Arcade emulator MAME aspires to be a 'learning tool for developers'

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/micahmcdowell)

Popular arcade emulator, MAME, is becoming open-source in the hopes of becoming a learning tool for developers. Although the emulator's source code has been available for some time, it has been under a modified BSD license which prohibited commercial use of the code. 

Originally the BSD license was put in place to help prevent the use of MAME in illegal ways whilst also deterring museums who charge entry fees to access their historic collection from profiting off the software. This helps to encourage the legal license holders to release their classic titles on MAME for anyone to enjoy. 

For developers, it will help them to learn more about the development of classic games and hopefully attract more into supporting the project so more artefacts of the industry can be preserved for longer and be more accessible to a wider-range of people. 

MAME (Multi Arcade Machine Emulator) recently merged with one of its sister projects called MESS (Multi Emulator Super System) to become one release which can cover all arcades, computers, and consoles that it can... 

On the project's homepage, the development team wrote: "MAME is strictly a non-profit project. Its main purpose is to be a reference to the inner workings of the emulated arcade machines. This is done both for educational purposes and for preservation purposes in order to prevent many historical games from disappearing forever once the hardware they run on stops working." 

"Of course, in order to preserve the games and demonstrate that the emulated behaviour matches the original, you must also be able to actually play the games. This is considered a nice side effect, and is not MAME's primary focus." 

You can find out more about the MAME project and download the emulator here, or find its source code hosted on GitHub here

Do you think the MAME team made the right choice making the project open-source? Let us know in the comments.

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