firmly believe that with each record achieved, through the accompanying euphoria experienced, that you become closer to the state of being necessary for arcade game play "perfection". Our origins are established way back in the early 1960's when the preservers of the Universe chose our planet as the proving ground for their beliefs that cultivating an entire world that slowly but surely became better and better at video games would ultimately create a global euphoric energy that would consolidate and embody the coming of their legendary all-mighty creator...a name which cannot be pronounced, but according to ancient writings and legend, resembled "Quarsimius ad!%! BEzentzi(a) RhekarT". They opted to infuse several test subjects with ideas that would spawn off the first of what would turn out to be thousands of video games throughout the globe over the next five decades. The plan was simple. Train the human beings first with simple, two-color challenges, then as the aggregate player count grows, so would overall skill and experience, and ultimately this first test generation of followers would overcome monochrome challenges, and then develop, absorb and later pass down to new followers the skills necessary to overcome color and multi-dimensional challenges, all the while testing their newfound skills at a geometrically increasing number of challenges both in scope and complexity. The collective energies expended by these followers, and the resultant euphoric energy rush from the millions of high scores established, would one day pool to embody the legendary Creator. The experiment worked, and slowly the preservers opted to bring public their master plan. They cleverly sent a mental signal of suggestion to a game developer in the middle of the second decade of the experiment so that a partial name of the creator would be embraced and remembered by the growing number of followers. I remind you, the creator's unpronounceable name is... "Quarsimius ad!%! BEzentzi(a) RhekarT". Titles were suggested over the years to train followers in attaining various states of being. Titles that would forge gamers with the need for endurance, force gamers to maintain their state of mind over mind-numbing repetitive routine and other states of mind were common. A few of us that are "in the know" have been secretly tracking and fostering the development of these skills, providing a chronicle of previous achievements in the hopes that greater achievements will one day be established. The leader of this project was selected by the preservers as he seemed to personify the charisma and fortitude necessary to mobilize the followers across the world to challenge themselves even further towards greater and greater achievements. The fact that he came from an unobtrusive locale was a perfect fit for the role. The teachings would spread slowly but surely over time, and entering it's third decade, the "Cultivator" as he was referred to by the preservers had done his job well...millions of followers, now referred to as "gamers", all across the glove joined together in an unfettering quest to improve their achievements time and time again. The "Cultivator" expanded his inner circle of leaders over time, each focused on cultivating a niche of followers across the globe. Calling themselves "referees", the game plan is that some followers need to be presented with the right bait to joining the flock. Thus, over time, newer and newer "platforms" were conceived. Small wonder that they were, as the plan for expansion crosses hundreds of years. This is but the first generation test. Is it any wonder that some followers have even achieved a cult-like status among themselves, distinguished by their inspirational achievements? And for each achievement that reaches its zenith, more must be created, thus the preservers empowered one of the "Cultivator's" most trusted officials to set forth and cultivate hundreds of "Inaugural Records", the theory being that when one challenge reaches it's Zenith, the euphoric energy subsides as other followers lose the faith when they cannot attain that goal threshold, so new challenges must be conceived. To keep the energy flow going, periodic events were conceived, as well as a written text of all that was accomplished to spread the word across the globe. And yet...all was not complete. These "platforms" could only reach so far across the planet. So the preservers enlightened one person with the vision for "MAME", and they saw that it was a good thing. For you see, "MAME" could reach followers all over the globe, without fear that the follower had no monetary means to afford the teaching tool. Worldwide penetration was better than expected. The mission now is for the "Church of MAME" to attract new followers through it's many chapters, including the splinter religion known as "MARP" which disagrees with some of the precepts of the preservers, but whose ultimate goal still creates the same euphoric