15th Feb 2023 - Emulation

The last two weeks I was playing a few video games by Golden Gate Crew as well as Linel. They were all developed and published for the Amiga system. In order to play them, I had to work with an emulator. I tested two applications:

Both worked pretty well, but I stick with fs-uae for the moment. It seems to have a bigger community. Running the games is effortless. The only thing that needed a bit of work was finding the correct Amiga Kickstart ROM as well fiddling with the config settings. Playing the games is really a blast from the past, and I had to laugh out loud in some moments. The graphics, the sounds…

The emulator tries to stay close to the original experience, making the sounds that the floppy disk reader did back then, and sometimes taking ages to load!

Although foggy currently, the act of emulation is inspiring some thoughts. An emulator does provide the ability to play a video game. Seen from the perspective of research on the visual material of retro video games, this is essential. The image of video games does only exist in its rawest form at the moment of play, the moment of Ergodic Animage. Of course, we can make screenshots or recordings, but it’s a different image then. The image of video games always contains the possibility to fork into different futures. It’s a bit like a wave function collapse in quantum theory. The moment we observe the game from the outside through screenshots and -recordings, the image of the video game is frozen in time and becomes a different kind of image.