Some form of intervention is necessary in order to keep older video games playable on today’s gaming hardware. Several methods are already in place to achieve this goal, but they differ significantly based on who implements them and for what reasons. Meanwhile, the work of the so-called “player-engineer” – who is equal parts gamer, fan and research scientist – is of particular interest: their favorable position and unique skill set carry the potential to disrupt the gaming industry’s traditional concept of player vis-à-vis developer. This is clearly illustrated when considering the availability of game engine recreations, which can redefine the very playability of certain titles. As an example, GOG’s re-release of Diablo (1996) is presented, and the tensions between developer, distributor and player-engineer are explored in detail.


Of all the reasons someone would go out of their way to rediscover an old text, nostalgia is perhaps the most potent. They might employ different strategies in order to access the text for which they are nostalgic. These strategies fall into several categories which depend predominantly on the medium involved: if one is nostalgic for a certain film, then the viewer might try their luck on Netflix; if for a specific album, the listener might search through Spotify, and so on. Sometimes, the itch of nostalgia will not be scratched unless a specific artifact is located, which dramatically changes the applicable strategies. For example, if it is not merely a film one is after, but a specific VHS release of said film, that immediately redirects the would-be viewer away from Netflix and towards somewhere else.

Matters are complicated when the text in question is an older console video game, or a computer game. Merely owning the original cartridge or CD-ROM is not sufficient in order to play it: the prospective player is ordinarily required to also own the appropriate console, which must additionally be in good working condition. This is also true in the case of a viewer tracking down a specific VHS tape, but VCRs are all interchangeable with one another and so any functional one will allow the video to be watched. Conversely, console video games require specific consoles which in the majority of cases are each manufactured by only one provider. For example, there exists only one kind of Sega Dreamcast: it was manufactured by Sega, and furthermore it is capable only of playing Dreamcast games, not Saturn nor Genesis titles. Old computer games present yet an additional challenge: a player could very well be in possession of the original floppy disks, a modern, functional floppy disk drive and a functional personal computer – seemingly all of the correct ingredients – but that still does not necessarily allow the game to be played. In particular, it is extremely common for older games to simply not work on modern PCs, because the game, like all software, requires a compatible mixture of hardware and operating system in order to run properly. Video game consoles do not change nor evolve in the manner of personal computers, thus console video games require virtually no maintenance in order to play them; merely a working console and controller will suffice. Meanwhile, computer software requires constant maintenance in order to function, to keep up with ever-changing standards of hardware and operating systems.

In their quest to satisfy their nostalgia, the nostalgic person frequently becomes a consumer, and is willing to exchange money for access to the text they seek. For instance, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon, could take part in one’s journey to locate a specific book, and incidentally make a profit. In this capacity, the bookstore plays a role purely by coincidence, that is, bookstores do not exist for the express purpose of satisfying a reader’s nostalgia. But there undoubtedly are businesses and specific products which are designed explicitly to cater to consumers’ nostalgia. As a result, an economy of nostalgia has emerged. In the realm of video games, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Classic Edition is a noteworthy product. Online stores such as GOG, which originally stood for “Good Old Games,” play a major role, too. Of particular interest is the fact they manage to cater to the players’ nostalgia by leveraging new technologies rather than old.

Indeed, there exist several different strategies to solve the problem of making older games playable on modern hardware. The notion in general is an attractive option for gamers because, in order to merely play a given title, they no longer need to depend on obsolete, specialized equipment (an old console or an old computer, for instance). Nintendo and GOG offer but two of these strategies, although players have little say in deciding which games are to be preserved. A third requires assistance from the original game developers themselves, who are known to volunteer their source code to players from time to time, but the player’s choice is limited in this case, too. By stark contrast, an unprecedented amount of choice is granted to players when considering a final strategy: game engine recreation projects spearheaded by what I shall call “player-engineers.” The player-engineer has the unique ability to severely renegotiate the traditional arrangement of game developers and players, as a discussion of Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo (1996) will make clear. In short, player-engineers are the most potent force in determining which games will be preserved and which will not – in other words, player-engineers can resist corporate interests when it comes to maintaining nostalgia of computer games.