energy that swathes this planet daily, and increases constantly over time. The "Church of MAME", a project stemming from the "Twin Galaxies" collective database of followers and their achievements, requires that all new followers provide certain key personal information, so as to establish a collective database and target which followers have accomplished the most over time. While the "Cult of MARP", a larger though less ancient entity, allows their followers anonymity. Either way, the energy created cannot be claimed by either "Church", and soon, someday soon, the creator will emerge. Xanadu is at hand. have been persuaded into joining BOTH "Churches" !! So convincing are the goals and rewards of each that you have voluntarily opted to experience both. The collective euphoric energies are now increasing at a rate even higher than expected. The creator, whose name cannot be pronounced but who is known for these past two decades by the simple acronym "Q*Bert" (see above), shall soon emerge. And then, the followers of the "Church of MAME" and the "Cult of MARP" shall see that their day-in and day-out performances were not in vain. Followers, now, can enjoy opportunities to establish a release of their inner euphoric energies via simple, complex, monochrome, color, two dimensional, three dimensional, cooperative, virtual, and other forms of challenge. The "Church" requires no money to join. Every quarter placed into an arcade title, every monetary unit expended to purchase console titles or the consoles themselves, all contributes to a greater good. The preservers were wise to inspire selected followers with the vision to establish the multitude of platforms that we now have come to know quite well. With diversity came different challenges and "companies"...fronts for gathering monetary contributions to aid the preservers in their worldwide cause...which churned out challenges on a regular basis. Some followers, the "designers", were more inspired than others. Two that are largely regarded by the preservers as having been their best students of fostering new challenges were assigned the initials "EJ" and "SM"...their true names are listed in the master plan of the preservers which foretold which followers would help, or hinder, worldwide penetration of their beliefs. The names of these and other creative "designers" are sometimes hidden in various game titles. The preservers also believed that while the euphoric challenge of completing a title or achieving a "high score" as the expression goes, was not enough to perpetuate the "Church", so designers hid special challenges within the games themselves, to further captivate the euphoric energies of the gamers worldwide as they competed their latest challenges. Known as "easter eggs", a name coined by one of the designers at some point, they provide a small but meaningful additional way to bolster the worldwide euphoric energy as each new "easter egg" is uncovered. This is the "Church of MAME". We are here. We will be here tomorrow. We will be here the day after that. We cannot be stopped. And day, soon...we will have you as a member. Enjoy normal life now, mortal, while you still can....... ******************************************** Okay, hope that clears up the "Church of MAME". You're all members, know this, of course. Robert _________________ Robert T Mruczek Twin Galaxies - Editor and Chief referee Star Wars classic arcade marathon champion rmruczek(at)doremus. (work E-MAIL) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Saint Paul Coin-Op Commentary below: Paul Dean Commentary on the above post on The Church of Mame, and intellectuals ideals to follow below: Paul Dean Are there secret messages in video games that only a select few can decipher from those Game Designers that put those messages in the source code? Have players (Gamers) been searching for the Nirvana within Video Games from the beginning of the Golden Age, 1980's through today over 25 years later? Do players come from all over the world to compete with other players in hope of capturing the perfect game and of unlocking certain secrets of the video game inspite of huge costs of travel, practice and time? Is there a since of well-being only felt by the few players who have mastered video games? Is Mame, "Emulated Classic Video Games" a religion that can be obtained by practice and patience living in the now in order to reach the ultimate high which is becoming the master of many games and being recognized as such? