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Classic Games (Games) Emulation (Games) Open Source

MAME Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary (mame.net) 47

After years of work, a fan has finally completed a MAME version of Atari's unreleased game Primal Rage II this week, one more example of the emulator preserving digital history. Long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo quotes MAME.net: Way back in 1997, Nicola Salmoria merged a few stand-alone arcade machine emulators into the first Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. Could he have possibly imagined the significance of what he'd built? Over the past two decades, MAME has brought together over a thousand contributors to build a system that emulates more machines than any other program.

But MAME is more than that: MAME represents the idea that our digital heritage is important and should be preserved for future generations. MAME strives to accurately represent original systems, allowing unmodified software to run as intended. Today, MAME documents over thirty thousand systems, and usably emulates over ten thousand. MAME meets the definitions of Open Source and Free Software, and works with Windows, macOS, Linux and BSD running on any CPU from x86-64 to ARM to IBM zSeries.

A 20th-anniversary blog post thanked MAME's 1,600 contributors -- more than triple the number after its 10th anniversary -- and also thanks MAME's uncredited contributors. "if you've filed a bug report, distributed binaries, run a community site, or just put in a good word for MAME, we appreciate it." I've seen MAME resurrect everything from a rare East German arcade game to a Sonic the Hedgehog popcorn machine. Anybody else have a favorite MAME experience to share?
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MAME Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's a version of MAME that supports Primal Rage 2. Using quite a kludge, in fact, hence why it's in a separate build done by a user, and hasn't been put in mainline.

    The games are being emulated by MAME. There's no such thing as a "MAME emulator". You're not emulating MAME. MAME is emulating games.

  • 20 years of dev, and they're at version 0.182.

    • 20 years of dev, and they're at version 0.182.

      Nope, Microsoft has them beat. It's actually Windows v0.07, v0.081 and most recently v0.10, marketing just moved the decimal point. Did you really think they would be past v1.0 and still get kernel panics? ;)

  • Can it emulate the Philips Coffee Machine voice synthesizer? Coffee? COFFEE!

  • sigma derby rom dumps are needed!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2017 @12:01PM (#53892053)

    our digital heritage is important and should be preserved for future generations.

    With the rise in online DRM and games where much of the logic runs on a remote server and that code is never made available, it seems like there's a risk of a "digital dark age".

    Of course people can attempt to re-implement the remote parts, or break the DRM, but sometimes that's easier said than done. There are popular games where no crack appears for years, and not for lack of trying. At the very least, it's going to be a much harder job in the future than preserving classic arcade games is today.

    One positive point is that games available on DRM-free services like GOG will be easily preservable. Which is a good reason to buy your games through GOG, so that business model succeeds in the market place and there is commercial pressure to use that instead of intrusive DRM.

  • Why can't the MAME people develop a way to name roms other than 8.3 file format? Good luck finding out what anything is without the help of a GUI front end. It has to extract every zip file and read the contents to figure out what the game is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2017 @12:19PM (#53892109)

    MAME now emulates more than just arcade machines. Years back, a separate branch of MAME was used to emulate home computers and console systems form teh Atrai 2600 to the Commodore Amiga. This was called MESS (Multi Emulator Super System). In May of 2015, MESS was merged with MAME. Now MAME not only emulates arcades systems, but a plethora of home computers and console systems.

  • MAME represents the idea that our digital heritage is important and should be preserved for future generations. MAME strives to accurately represent original systems, allowing unmodified software to run as intended.

    We might be living in MAME for the universe. I know, this has been beaten to death, but think of it in these terms. How many Pacman machines exist right now in the world? Now, how many people run it on MAME? If I were to randomly pick one person on the planet playing Pacman right now, they would almost certainly be playing in MAME. In 20 years from now, the chance will be even higher.

  • Anyway to delete the 30GB's of "fruit" machines that the .182 set will be sure to include?

    If there isn't an easy way than I am sticking with .139

  • I can see the point in preserving and restoring games that people wax nostalgic about.

    But is a game that Atari never released an actual part of 'our digital heritage'?? It sounds like a footnote that nobody, ever, anywhere, would remember.

    Which is cool and all, but it's definitely not part of our digital heritage. Because it never saw the light of day.

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