Nerdy Monday: Emulators vs. The Real Deal

A lot of people I talk to ask me why I have so many old video games.  I have a lot of them, and I scour the yard sales and flea markets for them.  Most of the time I don’t go too out of my way for them.  Though there are a few people I know at the Tri-Cities flea market AND Trader’s Village in Kingsport that sell video games, and I’m on a first name basis with them because I’m a pretty good, and loyal customer.

But it gets brought up a lot that I only have around 300-350 games when my other friends have every game that was released on every console up to… XBox, or whatever.  They have emulators.  Emulators are files that you can put on your computer that hold all of the games from certain systems.  When someone has a “complete 64 emulator”, it means that there’s a file on their computer containing all of the N64 games ever released.  There’s no real advantage to having them, other than bragging rights. For example:

This is a screenshot from Jurassic Park 2 on SNES.


The graphics aren’t any better, is my point.  And sure, you got them all within a week for free from a guy who called a guy who knows about these things.  That’s cool.  That’s very awesome.  It’s fantastic if you’re a person who just wants to say they have every game that’s been released.

But I’m not that kind of person.  For me it’s more about the hunt than it is the prey.  I love finding a few simple games at the bottom of a box in someone’s yard sale.  It’s cool because you get all excited “SONIC 1?! I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR THIS!” is what you think.  Then you have to calm down and then hold them up and say “How much you want for this?”  while trying not to smile.  And it’s almost orgasmic when they say “How about a quarter?”  How cool is that?

I have met so many interesting people looking for these old games.  I also think there’s kind of a bond there, when someone is selling a sega genesis and 10 games/cases/manuals with all the hook ups and controllers and you find it.  That recently happened to me, and I am definitely sending that woman a Christmas card.  Call me nerdy, or geeky, or dorky, or just a tool, whatever.  I call that being grateful.  I call that networking.  She sold me all of that for $10.  She deserves at least a Christmas card.

You don’t get that kind of satisfaction from an emulator.  And really, out of the 800 or so NES games, how many of them have you actually played?  I had 3 NES’s growing up, and all of my friends had them, and my cousins, and even some of my friends in college had one, and I’ve still probably only played 80 different games.  And even that is stretching it.

I’m not out to own all of the games in every library ever made.  If that happens one day, great.  If it doesn’t, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.

The Magnavox Odyssey.. sure, if someone gives one to me, I’m not going to turn it down.  Anything else “video game related” that people choose to give/send/donate/SELL to me, is awesomely accepted.  When I can’t buy something from someone, I definitely know or will find someone who will.

I’m addicted.  Have you ever seriously gone back to a game you played growing up?  Back then, your parents paid the bill.  You played that one game with your one friend for as long as your attention span allowed… maybe 5-7 minutes.  Okay, okay, I’ll bare with you, how many NES games have you beaten?  Me, wow, I’m a nerd and I’ve only beat 11.  eleven out of eight hundred?  1.38%.  Even if you rounded up generously, I’ve only beaten 2% of all NES games.

And that’s only because I am a nerd.  I love playing games, and I love playing them all the way through.  Have you beaten GTAIII?  I mean up to 100%?  I haven’t.  I am up to 99% and can’t get past it.  It doesn’t make it any less fun, it makes it more of a challenge.

I digress again.  Emulators don’t give you this.  They don’t give you this passion.  You have to be in it for the game, not “all the games”.

Here’s my bottom line.  If you’re unsure about an old game, and want to play it before you buy it, get an emulator.  If you want to have an adventure, meet some people, and  get excited over deals the way I do…

Go retro.  Fark spending $60.00 on a brand new video game.  I can take $60.00 and show you 17 games YOU’VE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF!

…then I’ll beat them all.  Right in front of you.  Just to prove that I am the master.

..”Say When!” ~Doc Holiday

The Jester.


2 Responses to “Nerdy Monday: Emulators vs. The Real Deal”

  1. […] Nerdy Monday: Emulators vs. The Real Deal « Cracked a jester's Blog […]

  2. Interesting article, bookmarked for future referrence, regards Michael..

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