Emulation, does the industry realize its importance? Or is it just another profitable cow?

The video game industry should kneel to the showsimulation. It should because for many years the latter did what no publisher or hardware manufacturer had ever done (regardless of what Microsoft tried to do with its backward compatibility program), that is, publish all video games since the birth of the usable medium. Even today. Not only that, because in addition to video games, it has cataloged and given access to all the culture that grew up around video games: old books, old magazines, etc. Phil Spencer’s words about simulation are beautiful and important, but they lose their meaning, because they do not take into account what has been done so far and refer the problem to an industrial one. Let’s reread it:

«I think we should learn from the creative path that led us here. It’s something I love about music, movies, and television, and there are good reasons why games are following this trend, too. My hope, or at least I think I should define it that way for now, is that we can operate as an industry on a canonical emulator, allowing modern machines to run any executable from the past and thus allowing you to play around with any title. I think in the end, if we can show that everyone should be able to buy any game, own any game, and have the ability to keep playing, that could be a great benchmark for the industry.»

To get what Spencer wants, it will suffice that most old games Freedom was proclaimed, especially that which the publishers no longer exploited in any way (there are thousands… tens of thousands). It would also suffice with operations such as charging the first four Darius, which were sold for 40 euros, to exploit the nostalgia, but not to impact modern players, who were immediately rejected by the price. In short, it will be enough to work on the accessibility and status of something that already exists, remove it from the gray area in which it is always working, and stop looking nostalgia market It is also formed from smoothies to squeeze in all possible ways.

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Preserving video games not only allows future generations to play them, it also creates one. collective memory This makes the medium, in its complexity and layers, move away from market trends and the nostalgia that specific marketing transmits. When it comes to simulation, the mistake many make is to always think of it individually and consider it an alternative to modern games. Asking the question whether the games of the past are better than the games of the present is simply absurd, because it is impossible to give an answer without taking into account the time interval between the first and the last. In theory, the games of the past are something that modern enthusiasts can pull off, but they certainly aren’t a substitute for more recent titles. For the old gamer, on the other hand, the nicknames of the past are part of his existence at the time and what today is seen as his limits were only part of the best technology of the time. There is no point in comparing two different times, because to evaluate the experience of the past, the experience of the present must first be abolished and relived as virgins.

just me technological frontiers They hinder the discovery of the classics by many of those who did not live at certain times. The mistake is to look to the past in the hope that these limits do not exist, when in fact the amateur should go to discover them. At that point, the mind-blowing interfaces of some old RPGs will turn into an interesting curiosity, a study paper, as well as the terrible scrolling of some 2D platformers or the impenetrability of some text adventures. Memorizing means tracing the history of the medium, which is made up of many aspects, not just what was fun at the time and what could be attractive today, which is actually the fastest aspect of all.

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Preserving means being able to understand how video games were born, who were the first developers, how they came to be and why certain phenomena, now forgotten by the public, were essential to access today. Memorizing means understanding what we have achieved, but also what we have lost. It means looking at the world of video games in the mirror to understand the changes in it, be it the production, the audience, the expectations or something else. Preservation is, ultimately, a means of understanding the entire industry, beyond the phenomena of the moment. Perhaps only those who are able to “stay” in the highest sense of the term can identify as a true video game enthusiast, after hours spent playing, because they tend to be complex.

That’s why Spencer’s words, which seem to come down all to selling old games to anyone who wants them on any platform, can do more harm than good, because the danger is in creating an A-series simulation, a commercial, and a simulation of series B., made by fans The latter is more marginal.

Parliamone is a daily opinion column that provides a starting point for discussion of the news of the day, a small editorial written by a member of the editorial team but not necessarily the Multiplayer.it editorial line.

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