“What is MAME?” you may be asking yourself. Well, MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. Mame is a piece of software that emulated the hardware of many (literally thousands) of arcade machines on a PC. You have to supply the roms (the game instructions themselves), but once you have it set up, which really isn’t very difficult, you have an old gamer’s paradise on your hands. There are legality issues, as you are not supposed to have roms to any games that you do not actually physically own unless released to the public, but I’m not a law enforcement officer, and I really don’t care: none of these arcade games are available to me in the arcade any more…so bite me! 🙂
Along with a huge list of arcade games, it also runs emulators for several home console systems, a number of PC games that work well with arcade controls and some pretty good juke box software.
I use a piece of software as a “front end” of sorts that organizes the systems and games into a series of menus that are easily accessible using either the joystick or the trackball. The front end I chose is called Mamewah. Although not perfect, it has proven to be the easiest one that I have found to configure, so far. The brains of the cabinet id a PC running an AMD X2 4200+ with one gig of ram running Windows XP. It is wirelessly networked to my home network via 802.11N. The controlls are authentic arcade controlls purchased on Ebay, connected to a USB I-pac keyboard encoder which converts inputs from the controls into keyboard inputs that the PC can understand. Also, I installed a large trackball for games like Missile Command, which the PC uses as it’s mouse.
This was a very fun project that was so worth the time. I love being able to sit down and play my favourite oldies on actual arcade hardware like they were meant to be enjoyed.
Anyway, if you want more informaton of this or other mame cabinets, email me!
While writing this, I was listening to “From Out of Nowhere” by Faith No More