Written by Adam Blau
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As aficionados of classic video games likely know, there is a means by which old video games can be faithfully reproduced on modern computer systems. Through a piece of software know as MAME, a user can download ROMs of old games and faithfully reproduce them on their computers. In many cases, video game fans are a few simple clicks away from playing their favorite video games once more, often for a surprisingly small amount of money.

What Is MAME?

MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. It is, in itself, not an actual video game, but rather the framework through which old, original video game codes are played. MAME is a sort of hosting program that is installed on your current operating system (be it Windows, Mac, Linux or otherwise).

Once you have installed MAME software onto your computer, you can load ROMs into the MAME's memory. ROMs are simply the original arcade game data files and code which have been dumped from the ROM circuit boards. Note that because of this, the games are not merely simulations of the original games; they are the actual game code, reproduced directly onto your computer.

MAME software is free; you can find the free download by performing a simple search on the Web. The ROMs, on the other hand, must be licensed in order to be used legally. While you can probably find some so-called "free" downloadable ROMs online, the copyright and trademark restrictions on these games render their free transfer illegal. There are sites, however, where you can download ROMs of your favorite games legally for a surprisingly small amount of money.

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