First Strategy: “Traditional” Emulation with ROMs

The first strategy to allow older games to be playable on modern hardware is to rely on game console manufacturers to re-release the consoles. The newly-manufactured hardware would qualify to be “modern hardware” in this case, such that a gamer could purchase the console by ordinary means, instead of trying their luck at a flea market or on eBay. Notable in this category are the NES and Super NES Classic Edition, which are miniaturized versions of Nintendo’s original consoles. Rather than a re-manufacturing of the older hardware, these products deliberately leverage the liberties provided by modern technology. In particular, game cartridges are replaced by a hard disk pre-installed with dozens of read-only memory dumps (ROMs) of Nintendo titles. Altogether, the console allows for cartridge-based games to be played without any need to manufacture new cartridges, despite the availability of manufacturers who continue to produce such cartridges today, even if mostly for hobbyist and homebrew projects. An example is Lizard, a new (2018) independently developed title for the NES whose cartridges were fabricated by a company called Infinite NES Lives. [1] But it is notable to see Nintendo opted to manufacture NES and SNES reboots which do away entirely with cartridges. Instead, Nintendo has focused on the unique properties of the NES and SNES controllers – in other words, they are pushing the idea that the primary source of nostalgia rests in the controllers and not in the cartridges. This definition of NES nostalgia may or may not align with that of any given player, but it is the one which Nintendo prescribes.

Despite the promise of an authentic, old-school Nintendo gaming experience centered around the “old” controllers, these consoles are rife with anachronisms. For example, even the advertising materials for the NES Classic Edition refer to the controller as “original,” in quotes, for the simple reason that it has the same size and shape as the original – conveniently ignoring the fact it cannot actually connect to a real NES. (Rather, the connector is the one found in contemporary Wii remotes.) Furthermore, the Classic Edition consoles output an HDMI video signal, a digital standard which contrasts utterly with the analog-only NES and SNES, to maximize compatibility with the sort of televisions today’s customers are presumed to already own. The “CRT filter,” complete with visible scanlines, is emulated in software, and is intended to simulate the experience of playing on an entirely different kind of television altogether. Thus, Nintendo’s Classic Edition consoles are not at all “old,” but rather brand-new, and expressly designed to integrate perfectly with Nintendo’s current ecosystem.

The sheer fact that the Classic Edition consoles rely on a library of ROMs is of particular note. Free and open source emulators for older video game hardware are plentiful on the internet; it is trivial for gamers to find and install them on their computers. However, emulators rely on ROM dumps of games in order to meaningfully work. Dumping one’s own games almost always requires specialized hardware, software, technical skills and time which ordinary gamers simply do not possess, and this is especially true for games from cartridge-based systems. Thus, there exists a relatively high demand of ROM dumps and a relatively low supply of ROM dumpers, which in turn has created a grey market where ROMs are exchanged over the internet. This is a legally precarious situation which directly threatens the established commercial methods of mainstream video game developers and publishers. Large online archives of ROMs are especially targeted by law enforcement. [2] The fear is that gamers are permitted to easily obtain ROM dumps of games they do not own, free of charge, thereby stoking exactly the same fears as during the lawsuits of Napster and Kazaa. Thus, another function of Nintendo’s Classic Edition consoles is to introduce the notion legitimate ROMs, as a sanctioned alternative to the widespread piracy that is the reputation of online ROM sharing. The technology which powers the gameplay in the consoles is precisely the same as what can be accomplished with a free emulator and a (somewhat) free collection of ROMs – the only difference being one is officially licensed by Nintendo and requires customers to pay Nintendo directly in order to play. Altogether, the Classic Edition consoles, while they do in fact permit older titles to be played on contemporary hardware, are more properly situated as a strategic corporate move which is more closely related to Nintendo’s bottom line than it is to the pursuit of keeping older games playable. And, as a considerable side effect, Nintendo implicitly maintains a definition of nostalgia for the NES and SNES by highlighting certain games and certain features of the original consoles, at the expense of others.

