Scrolling around various gaming subreddits, you'll see on the regular people discussing the best way to play a game today. While that's an easy decision with modern games (buy it for the platform you have), it's a lot trickier for a game released in previous generations, getting harder and harder the further back you go.
I remember being on the Gamespot forums and a few Reddit communities before on another account. I remember how strict they were on the mention of piracy and emulators, and for good reason. You're objectively breaking the law and not paying the console makers as well as the game developers. However, lately I've seen across almost every gaming subreddit I go to that not only are people allowed to talk about these things, but others will actively encourage them to do so.
A lot of people cite improvements via mods and emulator settings, but as we move forward with gaming generations, there are a big group of people who feel forced to do it as they have no other way to play it. I posted in
r/JRPG not too long ago about whether TMS:#FE was a good introduction into Persona (before P4 came out on PC), and while I specifically mentioned I wanted nothing to do with emulation, that was practically half the posts made in the thread. Most people saying to emulate P4 Golden (again before the PC port) since it was stuck on the already dead PSVita.
People argue that you're not taking anything away from the devs/publishers/console creators when the technology is already considered obsolete, and that they want to "preserve" these classic games for future generations to come. While I sympathize with the sentiment to a degree, it got me thinking that if these companies don't want to preserve it themselves like how Square Enix ports their older FF games, is it really "morally correct" of us to be doing it for them, or is it just a lame excuse to emulate and pirate?
Many people want to liken games to other fields of art like music, literature, movies and television, painting, etc. However, in most cases, its up to the music labels, painters, etc to decide whether to make something available on certain platforms, etc. Recreations of a famous paintings are frowned upon, and an album can only be put on a streaming platform with the permission of whoever owns the masters to that music.
Whether there's a degree of truth to it or not, is it still even right for us to emulate these games in the effort to keep them available? If the people who created it and the people who hold the rights to it don't want to share it with anyone else moving forward, is it really fair of us to say otherwise? If the experience of their work of art is meant to be on a certain console with a certain controller, whether the reasons for it is financial or something else, does it justify playing it for free? What do you guys think?
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