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What is Retro Gaming? It's playing older games well beyond their prime. Today we play games on an XBox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii; Retro gaming would be playing 8-bit NES games, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Atari, Turbo Grafx-16, and even Nintendo 64 or Gamecube. Guess what, all this is possible and more!
Retro gaming can be accomplished on your home computer, whether it's a Mac, Windows, or Linux machine. How? Developers have made programs called emulators that "emulate" the abilities of the older systems. An emulator can play a version of a game called a "ROM." Now this is where this is in a gray area; "ROMs" are supposedly legal when you own the actual cartridge. I own an old NES and a bunch of games. Rather than keeping my NES out and hooked up to my TV, I installed an emulator (Netopia), and found all the ROMs for the games I own. Now I simply launch the emulator and ROM whenever I want. I even found a USB NES controller to play my games.
You can find the emulator for NES here: http://nestopia.sourceforge.net
ROMs, on the other end, can be more difficult, but a quick search on Google for NES ROMs will lead you in the right direction. Simply launch the emulator and load your ROM; within the emulator you can map the controls for your controller. In minutes you can be playing Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Brothers and so much more! Chaning games is simple; just load a new ROM.
So check it out. Emulators can be easily found for NES, SNES, Genesis, and so much more. USB controllers are available for NES, SNES; I even have a N64 and ATARI controller on its way via Amazon!
Classic gaming at its best!