Second Strategy: Developers Willingly Sharing Source Code

By contrast, some game developers have volunteered to forgo a large amount of commercial gain which might have come from their older titles, by willingly sharing the source code. In several cases, the copyright is still attributed to them, but the license under which the code is released can be highly permissive and explicitly relinquish exclusive ownership. For example, Parallax Software released the source code to Descent (1995) and Descent II (1996) in 1997 under a non-commercial open source license, [3] Bit Blot published the source to Aquaria (2007) in 2010, [4] and Wolfire Games made the source for Lugaru (2005) available for download shortly after release. [5] This trend is correlated with smaller, independent studios, rather than the large corporate developers such as Electronic Arts. It is worth explicitly mentioning that releasing the source code does not mean the code is free or open source (“Free as in freedom”) [6], and thus available for tinkering. For example, Pangea Software have released the source code to Nanosaur (1998), but under very restrictive terms which actively discourage most forms of modification. Specifically, Pangea’s website states that the interested party, “you,” cannot “post or mass distribute modified versions of Nanosaur which you have created,” nor are you permitted to “port any of this code in any quantity, shape or form to Windows/PC” since the game was originally distributed for Macintosh computers only (Greenstone).

In summary, game developers may from time to time release the source code to their games, which can significantly facilitate efforts to enhance the game’s playability. The act of releasing the source code may (but not always) be a signal from the developer to their players indicating they would be willing to support the community’s efforts in whatever modifications they desire. However, players have virtually no control over which games this applies to, nor the manner in which the source code is released. Because Nanosaur’s source code is tethered to a highly restrictive license which prevents any significant modification – even if one pays Pangea Software for a license – the game’s maintenance has effectively been put on pause indefinitely. Nanosaur’s code is relegated to a mere museum piece which only functions on obsolete hardware that is increasingly difficult to find in good condition, thus of no use whatsoever to players. Any nostalgia which may be derived from Nanosaur cannot currently take the form of actually playing the game on today’s computers. So, despite the good faith efforts from certain developers to release source code as a friendly gesture, in practice the effects are inconsistent, and can vary wildly from one developer to the next. The decision to release the code rests entirely in the developer’s hands, and thus is inextricably linked to business interests, once again impeding how a player may exercise their own nostalgia for a game.

Third Strategy: Game Engine Recreations from Player-Engineers

However, there does exist one more method of keeping older titles playable, which is gaining increasingly more traction. The promise of a game engine recreation is that it is able to “interpret” the data files from one or more games, which allows the games to be played. There exist several defining features of game engine recreations in general. The first is that they are almost always open source software projects whose development is driven by the community, unfettered from corporate interests. A second key aspect of them is that they are essentially reverse engineering efforts, which itself has particular ramifications in favor of the gamer. While a given game engine recreation might not meet the approval of the developer and/or publisher of the game(s) in question, there is very little (if anything) they can do to stop them from being created in the first place. In the laws of most jurisdictions, including the U.S., reverse engineering is acceptable and its practitioners are granted protections which imply they are fundamentally different from pirates and related criminals. [7] Finally, it must be stated the nature of the work involved in recreating a game engine extends far beyond mere modding. Instead, the goal is to create a platform upon which mods may be created. The work involved here is remarkably infrastructural, to a degree far beyond the capabilities of most mods, even the technical ones.

The game engine recreation and what it represents is highly in favor of the player. Because they arise from legal reverse engineering efforts rather than essentially illegal piracy and file sharing, and because they originate from the gamer community rather than the gaming industry, they can be an attractive solution to the problem of playing older games on modern hardware. The only downside, however, is a significant one: reverse engineering is hard. Decoding a single game’s data files is frequently a long-term effort which mandates extensive research and experimentation, and that still is only part of the work required in order to render the game playable without show-stopping bugs. It is therefore not an ordinary player who realizes these projects, but rather a hybrid player-engineer with sufficient technical knowledge, creativity and motivation. We already know that video game audiences are not passive players, but rather active participants who create meanings as they play [8] – but that engagement with the text is nevertheless limited to what is seen and heard onscreen. Player-engineers, on the other hand, have the skills and the inclination to “draw back the curtain” and peek at the offscreen, “backstage” machinations underlying the text. In terms of Tanja Sihvonen’s typology of modding, they do not interact with “game-provided” creative facilities nor do they participate in “user-extended” changes to the game (88). In other words, the player-engineer’s work in this regard exists entirely outside of this typology, and thus does not constitute “modding” as it is usually understood. If forced to, we might file game engine recreation under a (nonexistent) third category of “user-provided” changes to the game.