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mame, A Religion? Have we opened Pandora's Box? Mame is just a fancy name for home video games that emulate the arcade video games of the past that we used to see all over the Continent in the early 1980's. These ancient games are being given a second life and a second run by those who used to play them when arcades existed everywhere. Where Does Religion Come in with a regard for video games? Has anybody ever seriously answered this question? Some Definitions first to describe what it is we are defining: Religion: A strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny. "A behavior, process or structure whose orientation is at least partially Supernatural." For Jung, the unconscious had a religious function, and religion rests on an instinctive basis. A means of getting in touch with and of attaining at-oneness with "ultimate reality." a belief in a deity and practice of worship, action, and/or thought related to that deity. Loosely, any specific system of code of ethics, values, and belief. belief in supernatural or divine power that invites expression in conduct and often involving ethics and a philosophy (or a specific system of such belief and conduct) Everybody wants the great awakening and there are some select few who feel a certain awakening from the mastering of video games. Art Analogy to that of Video Game Playing: If you speak to the greatest artists in the world they will tell you that God guides their hand at every step of the process. They cannot create anything until they feel this connection. The work has been created by god through their hand, only after they have cleared all other things out of their mind. A Euphoria is felt and a connection of one-ness and of the perfect clear thought and clear vision is a common occurrence among the greatest artists. They cannot give up this form of expression because they feel enlightened every time they put their craft to work. This expression is so powerful that the artist will miss food and drink and even sleep in order to keep in touch with this vision they can touch when in the middle of their craft. Time stops and everything is in the now, and nothing else matters when the concentration on the palette is intense. The moment is fleeting and very hard to reach but worth hundreds of hours of work just for a few minutes of such a feeling. All of the emotions and expressions of a gamer who plays at the highest levels are the same as the great artists? This illusive feeling of being in touch with God can only be achieved when the player has a perfect game and there is almost an out of body experience because everything seems so automatic. After many hours of mind numbing performance with no room for error, a player may feel light headed or dizzy and may start to hallucinate just because it is so hard to keep a perfect game for 11 hours or more without food or drink or rest. As the player steps in to the perfect game they refer to it as being in the zone. Other players start calling this player God like because of the unusual magnified concentration and speed of perfect controls and solution oriented pace. In the end you have the high score and the perfect game or a game that was in the top 1% of players. The score was nice, but now the high is over and the connection to God or to that perfect feeling is gone, until the next game. It may take hundreds or thousands of games to get back to that feeling of oneness with the game, the programming, and your maker. Players will be flocking from all over the world to one destination on June 2, 2005 to once again find this illusive feeling of what a perfect game can give you if it is your time. Just like the three kings traveled to Bethlehem, all great players will make their journey to one of the last great classic game arcades, Funspot, in New Hampshire to the World Classic Video Game Tournament. This meant that the players would have to travel from their hometowns to the place of their Video Game Fathers hometown in which their names are on the special list. The list Who is the leader and what keeps this thing going of constantly competing for the best high score in the world and the chance for fame and perfection? Walter Day is the keeper of high scores since 1981. I believe in the promise that the long-awaited High Score will come from one of the prenamed members on the list inspired by Walter Day, but how can I be sure that what will happen at Funspot or what will even happen to me? It is all based in faith beyond myself that the scores will come and that the players will step up and beat those 20+ year old scores that haven't seen the light of day until now. Those players who have retired have not forgotten the past. They remain in the video game industry long after there scores have been beaten. They are programmers, computer consultants, accountants, engineers and scientists. There concern is to push the envelope a little bit further for perfection and constant improvement and I can only hope that there legacy is remembered decades from now for they are the ones that built this everlasting covenant of the high score. I would wish that their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples." Of course this will not be because there are not enough writings to keep there memories alive. The player nor the game will never disappear entirely but will be remembered as the precursor to