MAME Projects: What Is MAME?

What Is MAME?

The following information is taken directly from

MAME (pronounced "maim") stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. Its purpose is to document the inner workings of those pioneering games of the video arcade era. Remember Pacman, Space Invaders, DigDug, etc, well, they are all documented and what's more fully playable in the MAME project.

MAME is software, written in 'C' and 'ASM', which emulates the hardware of the original machine the games were built with. This enables the original game programs (often called ROM images) to run quite happily on a PC. The other advantage is that these games will be preserved forever, thanks to this project.

MAME is co-ordinated By Nicola Salmoria of Italy, but there are well over 100 people contributing to this project. The code is written in a manner which allows several people to submit 'drivers', and are merged with the current code. MAME currently emulates over 4000 sets, however, some of these are clones, bugfixed and bootleg versions. Still, there are well over 2000 individually different games emulated by MAME.

This site is to be used as a resource for arcade enthusiasts and for owners of the original machines. You see, these arcade machines will not last forever, so the emulator and ROM Images allow us to preserve these games.

And here is a note taken directly from

ROM images are copyrighted material. Most of them cannot be distributed freely. Distribution of MAME on the same physical medium as illegal copies of ROM images is strictly forbidden.

You are not allowed to distribute MAME in any form if you sell, advertise, or publicize illegal CD-ROMs or other media containing ROM images. This restriction applies even if you don't make money, directly or indirectly, from those activities. You are allowed to make ROMs and MAME available for download on the same website, but only if you warn users about the ROMs's copyright status, and make it clear that users must not download ROMs unless they are legally entitled to do so.

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