Indeed, building a game engine recreation necessitates spending at least as much time studying and tinkering (as an engineer) as mashing buttons and enjoying the game itself (as a player). Thus, the player-engineer is able to simultaneously occupy two distinct, contradictory spaces which challenges the basic premise of how games are typically created, distributed, played, and even modified. The major game developers assume that they exclusively are the engineers and that their customers are exclusively the players. The prevailing idea of the player is that they are only permitted to play the game, that is, no other sort of interaction with the game is allowed. At this point we must consider those titles which explicitly encourage creativity and modification by providing scripting APIs (application programming interfaces) or bundling the game with approved modding interfaces. For example, Bethesda Softworks’ original release of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002) was shipped with the advanced Morrowind Construction Set tool (also developed by Bethesda), and Overgrowth (2017) features a built-in level editor which may be accessed at any time, even in the middle of a campaign. However, it is critical to understand these sandboxes come with their own rules and limitations which embody a “specific logic” that defines the game engine itself, and so it is still the developers who are ultimately in control of what is doable or permissible within their virtual realms (Sihvonen 87). Overall, the implicit understanding from the developer’s perspective is that the only acceptable way to engage with the game is to double-click on its icon and never stray from the confines of the application window. Any creativity which may be granted to the player must be restricted to what the game or its official modding tool visually presents, filtered further by the available control schemes. These controlled sandboxes, while they do offer opportunities for augmenting the virtual world, are nevertheless regimented by the rules of the game and thus can only be interacted with in the capacity of a mere player. By contrast, the player-engineer is entirely immune to these limitations. Especially in the case of recreating a game engine, player-engineers are obligated to step outside the official borders of acceptable play in order to achieve their ultimate goals of compatibility with originally unsupported gaming platforms. Thus, the agenda of the player-engineer is in direct violation of the implied, tacit agreement between developer and player. Recreating a game engine goes far beyond mere modding; it requires a significant investment of time and research which developers assume players and modders alike do not have.

Case Study: Maintaining the Playability of Diablo

Blizzard Entertainment originally released Diablo in 1996 for Windows. A Macintosh edition appeared in 1998. [9] Diablo was a success for Blizzard, with critics praising its “painstakingly animated characters” and, crucially, its “exciting, real-time play” which unveiled to players a Dungeons & Dragons-esque setting which was not turn-based and whose dice rolls were hidden from view (Macworld 1998), setting a new standard for “roguelike” games — a reference to Rogue (1980). Online multiplayer, facilitated by Battle.net, helped increase the game’s popularity. Blizzard has kept the franchise alive with the release of Diablo II (2000) and Diablo III (2012) but there was no intention of maintaining the original title’s code base for the long term. This is readily indicated by the conspicuous absence of Diablo from Blizzard’s own online store. Meanwhile, Diablo II – already 20 years old, just ancient as its predecessor – remains available for purchase, and clearly maintained. The system requirements for Macintosh players of Diablo II as listed on Blizzard’s online store indicate a minimum operating system of Mac OS 10.10 “Yosemite,” which was released a full 14 years after the game’s initial appearance. [10] So Blizzard Entertainment has clearly invested in Diablo II for the long term as they continue to maintain its code and sell the game, but the original Diablo is nowhere to be found. [11] The game is quite literally not for sale on Blizzard’s store, despite a measurable demand for it. But there exists a promising alternative beyond trying one’s luck on eBay or the local thrift shop: GOG, an online store which specializes in re-releases of older titles. In addition to their core business, they engage in a simple form of market research via the Community Wishlist, which is an online forum where gamers can express which titles they would like GOG to make available. Users cast votes, and the number of votes cast is associated with each “wish,” thus quantifying the demand for specific games. By this measure, “Diablo I, Diablo II and Diablo III + Expension [sic] packs and Soundtrack and maybe some wallpapers/art” is currently the single most highly voted wish in GOG’s history, with nearly 56,000 individual expressions of support dating back to 2012. There is some overlap with other wishes such as “‘Diablo + Hellfire’ and ‘Diablo 2 + Lord of Destruction’” (12,660 votes) and “Diablo 1” (9,175 votes), but it is abundantly clear the demand for Diablo is overwhelming in the realm of vintage PC gaming.

