Dumb Gamer

JoshuaHeterJoshuaHeter Omaha, NE
edited December 2017 in Gaming
Let me first start by making 2 initial points.

1) I'm going to ask at least a few dumb questions here, so don't feel bad for talking to me like I'm an uniformed yokel (I am!).
2) This is likely a "Easier to get forgiveness than permission" situation.

Okay, so I just bought this (it should arrive early next week):

https://www.etsy.com/listing/553940692/super-nintendo-snes-3d-printed-case

I don't know the proper terminology, is this an "emulator"? How exactly does it work?

Also, is this legal? If so, how?

Also, if it is technically legal, is it (in your view) moral? Does this purchase make me history's greatest monster?

Comments

  • voodooratvoodoorat Atlanta
    edited December 2017
    It's an emulator running on a cheap small computer (raspberry pi) with a case that looks suspiciously like an SNES.  

    I'm no intellectual (property lawyer) but I think:  The emulator software is perfectly legal, the cheap small computer is perfectly legal...  Not sure about the case looking like an SNES--that might be legal as well.  As far as the games being included, that's almost certainly intellectual property theft (although arguably a victimless crime since it's probably no longer that easy to find actual SNES carts (that work) for all those games, and certainly the makers of them no longer sell them).  It's more morally questionable right now honestly than it would have been a year ago because Nintendo does now offer a legal way to buy some of these games (that mini-SNES thing, which is effectively the same thing just made and sold by Nintendo and with a smaller game rom set).

    It doesn't make you history's greatest monster, that's probably Hitler or Stalin or the guy who wrote that 70's "if you like pina coladas" song.

    I'd say do the rosary twice and give $10 to the next homeless person you see and call yourself morally clean.
    JoshuaHeter
  • voodooratvoodoorat Atlanta
    edited December 2017
    BTW, Kodi is also on there which is a nice media center...  And also itself perfectly legal but makes it real easy to collect and play pirated videos and stuff.  You're well on your way down the path of the dark side, young padawan.
    JoshuaHeterMurderbearalexander.klassenMofojones333
  • JoshuaHeterJoshuaHeter Omaha, NE
    edited December 2017
    voodoorat said:
    It's an emulator running on a cheap small computer (raspberry pi) with a case that looks suspiciously like an SNES.  

    I'm no intellectual (property lawyer) but I think:  The emulator software is perfectly legal, the cheap small computer is perfectly legal...  Not sure about the case looking like an SNES--that might be legal as well.  As far as the games being included, that's almost certainly intellectual property theft (although arguably a victimless crime since it's probably no longer that easy to find actual SNES carts (that work) for all those games, and certainly the makers of them no longer sell them).  It's more morally questionable right now honestly than it would have been a year ago because Nintendo does now offer a legal way to buy some of these games (that mini-SNES thing, which is effectively the same thing just made and sold by Nintendo and with a smaller game rom set).

    It doesn't make you history's greatest monster, that's probably Hitler or Stalin or the guy who wrote that 70's "if you like pina coladas" song.

    I'd say do the rosary twice and give $10 to the next homeless person you see and call yourself morally clean.
    The objections to this are fairly obvious (I just don't find them terribly compelling):

    The use of pirated material is only (morally) wrong if it would actually replace / prevent a purchase of the material that would benefit the copyright holder through the normal / "proper" channels.

    I already own most of what I care about (through the "proper" channels) from the NES / SNES / Sega libraries (and that can be purchased in the new mini consoles or on Wii). I'm more interested in the obscure titles I can't really get my hands on otherwise, like the MAME stuff. I can sincerely claim that this is not "replacing" a purchase from the copyright holders, but I know not everyone will agree with my starting moral principle.

    Also, your list of History's Greatest Monsters is spot on. It goes:

    Hitler
    Stalin
    Rupert Holmes (... pina colada song guy)
    Ghengis Khan
    Michael Bay
    voodooratMurderbear
  • voodooratvoodoorat Atlanta
    edited December 2017
    In the spirit of full disclosure, I have a raspberry pi with similar emulation software on it (retropi distro).  I don't have quite that many SNES roms (though still ludicrously more than I'll ever play) but also some NES, Genesis, GB, CGB, MAME, etc roms.  I also have Kodi installed, as well as Plex, a restreamer for local media that allows the same sort of shenanigans.  I feel only very slightly guilty about the ROMs--the overwhelming majority of them are either unavailable for legal purchase or I own already (sometimes multiple times) on either physical cart or virtual machine purchase or for another system or whatever.  That said, the media stuff is a little more morally questionable...  But hey, to paraphrase an old Smuckers commercial, "with a name like voodoorat, it has to be bad".  
    JoshuaHeter
  • That is way too much for that. Those Raspberry Pis are like 30 bucks and they got the games from a ROM website for free which are definitely illegal unless you have physical copies of all those games (even then it's a gray area unless you dumped them yourselves, but nobody is going to come after you and these are an extremely common way of playing old games). It looks like a bootleg SNES classic to cash in on how hot those are right now. 
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