the future. God is within the individuals reach if only for a second, as long as that individual is willing to give up everything in order to achieve the perfect game. Until then we can only watch in wonder as scores are being pushed to higher and higher levels making it seem impossible to beat -- Thank you to those players who are willing to give up everything in order to reach perfection. Pilgrimage Coming Soon, June 2-5, 2005 Funspot Those called to action by Walter Day, the Chief of High Scores: Link Who is Going to Funspot 2005?? Here's the list of People Definitely Attending This list will be updated as people announce their plans on the forums... Definitely Coming: Abdner Ashman Anna Cram (everything) Brian Kuh Christian Cram (everything) Darren Harris David Cruz (Tron) Donald Hayes (Everything) Fred Pastore Greg Erway Jason Cram (everything) Joel Hedge Kelly Flewin (Consoles and anything he can get his hands on) Martin Bedard Mike Stulir Perry Rodgers Robert Mruczek Shawn Cram (everything) Tim McIlroy Todd Rogers Walter Day Here is the list of people who have been emailed invitations, urging them to come to this year's event... Ben Carter (Centipede) Bill Carlton (Asteroids) Brandon Erickson (Star Wars) Carlos Krueger (Consoles) Chip Sbrogna (Cliffhanger)(Will be in China) David Foley (Ultracade) David Palmer (Everything) Dennis & Sascha Blechner (Time Crisis)(Can't come) Don Morlan (Joust) Donn Nauert (Everything)(Email Bounced Back) Doug LLoyd (Pac-Man) Dwayne Richard (Funky Fish)(Thinking about it) Ed Ray (Centipede) Eric Olofson (Everything) Eric Furrer (Space Invaders) Evandro Tessari (Brazil)(Moon Patrol) Frank Breneman (Pac-Man) Gary Hatt (Everything)(Thinking about it) Gary Whelan (Galaxian)(Thinking about it) George Weller (Karate Champ) Glenn Cravens (Consoles) Graham Dingsdale (COnsoles) Greg Sakundiak (Everything) Hector Rodriguez (Consoles)(Email bounced back) Hugh Falk (Everything) Jack Gale (Everything)(Thinking about it) Jamie Allen (Classics) Jay Woodard (Star Wars)(Email bounced back) J.D. Lowe (Consoles) Jean Baudin (Pooyan, Mad Planets) Jeff Peters (Everything)(Thinking about it) Jerry Byrum (Defender)(Email bounced back) John McCann (Gorf) John Rhodes (Joust)(Email bounced back) John Thomas & Josh Powell (Wizard of Wor) Juan Torres (Defender) Kevin Booth (Consoles) Leah Banks (Ms. Pac-Man) Les Martin (Pac-Man)(Email bounced back) Mark Androvich (Consoles)(Email bounced back) Mark Robichek (Frogger) Mark Little (SpyHunter) Mark Soileau (Wizard of Wor) Michael Eide (Dig Dug) Michael Weeg (Asteroids) Mike Klug (Pole Position)(Thinking positively about it) Mike Lockhart (Scramble) Mike Morrow (Everything) Nicholas Legare (Strikers 1945) Pablo Bert (Consoles) Pete Wrench (Gorf) Rick Carter (everything)(Thinking positively about it) Rick Smith (Defender)(Email bounced back) Robert Bonney Griffin(Everything) Rodrigo Lopez(Consoles)(Thinking positively about it) Ron Hallett (Galaga) Stephen Knox (Consoles)(Can't come) Steve Harris (Everything) Steve Sanders (Everything)(Email bounced back) Steve Reisenberger (Robotron) Steve Wiebe (Donkley Kong)(Thinking about it) Stuart Morrison (Consoles) Tim Baldarramos (Pac-Man) Tim Curtis (Space Firebird) Todd Cravens (Classic)(Thinking about it) Tony Bueno (Mr. Do) Tony Perkins (Everything) Tristan Ducluzeau (French Player) Van Burnham (Email bounced back) Wolff Morrow (everything) Zack Hample (Arkanoid) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RMRUCZEK TG Board of Directors Location: Brooklyn, NY Link Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:55 pm Post subject: The Mystery of Q*Bert -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TO: Tommi: reminded me of the mystery contained within "Q*Bert". Rumour has it that those unpronounceable phrases that the character utters when he gets hit, as well as the noises that the purple enemies make as they chase him, are part of the secret ritual to bring the euphoric energies together and bring the embodiment of the creator back into existence once again. Of course, that could just be a hokey coincidence. Or is it??? Robert _________________ Robert T Mruczek Twin Galaxies - Editor and Chief referee Star Wars classic arcade marathon champion (work E-MAIL) ****************************** RMRUCZEK TG Board of Directors Location: Brooklyn, NY Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:01 pm Post subject: One More Thing... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TO: Tommi: And for anyone who has every heard stories of gamers who attempted marathons at "Q*Bert" only to start hallucinating" you REALLY got to wonder whether there's more to that game than meets the eye!! The more devoted the player (i.e. the longer they play), the more they start to hallucinate. One player just got a 1.5M on TGTS via MAME...this might be the latest convert!! And considering one of my fellow referees is very, very good at FHMC Q*bert, you have to wonder about him, too. Just kidding of course. Maybe. Maybe not. Robert _________________ Robert T Mruczek Twin Galaxies - Editor and Chief referee Star Wars classic arcade marathon champion (work E-MAIL) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- First Church of Pac man Link First Church of Pac man Proverb Link First Church of Burger Time Link The Second Coming of Space Invaders (The End of The World?)Link The Motley Mame Church of Classic Video Games Link ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mame Platform and Definition: Human With Bird In computer games, MAME is an acronym for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. According to the official MAME website (, the first official MAME release (0.1) was released on February 5 1997 by Nicola Salmoria. MAME tries to faithfully emulate as many different arcade machines and games as possible, and has been ported too many different platforms. MAME's purpose is to preserve gaming history, and to stop vintage games from being lost or forgotten. As of version 0.90 (actually the 134th proper release), released January 4, 2005, MAME now supports 3005 unique games and 5393 actual ROMsets (each game may just have the original or have one or more clones as well - see below) and is growing all the time. However, not all of the games in MAME are playable, about 670 ROMsets are marked as not working in the current version. Contents 1 How MAME works 2 Emulation philosophies 3 ROM images 4 Legal status of MAME 4.1 Legal status of MAME ROMs 4.2 Is it wrong to use MAME? 5 Mame Licence 6 External links How MAME works MAME is a software program which runs on personal computer hardware, with versions for Windows, Macintosh, and Unix operating systems. MAME itself performs several functions: a CPU emulator, which emulates the CPU of the original arcade machine; an input emulator, which maps the arcade buttons, joysticks, and so on to PC devices; and an emulator for the arcade game display and sound equipment. The only thing missing from MAME is the ROM image, which is the program from the original arcade game which made the game run. When MAME is run, it is running the original game from several years ago - just on different hardware. Emulation philosophy The stated aim of the project is to document hardware, and so MAME takes a somewhat purist view of emulation, prohibiting cheap hacks that might make a game run properly or run faster at the expense of emulation accuracy. In MAME every emulated component is replicated down to the smallest level of individual registers and instructions. Consequently MAME emulation is very accurate (in many cases pixel- and sample-accurate), but system requirements can be high. Since MAME runs mostly older games, Moore's Law ensures that a large majority of the games run well on a "midpoint" 2 GHz PC. More modern arcade machines are based around fast pipelined RISC processors, math DSPs, and other devices which are difficult to emulate efficiently. These systems may not run quickly even on the most modern systems available. It's a common, and mistaken, assumption that the speed problem is due to these games' use of 3D graphics. MAME does not use hardware rasterization on 3D games because you can't guarantee identical output between different brands of cards, or even revisions of drivers on the same card. Consistency of output across platforms is important to the MAME team - the Macintosh and Unix/Linux ports are just as important as Windows. An apocalypse is immanent. ROM images In most arcade machines, the data (consisting of the game program, graphics, sounds, etc.) is stored in read-only memory chips (hence the name "ROM"), although other devices such as cassettes, floppy disks, hard disks, and compact discs are also used. These devices can be read in a process called "dumping" to create computer files containing the same data; these files are often generically called "ROM images" or "ROMs" no matter what kind of device they originally came from. To play a particular game, MAME requires a set of files (called a ROM set) containing all the data from the original machine, however MAME itself does not include any of these files. MAME handles these data files in two ways: CHD (Compressed Hunks of Data) files hold the in ZIP archives, one for each game. There are three types of ROM sets: Original game ROM sets. These are the games which the MAME development team has decided are the "original" versions of each game. Except for the files contained in BIOS ROMs (if needed; see below), the ROM files for these games contain everything those games need to run. The "original" set is generally defined as the most recent revision of the game, and if multiple regional versions are available, the "World" or US revision. Clone ROM sets, which are different versions or variants of the originals (for example, Street Fighter II Turbo is considered a variant of Street Fighter II Champion Edition). BIOS ROM sets, which are the ROMs