Graidus III titlescreen running on ZSNES v.800a
Graidus III running on ZSNES v.800a

What is Emulation?

So just what is this emulation thing anyway? What does it look like. How does it work. What genre does it take. (Sorry i'm an english major, i'm into spiffy beginnings).

Emulation is in reference to an emulator. Now an Emulator is software that mimics system hardware for use on a specfic operating system (i.e. Windows, LINUX, MAC, etc). Sounds like a simulation right? Well no. The beauty of an emulator is that its not a copy or replica of a system, but it is in fact the real thing. This means that it uses the exact same cpu core as the system that it is emulating.

Gradius III Level One, on ZSNES v.800a
Graidus III running on ZSNES v.800a

Therefore you can (in theory) perfectly emulate anything from a Nintendo System, to the arcade version of Michael Jacksons Moonwalker.

The reason why I say in theory is because emulators are far from perfect. Common problems include:

Ok now don't panic. Its not as bad as it seems. Many emulators, these days, are so good you'll swear you're using the actual hardware. In the system section I'll go into more detail about the emulators perfect for the newbie.

Click on the next question on the list and we'll talk about how to use an emulator