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Is it legal to play retro games on your computer?

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Some of the dearest childhood memories of almost any person is playing games. Do you remember yourself playing SuperMario, SuperSonic, or Pac-Man? We’re sure you do. There’s a chance to play them and many other titles on your computer. However, many people don’t know whether this is legal or not.

Is it legal to use emulators?

Let’s consider what an emulator is. It’s the software that copies or imitates the state and actions of another system or software. Imagine you want to copy another person’s work. Is it illegal? The answer for both cases is no. You’re doing nothing wrong if you imitate something or someone. Using something without the license or using a hacked version of any software or any system is illegal.

To play retro titles like Super Mario, Pac-Man and others, you will need an emulator. So it’s 100% legal. You use an emulator to run the Roms on your computer and that’s it. So what about legal stuff? Scroll down to find out.

Is it legal to play retro games?

Let’s try to consider what titles are illegal to play. First of all, if you use a ripped copy of the game, the developers do not get any money from you. If you download the ripped copy, you don’t play it, but you share it with other people through the peer to peer connection. Is it illegal to have a legal copy of the titles at home (e.g. the cartridge) and use a copy of it on your computer? It’s quiet legal and you can do it because most of the developers give you a lifetime license period for playing. However, you cannot distribute the copy of the game anyhow.

Let’s think of another common example with the retro titles. What if the developers do not provide the opportunity to buy the legal copy of the game? You could do it fifteen years ago, but now it’s impossible. Is it legal to download Roms from the site and play the game? Yes, it’s legal if the developer of the game doesn’t indicate any information about future re-releases. It means you can play the games legally if the game developer doesn’t plan to sell the copies of it.

The bottom line

When you purchase the game, it’s very important to read the license agreement, especially if you plan to play it on different devices. If you can’t find any information about this in the agreement, you can contact the support team of the developer. If you can’t do this, you can try finding out the information about it on the other sites. If you still can’t do this, you can freely play this very game on any device you have.

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