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Magmavision2000

What Is Your Moral Stance On Console Modding?

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I personally don't think it's wrong, especially nowadays where it will be the only way to access DLC if you didn't buy it when it was new. In my opinion, it's no different than modding a car, if you don't use it online, or for doing illegal stuff (e.g. pirating new games. You can see my stance on that in the moral stance on ROMS thread), then it shouldn't be a problem. 

 



On a side note, if anyone who reads this lives/lived in Japan, can you tell me if they made console modding illegal? I've heard its illegal to own a modded console as it could be used for cheating.

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I have no objection to it. The law isn't an indicator of morality, it's just what's on the books. Conole modding and piracy aren't mutually exclusive. If I buy a stereo and decide to turn it into a toaster, it's my prerogative. I think it's important to understand and honor the intent of a law as far as actual morality is concerned, rather than obsessing about the letter of it. Everybody has their own conscience to deal with.

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I have no problem altering a console, if it's not the only one I have of it.

 

Like, if I had two SNESes, I'd be willing to do the region mod on one, but I only have one, so...no.

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It's just a thing!  An inanimate object that does one thing, play video games.  If someone wants to open it up to make it better than why the hell not?  There was a time when home computers were constantly being upgraded because they had to be, you didn't just replace them every year like a smartphone...

 

I don't know why retro collecting manchildren get so upset over consoles getting opened because "it ruins the collectablibity", it's just more pabulum puking outrage they put out on forums & YT channels...

 

 

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2 minutes ago, MrMaddog said:

I don't know why retro collecting manchildren get so upset over consoles getting opened because "it ruins the collectablibity", it's just more pabulum puking outrage they put out on forums & YT channels...

 

I get their point. They probably want an untampered "example" to be in their collection and not a repaired or upgraded one. I personally don't care (as long as it works), but I understand why some people have that mentality.

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Basically, it's yours, do what you want with it.  However, as time goes on, there are lots more ways to get the features you used to get from modding.  For a lot of systems, I really don't see the point, when aftermarket accessories or clone consoles can net you the same result better, cleaner, easier, and (often) cheaper.  I did see the point years ago, but I no longer do.

 

Easy example: component mod a Sega Genesis, or buy a Mega SG?  In my mind, the Mega SG is $200 well spent.

 

 

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If it were something very rare and hard to come by, then keep it original.

Most of these consoles were sold in the millions.  Unless you are establishing a museum-quality display, go ahead and modify it to work with new displays, controllers, etc.

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I think if it's active hardware *and* it allows you to play stolen product from the active generation yeah it's amoral.  If it's something from the past, even if someone chooses to re-release some goodies, then whatever what's in the past is the past.

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I feel if you can't buy the console anymore and if any online services it had have stopped running go ahead and mod that console! Now I've only softmodded my PSP, but might consider doing the same with my PS3 when online stops working on that system, but that would be mostly so I can play imported PS2 games like Thunder Force VI.

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If I lived someplace where I thought the authorities might harness or redirect me for opening up my own equipment, I would shortly be packed and ready to move. Although, it might be hard to find a promising location at the moment as authoritarians world-wide are reaching out...

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It's not a question of morality for me at all. I bought the thing, it's mine, I will do anything I want with it. If I want to turn my Nintendo GameCube into a food processor, I will do that and neither Nintendo nor anybody else can stop me. I paid my money, I own it.

 

Now, there are certain mods I understand but wouldn't personally do, and there are other mods that I think are just kind of stupid. These days, if you want to really do anything at all online with a console, I feel like it's generally pretty dumb to mod it. If you mod it, you'd better be prepared to play offline-only, and potentially even be banned from using online services on *any* console tied to your account. That's obviously not a consideration for older systems that were offline-only to begin with, but it is for more modern ones.

 

I also generally don't really do any video output mods, for a bunch of different reasons. But I'm not totally opposed to it, I've just had specific reasons for not doing it for most of my consoles.

 

I have done region mods to various systems, because region locks are anti-consumer and I will not accept being told I am not allowed to buy a game just because it happens to have been created on a different piece of dirt than I'm on. So I guess in that sense, I feel like *not* modding a system is the less moral choice.

 

I've wanted to do various other mods to various systems and just haven't gotten around to it. Some mods - like putting a backlit screen into a handheld that didn't originally have one - can actually *increase* the value, even if that's what someone's worried about. In fact I'd say most mods probably do that, if done well and if they're reliable mods. So, definitely not opposed to it. I am opposed to manufacturers trying to stop us from doing what we want with our own purchased items.

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Mods = bad, repairs (caps, etc.) = good. Only exceptions are Nomad and SuperGrafx.

11 hours ago, Magmavision2000 said:

On a side note, if anyone who reads this lives/lived in Japan, can you tell me if they made console modding illegal? I've heard its illegal to own a modded console as it could be used for cheating.

I have never heard of this. If you go to Super Potato and Retro Game Camp, they sell Famicoms that have been modded with composite out, so I'm guessing it's not illegal.

 

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2 minutes ago, Steven Pendleton said:

Mods = bad, repairs (caps, etc.) = good. Only exceptions are Nomad and SuperGrafx.

I have never heard of this. If you go to Super Potato and Retro Game Camp, they sell Famicoms that have been modded with composite out, so I'm guessing it's not illegal.

 

So if I add region free BIOS and the phantom chip to my Sega Saturn, the Japanese FBI won't raid my house if I move there?