GOG finally made Diablo (with the “Hellfire” expansion pack) available for purchase in March 2019, offering a solution to the problem of keeping Diablo playable on modern hardware. The game’s page on GOG informs potential customers that “Travelers looking for the authentic Diablo experience can play the game as it was in 1996,” and that Blizzard and GOG have additionally “collaborated on an updated version of the game tuned for today’s gaming PCs.” [12] Speaking generally: one method of keeping an older game playable is for the developer to outsource or otherwise collaborate with another company to achieve that goal. Blizzard clearly still has a vested interest in capitalizing on the Diablo franchise, implying the existence of a license or contract between them and CD Projekt S.A. (the owner and operator of GOG) with respect to the sale and distribution of Diablo. Although the goal of keeping Diablo playable was achieved, it is not accurate to view CD Projekt acting in this capacity as a player-engineer, for two reasons. Firstly, CD Projekt are a company/developer and not an individual/player. More important is that Blizzard and CD Projekt need to collaborate in order to fully realize the final outcome, which is contrary to the player-engineer’s motivations and goals. Blizzard was able to outsource a portion of the necessary and long overdue maintenance of Diablo’s code to a specialist, which allows them to collect revenue from Diablo in the background and allocate the majority of their resources on current development efforts. CD Projekt secured business with a high-profile developer and are now able to keep their cut from future sales. Both parties benefit. Blizzard/CD Projekt’s Diablo endeavor is therefore a transaction guided by business interests and market research.

However, it turns out the manner in which Diablo’s maintenance took place was insufficient for many gamers. Most notably, Blizzard had originally released Diablo for Windows as well as Macintosh computers, but GOG’s new distribution of the game works on Windows only. This has confused and upset several potential customers, yielding a wide array of negative reviews. Among them: “One star, as there is no Mac OS X version. Blizzard can do better” (perrymason80), “For goodness sake, please make it multiplatform like the original release!” (egorun) and “This is the only diablo game I cannot get on my mac. I just would like to be able to play the entire series in one place. The original disk worked with mac [sic]” (victorsigg). It is reasonable to suggest Diablo was not re-released for Mac gamers due to a combination of expedience (only one system needs to work in order to fulfill the original wish) and capitalistic strategy (Windows continues to be the dominant computer gaming platform). In other words, the decision to re-release Diablo for Windows alone was driven by business and economic factors, directed solely by the developers, while ignoring the players’ collective desire. Altogether, players are able to use GOG’s Community Wishlist to refocus the attention of GOG/CD Projekt and that of other developers, but only to a diminished degree. The Community Wishlist concept is innovative in its own way – notably, the data is publicly visible and not a proprietary trade secret – but which wishes are to be fulfilled, and the terms under which they are fulfilled, is entirely at the discretion of the wishlist’s owner. Otherwise stated: in addressing the problem of an older game’s playability, one of the few recourses available to the player includes such limited devices as GOG’s Community Wishlist.

In contrast, however, the player-engineer has the potential to shape the “future” of a game in any way they see fit. GOG/CD Projekt and Blizzard Entertainment prioritized a Windows-only re-release of Diablo, but Diablo’s player-engineers have been able to recreate its game engine to work on Windows, Mac, and even other operating systems for which Diablo was never intended to run, such as Linux. Thus, player-engineers can take the matter of Diablo’s playability into their own hands. Diablo’s game files (scripts, multimedia assets, etc.) are still only available from Blizzard’s original CD-ROMs and GOG’s new distribution, but the game’s sheer playability (on macOS, in particular) has been addressed without the help of Blizzard nor CD Projekt. Furthermore, there are currently no fewer than three actively maintained Diablo game engine recreations, all of which have differing goals and approaches to reverse-engineering. Chief among them are DevilutionX, Freeablo, and Djavul. All these projects are community- driven free and open source software; all the code and the history thereof is original and/or reverse-engineered from Blizzard’s initial work.

