Hi everyone! Got myself a bit of a dilemma here.
So a little bit of the back story first. A few months ago, my friend and I teamed up to create a multicade. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, a multicade project is one in which you put a gaming computer inside a arcade cabinet. It’s really fun!
But the problem that’s bothering me is the software we are using. See, I’ve always been an avid fan of classic gaming, so from a young age I’ve always used Roms and emulators to play what games
were sold far before my time. For those of you too busy with family or other obligations to keep up with modern technology, an emulator is software that emulates piece of hardware on another platform.
Lately however, my conscience tells me that it’s wrong. I always used to justify the use of emulation with arguments like: the console has been long dead and the games are no longer for sale, so it’s okay. But after having a debate with my brother on pirated music (which I’ve always stood firmly against), I found that using emulators and downloading Roms while being against music piracy seems hypocritical.
I don’t wanna pull the plug on our project (its been so much fun and we are both putting so much work into it!). The computer is a large part of what I’m doing for the project, so I feel I have a duty to my friend and the project, but I don’t want to be committing a sin towards God
Emulators are perfectly legal so as long as they don’t copy the code of the original console (most are coded in a way that they don’t). Roms are only legal if you have a copy of the original game. I’ve been considering legally purchasing retro games available for the wii. Would say, downloading Super Mario Bros for the virtual console entitle me to a copy for this arcade machine since its practically only for personal use? The money would be going to the copyright holder that way.
But then what about all the games not available for the Wii virtual console? Are all those generally considered “abondonware" if they haven’t been rereleased in any way shape or form? If I buy a used original version of a game like that, no money will be going to the developers. Wouldn’t that be morally equal to downloading a ROM except for the fact that someone besides those who own the copyright law is profiting?
In general, I just need to determine what’s a sin, what isn’t, and what I can do about this project. I don’t wanna quit the project. And I often catch myself thinking that I can just go to confession when its all finished, but I know that’s not the way to think. And I don’t want to go to confession with it unless I know that I’m gonna stop using the illegal Roms for the multicade. I’m in a dilemma, and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!