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Old 11-28-2005, 09:47 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 43
Default The Decline of ROM hacking.

This isn't isn't some kind of alarm call to action. These are just my views on the rom hacking community as a whole and what I personally think of it's decline. Take them or leave them as you will. This thread is more intended to lead to a discussion of the issue rather than an argument.

First, you have to think about the romhacking generation. Most of us grew up playing Super NES, NES, and Sega Genesis games. For most of us this is one very big reason why we hack- to extend our love of this style of gaming and give it new life. At an even baser level romhacking is just another expression for wanting to create your own game. More to the point, our generation has the background to apreciate what rom hacking more generally is with gusto. The romhacking generation is growing older, however. Many of us are dropping the hobby of rom hacking all together to take care of matters in our own lives, like going to college and building for a career, meeting the love of your life and starting a family, or having a good enough job that you hardly have a minute to spare for hobbies- even a combination of all of these.

See, what I'm getting at is that more and more today, kids aren't going to be able to readilly apreciate NES and SNES games unless their parents inspire them to. They're the ones growing up with childhood memories of the Nintendo 64, the Playstation, the Saturn and beyond that in some cases. They don't have the background to apreciate rom hacking like most of us do (and by this I mean that because we predominantly hack NES and SNES games, the old 2D styles. We know all about that). I think that this younger generation is more than likely much less accepting of this aged styled of gaming.

There are many other contributing factors to the present state of romhacking, and quite honestly I don't know if there's a damn thing we can do to stop it. One such factor could be interest. I beleive that the general interest in romhacking has been dropping by degrees over the years. Perhaps only recently has it become so severe that we are now taking notice of it. The old rom hacking groups that used to be around have all but imploded. Even some of the most titanic web sites in emulation and rom hacking have taken a turn for the worse. We've lost quite a lot that made rom hacking what it used to be.

Now, I'm not saying that romhacking is all together dead. This is more like a slump- a complicated slump that has many, many contributing factors, probably more than a few I haven't even considered yet. I think perhaps this is just the way it goes. We aren't necesarilly helpless to stop it but I don't know is enough of us care enough. Personally I think it's going to take me quite a while to stop entirely, and I may never stop. I really love this hobby, and I know there are many of you that feel the same. Still... that's the situation as I see it. Others may have things that are perhaps a bit more insightful to add.
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