EmulationEmulators and Roms are a huge part of internet gaming downloads these days. Emulators, which are perfectly legal, emulate a specific system such as the NES, Genesis, and recently the Playstation and N64. They play games, called roms, in almost the exact way the system would. Much controversy has risen concerning whether roms are legal or not, even leading to suits being filed. Using roms for games you already own is perfectly fine, as a backup or something, but downloading them just to have them is an entirely different story.
by: The Apocalypse
Designing a game nowadays is almost like making a movie. Thousands of dollars are spent towards programmers, musicians, graphics designers, and even actors. Lots of time and hard work are (usually) put into making the game good. To download a rom that you do not own the original cart or cd for is just like stealing it from the store. Publishers constantly lose money due to this, and it isn't slowing down. And when publishers lose money, the publish less games. Even downloading an old Atari rom destroys the chance of seeing a further compilation of some sort from the current owner of the license. In the long run, its really us thats getting hurt.
So, to all you emu-kiddies out there...use emulation as a handy way to play your games on your PC, not as a way to get them for free. Hey, I'm a poet and I don't know it...wait...does "C" rhyme with "free"?