Emulator snobs

I’ve been wanting to make this rant for a while now, but after reading this thread on reddit (archive here), I feel that now is the right time to do it.

Lately I’ve noticed  that there are some people in the “emulation community” who are just assholes.  They get mad over the stupidest shit – people using or recommending emulators they don’t personally approve of.

At times I’ve encountered a lot of flak in the past for recommending certain emulators to people.  Some people have been downright hostile to me over it.  I’ve always been baffled by this, as for one thing, I can only personally recommend what works for me, and for another, it’s a personal recommendation made over the fucking internet about software to play video games.  It’s not like I’m passing laws or anything.

This has been especially true when I’ve recommended PlayStation emulators.  I usually recommend ePSXe, because that is the one that works best for me.  And whenever I see ePSXe being recommended for use by me or anyone else, there’s always that one person who just has to barge into the discussion and demand that everyone stop using ePSXe and use Mednafen instead.

As I’ve said before, I think Mednafen is garbage.  I’m not going to tell anyone to go use an emulator that I’ve never even gotten to run at all.  But apparently this makes me either a paid shill, brainwashed, or afflicted with Stockholm Syndrome.

Reading the above thread on reddit was an eye-opening experience for me.  I used to think that these assholes who stirred up fights over their favourite emulators were just fanboys taking things too far.  There is definitely some of that going on.  The PCSX2 emulator developers have gotten heaps of undeserved hate over the years simply because their emulator isn’t the shining example of what emulation projects should be that Dolphin is.

But it looks to me now like the jealousy and hostility over other emulators is coming directly from the developers of emulators like Mednafen and projects like Libretro and RetroArch.

What their particular argument boils down to is that all emulators must be open source, and closed source emulators are stealing from “the community” and their developers greedy filthy traitors.  It’s all fucking nonsense of course.

I happen to understand why open source software is much better than closed source software in general (hey, I use Linux), but I also know that insulting the makers and users of other software projects just makes you look like an immature prick.

Now after seeing that shameful display from a “Libretro / RetroArch Dev”, I really am concerned that talented programmers will be driven away from contributing to certain open source emulator projects, when some of their loudest proponents have proven themselves to be such a huge bunch of cunts.

UPDATE: Jesus Christ these guys are jerks.