26 August, 2005

80's - The arcade machines!

Staying on the same subject, the 80's. I don' know about you but I love the arcade machines of the 80's (Pac-Man, space invaders, bomb jack, etc.). When I discover that I could play again the same games (exactly as they used to be) on my computer, some years ago, I was extremely happy.

First, because it brought me memories of my childhood. Second, because I think the simplicity and addictiveness of those games superpasses today's games. To be able to play the arcade games again was due to a program called MAME, an "emulator" of the hardware of the arcade machines. More from the official site of MAME:

MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. When used in conjunction with an arcade game's data files (ROMs), MAME will more or less faithfully reproduce that game on a PC. MAME can currently emulate over 3000 unique (and over 5400 in total) classic arcade video games from the three decades of video games - '70s, '80s and '90s, and even some from the current millennium.

The ROM images that MAME utilizes are "dumped" from arcade games' original circuit-board ROM chips. MAME becomes the "hardware" for the games, taking the place of their original CPUs and support chips. Therefore, these games are NOT simulations, but the actual, original games that appeared in arcades.

MAME's purpose is to preserve these decades of video-game history. As gaming technology continues to rush forward, MAME prevents these important "vintage" games from being lost and forgotten. This is achieved by documenting the hardware and how it functions, thanks to the talent of programmers from the MAME team and from other contributors. Being able to play the games is just a nice side-effect, which doesn't happen all the time. MAME strives for emulating the games faithfully.

If you want to give MAME a try follow those links:

MAME Official Site
MAME32 : Windows GUI version of MAME - I recommend this.
MacMAME : The MAME port for Macintosh
missROMS : Utility to help search for ROMS



Eddie said...

yes, PacMan is one of my favourite game.
and it does bring back those old memories.
I remember my father used to gave me some coins to play the arcade game (PacMan is the only one they have) when he was busy with his billard games.( he used to take me along to the billard game centre)