in common between all games on various standardized arcade systems (e.g. Neo Geo). They basically 'boot' the hardware, then allow the regular game software to take over. There are a few legal ways of getting these ROMs: If you own the actual arcade game board and an EPROM reader, you can read the ROMs yourself. Some companies, such as Capcom and Atari, offer ROMs for sale either separately or included with other products. For two ROM sets, Gridlee and Robby Roto, the game's copyright holders have given permission for them to be freely distributed. These are available at the MAME website. For one ROM set, the game's copyright has expired or is otherwise nonexistent. This currently only applies to Polyplay, whose copyright was held by VEB Polytechnik Karl-Marx-Stadt. As the former East Germany collapsed, there does not seem to be a copyright holder for this piece of software anymore.. This is also available at the MAME website. There are numerous questionable ways of getting these ROMs: Downloading from websites; although many sites like ( have stopped offering ROMs, they can still be found. Downloading from binaries newsgroups on Usenet. Downloading via various peer-to-peer methods such as eDonkey2000, BitTorrent, and IRC Fserves. By sending the required number of CD-Rs/DVD-Rs to people who will burn and mail these back with the ROMs on, in exchange for shipping costs. These methods are questionable because they are definitely illegal for games where one doesn't own the original, and their legality is not clear even when one does own the original, at least in the United States - US law allows a backup copy to be made for personal use, but presumes that the user will make this backup themselves. Disc burning services are especially questionable because of the potential argument that their service is commercial in nature; although burning services usually charge only for media and shipping costs, there are in fact a number of pirate merchants illegally offering MAME ROM discs for sale for a profit on eBay and elsewhere. Since all the ROMs and associated files would fill at least 35 CD-Rs or 7 DVD-Rs, downloading the whole collection is not an option for people with dial-up Internet access, although when the CHD files are omitted the download size is significantly smaller. People with fast, unmetered Internet connections who don't mind leaving the download running for a few days or even weeks can feasibly get the full set via Bittorrent. Although it requires a lot of downloading, people do this for several reasons, ranging from simply wanting to have a full collection (derisively called "PokéROM" by the MAME developers, since their activities resemble the phrase "Gotta catch 'em all!" from the Pokémon television series) to wanting to help preserve arcade history-the more places these ROMs are stored, the less likely it is that they will be lost. Legal status of MAME Owning and distributing MAME itself is legal in the US, as it is merely an emulator. Some companies (notably Sony) have attempted in court to prevent emulators from being sold, but they have been ultimately unsuccessful ([1] (,1367,34281,00.html)). As of yet, no legal action has been brought against the MAME team. While emulators are legal, ROM images are covered by copyright law. The MAME license explicitly forbids people from distributing it along with ROM images. Legal status of MAME ROMs If you own the actual arcade game, making a backup copy of your ROMs for your PC is legal in the US. Some ROM images (such as Atari's) are available for purchase legally. However, in practically all jurisdictions, it is not legal for an individual to have ROM images that aren't either legitimately bought or from a game they own. Most people believe that you'll probably never get into legal trouble by using MAME. For the "classic", pre-1990 games, this is almost certainly true, as the market value of the ROM images is negligible. However, some recent, post-2000 games have been added to MAME. Some think such games should not be included, because they risk unwelcome attention from the copyright holders. Certain people quote a "5-year rule", stating that 5 years is how old a game should be before being emulated in MAME. However, there is no legal basis for a such a rule. The website was shut down due to a dispute with a copyright holder. It was reopened for awhile, and it is currently closed again, claiming that the bandwidth costs more than the revenue generated by the website. At one point, The MAME team adhered to a 3-year rule. But that has since been thrown out the window. MAME now has no real "year rule". Instead when MAME dev feels that a game is no longer being manufacturered or no longer popular in arcades, only then it will be added, and not a moment sooner. There are two reasons for this rule: To avoid harming the profits of arcade companies, and to lessen the possibility of future lawsuits. They fear that, just because MAME has not yet