The mere fact there exist multiple Diablo recreation efforts speaks to two different phenomena. First, it is emblematic of the decentralized nature of open source software in general. That is, where the developer’s original work is imperfect or insufficient, player-engineers have the unique capability to fix it. Of course, each individual problem can be fixed in any of several different ways, which may lead to conflict. Fortunately, open source development spaces actively encourage individual tinkering, and the permissive licenses governing the code demand little to nothing from the tinkerer (in software-engineering terms, individual contributors are rarely obligated to “merge upstream” or even publish their unique changes). Thus, there could potentially be as many different “flavors” of Diablo as there are player-engineers of it. The potential for individual personalization of a video game in a way that its original developers never intended expands the notion of what it even means to quench a gamer’s nostalgic thirst for an older title. The second phenomenon evidenced by the multiplicity of Diablo engines relates to Diablo’s specific popularity among gamers. If Diablo’s player-engineers are fans, then the fan base is so diverse as to warrant more than one bottom-up recreation of Diablo. This is similarly true for such texts as Tomb Raider (1996), of which OpenRaider, OpenTomb and OpenLara are but three different recreations. Therefore, fans familiarize themselves with both Tomb Raider’s diagesis as well as the extradiagetic, algorithmic machinations underlying the virtual world Lara Croft “lives” in. Conversely, a comparatively unpopular or forgotten text such as Rockett’s New School (1997), with its relative dearth of resource material, is correlated with less engagement with today’s gamers. (In fact, the author decided to begin writing her own game engine recreation of Rockett’s New School after discovering a lack of information about it.) The point is: there exists a symbiotic relationship between what the vintage PC gaming landscape looks like at a given point in time, and the quantity and quality of work accomplished by player-engineers. The a priori popularity of a high-profile title such as Diablo feeds into the diversity and interest in Diablo’s game engine recreations, which in turn feeds into Diablo’s popularity overall. The game is thus kept alive for future generations to enjoy, in a manner that is most favorable to the player.


Some form of intervention is required in order to make older video games playable on modern hardware. Several technologies exist which can help one achieve this goal, and they differ significantly depending on who implements them and the agenda which is implicitly set by their doing so. One widespread but problematic strategy involves emulating older hardware with specialized software, which is especially common when dealing with video game consoles such as the NES and its contemporaries. The method is problematic because of ROM dumping’s strong connections to piracy. Corporations such as Nintendo further complicate the matter with the introduction of such products as the NES Classic Edition, which employs exactly the same technology but sets a precedent by implying certain ROMs and emulation software are legitimate while others are not. By contrast, some developers have released the source code to their commercial games, which may be useful for players, but the developer still retains control over which source code is released, and how it is to be released. In particular, the source code is not always released under a permissive license, thereby discouraging tinkering. One final recourse available to players are such tools as GOG’s Community Wishlist, which can quantify players’ desires with respect to older games, but it has only a limited ability to bring about change because the wishes are always weighed against the business interests of GOG and any other developers. It then becomes apparent that the player’s ability to enhance the playability of games is vanishingly little, but the player-engineer is poised to upset the traditional balance of power between developer and player via the recreation of a game’s engine. Most importantly, the player-engineer is able to dictate to a considerable degree the “future” of a game, for they are bestowed with an unprecedented amount of choice: the freedom to choose which games are worthy of preserving, and the manner in which that goal is achieved. Whether a “bug-for-bug” recreation, or one which introduces new features the game originally never had – crucially, these sorts of deliberations take place at the discretion of the gamer community, rather than the gaming industry. In the case of Diablo’s re-release, player-engineers have decided to make the game playable on more than just Windows, a key decision that is contrary to Blizzard’s and CD Projekt’s intentions.

Nintendo’s NES and Super NES Classic Edition consoles, along with CD Projekt’s initial premise of offering “Good Old Games” on the GOG store, are but two examples of the gaming industry’s sensitivity to gamers’ nostalgia – and the capitalization thereof. Both companies offer to players prepackaged nostalgia for whichever titles they feel are worth it, economically speaking. In other words, the set of games offered by them is entirely arbitrary, and any given selection of games may or may not be congruous with what a player truly desires. On the other hand, player-engineers, viewed collectively, are able to curate this selection for themselves. The player-engineer embodies a unique subset of the characteristics of a fan – namely, a fan with strong technical leanings – and their work demonstrates to gamer communities and fan communities alike that fan works extend beyond mere artistic expression as it is commonly understood. Fan art and fan fiction of an older video game are two species of creative work which can concretize fans’ nostalgia for the game, independent of its actual playability. Those forms of expression are presumed to be accessible for the foreseeable future, because images and written words do not require the sort of constant maintenance which computer software demands. But with the ever-lowering threshold to obtaining software engineering skills in general, the game engine itself becomes a hotspot of fan interaction. Player-engineers thus create fan software which represents a dedication to the game beyond mere mods. Players’ itch of nostalgia for a game can therefore be scratched simply by playing the game once more, without a heavy investment in older hardware – and the original developers of those games need not be involved in the process at all.

Works Cited