been subject to legal action, doesn't mean it will never be. Many copyright holders are currently ignoring the MAME ROM distribution activity. This may change in the future. Some people argue that, as long as it's for personal use and the user isn't selling the ROMs, it's perfectly legal. They argue that the copyright holders have abandoned their copyright by not enforcing it for many years; most of the games are no longer being manufactured. There is no legal basis for these claims. The actual legality of ROM downloading depends on the country, although all arcade games are still protected by copyrights in almost all jurisdictions, and will remain so for decades yet. The MAME community has shown itself to be reasonable. However, when a company requested ROMs for its games be removed from, the maintainers of that website immediately complied. The RIAA is cracking down on file sharing users for trading songs. The same may someday also happen with MAME ROMs, or ROMs of other kinds of gaming emulators; ROM sites have been targeted in the past by the IDSA (now the ESA). If an individual did get sued by a copyright holder, they would probably feel compelled to make a legal settlement. If they were to choose to fight the claim, they would have to spend a large share of money on their legal defense, even if they ultimately would win; so settlement would probably be the most viable option. It is rumored that the operators from the website have shut down their site because they were concerned about personal liability, and not because of the expense of running the website. Someone who obtains a set of ROM images probably faces a much smaller legal liability than someone who has distributed ROMs to several other people. Is it wrong to use MAME? Almost all users of MAME think there is nothing wrong with using MAME for old games that can no longer be purchased or found in modern arcades. Many people think that current games should not be emulated or played in MAME. Here are some arguments in favor of MAME's legitimacy: The copyright laws are overly restrictive. The copyright terms are too long, especially when applied to software. These restrictive laws were purchased by big business' lobbying. Using MAME is a form of civil disobedience. The copyright holders have abandoned their copyright, because they no longer actively sell the ROM images and they do not enforce their copyright. ROM images have already been distributed for years without the copyright holders complaining. It does not harm anyone. The market value of the ROM images is negligible. Some people purchased console versions of games, which were advertised as replicas of the arcade version, but are sometimes inferior. In that case, if someone bought the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man, they should be entitled to use MAME to play the arcade version of the game. Arguments against MAME include: Using a game that you haven't paid for is copyright infringement and should be treated as such. Game copyright holders have not assented to their games' free use simply by virtue of not posing legal challenges against their distribution; the logistics of trying to sue every person who ever sent or received a ROM file make defending the copyright prohibitively expensive. Widespread unauthorized distribution of games functions as a deterrent against the future development of games, which would mean that using MAME is contrary to gamers' own interests. Interest in vintage gaming is strong and growing; the ROMs' market value is not negligible and possibly still appreciating. This notion is supported by the fact that some older arcade games are being re-released in arcades, like Taito's re-release of Space Invaders for its 25th anniversary, and re-sold in compilation packs for modern video game consoles illustrating that games covered by MAME are still sold in some cases. Mame License Although it allows many of the same liberties, MAME is not FLOSS. MAME may be freely distributed in source or binary form. The right to reuse source code is project's source code freely available. Derivative works are allowed (although in some cases discouraged; the MAME team would rather have contributions submitted to the main project). There are some restrictions on what derivative works can change. Especially, derivatives are forbidden from enabling games which are purposefully disabled. As discussed above, this helps ensure MAME does not take revenue from real arcades. External links Official MAME website ( Latest official source patches and WIP information ( Mame's History.dat website ( Yahoo! listing of MAME websites ( ODP listing of MAME websites ( StarROMs ( - An authorized merchant of Atari ROMs for use with MAME Robert M. finds God in the details Link ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thank you, Paul Dean, spy hunter champion, Millennium June 28, 1985 Free Website Counter
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