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Magmavision2000 said:

So if I add region free BIOS and the phantom chip to my Sega Saturn, the Japanese FBI won't raid my house if I move there?

You'd be fine, most likely, as you aren't selling/distributing the original BIOS, which is illegal everywhere, apparently.

 

That and the fact that I doubt they really care that much. Still, it is important to note that Nintendo seems picky about the BIOS in the Famicom Disk System. The Castlevania collection on PC/PS4/Switch doesn't have Dracula 2 or the original FDS version of Akumajou Dracula, even in Japan. Too bad, since that version is better than Castlevania 2. Yes, I'm weird and like the FDS music.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
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8 hours ago, Magmavision2000 said:

I get their point. They probably want an untampered "example" to be in their collection and not a repaired or upgraded one. I personally don't care (as long as it works), but I understand why some people have that mentality.

I don't. I own what I own. If want to set fire to it, or smash it with a sledge hammer.. that's my business. Worry about your own damn stuff. Collectors act like it's temporary community property that eventually goes back into the system, and their job to police these kinda stuff. 

 

I remember the bio ape force joke someone played on collectors on a now defunct forum. They claimed to have found a proto for nes. And kept releasing pics of it. Sooo many collectors were fighting to buy it from him.. then he smashed it and posted the remains on the forum... the horror and outrage of the collectorards hahahah! It was great. "Eat communism", "2k monies".

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 Can we just stop with these MORAL STANCE B.S. topics? It's a hobby, entertainment, past time, go play your games the way you want and lighten the hell up. 😛🙄

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, OldSchoolRetroGamer said:

 Can we just stop with these MORAL STANCE B.S. topics? It's a hobby, entertainment, past time, go play your games the way you want and lighten the hell up. 😛🙄

Yeah.

 

Hack what you want, it's your console. I've been modding, hacking systems for years, morality doesn't come into it.
Morals are a human issue.

It's like people moaning about Emulation when we can't buy new copies of the games or even systems in question and haven't been able to for decades.

 

Even if you fuck up the machine by doing it, so what ? It's one less machine. Unless you happen to be modding a prototype or a development machine (and that would be pretty messed up because I'd like those either put in a museum or explored and documented) I don't get it.

Edited by ∞ Vince ∞
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3 hours ago, OldSchoolRetroGamer said:

 Can we just stop with these MORAL STANCE B.S. topics? It's a hobby, entertainment, past time, go play your games the way you want and lighten the hell up. 😛🙄

I think moral stance was the wrong word to use. Maybe something like opinion, or thought would've been better? Moral makes it sound like I'm asking if it's a sin or not.

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Magmavision2000 said:

I think moral stance was the wrong word to use. Maybe something like opinion, or thought would've been better? Moral makes it sound like I'm asking if it's a sin or not.

Yeah, that is how it came across. I mean if you want to mod, then mod. Just best to check out a few tutorials or a step by step first.

I'm all for modding. I've used to sell xboxes with CoinOps I'd put on and stuff.

If you are getting more from something than it was designed to do then cool! Just make sure you don't hurt yourself in the process.

All you need is a set of non conventional screwdrivers.

 

The reason why you've had an almost entirely negative response is, there are people who think Modding is a sin that you should never do it and that to modify or tweak hardware is wrong.

They themselves are wrong, you can do what you please with something that's yours that you have paid for, but they are out there judging people for it all the same.

Edited by ∞ Vince ∞
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8 hours ago, ∞ Vince ∞ said:

Yeah, that is how it came across. I mean if you want to mod, then mod. Just best to check out a few tutorials or a step by step first.

I got the impression that the reason for the moral stance question grew out of the story a while ago about Japan banning mods. Japan (and Japanese manufacturers) have definitely been on a kick about trying to present modding as almost a form of stealing. Or at least copyright infringement, which to them is the same thing.

 

But from what I understood from a while ago when this story was going around, the whole thing was basically a misunderstanding, and Japan didn't make all mods illegal. I can't remember the specifics (maybe someone else does) but it was basically that they'd just brought their own laws in line with our DMCA, which says you can't bypass BIOS lockouts specifically for the purposes of copyright infringement. That doesn't make mods illegal. It makes doing stuff that was already illegal specifically illegal with regard to game consoles, so there's no ambiguity if you ever got taken to court. That would only happen anyway if you were infringing on a massive scale, or doing something like running a store that was advertising selling consoles modded specifically to play copied disks. They're not trying to go after individual users or even small stores selling modded consoles that don't advertise that they can play copied media.

 

Again, the way their law is worded isn't something I know for sure, but the DMCA is pretty clear that modding for fair use purposes is ok, even if it means you can do things that would otherwise be considered infringing as a side effect. What's not ok is modding specifically to enable copyright infringement. I'm pretty sure the Japanese law is the same.

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I leave things original unless the original video output isn't really usable. The Timex 1000 computer is a classic case.

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4 hours ago, spacecadet said:

I got the impression that the reason for the moral stance question grew out of the story a while ago about Japan banning mods.

Ah I see that has the air of truth about it! Can imagine how it went viral in the wrong way.

Quote

 What's not ok is modding specifically to enable copyright infringement.

I'm pretty sure the Japanese law is the same.

Yeah. This makes perfect sense, though I'd argue my modded xboxes are ok as in the vast majority of cases you can't buy those versions anymore or the systems they ran on anymore - It used to be quite gray.

 

They say that you can only infringe on someone's rights if they have intent or are currently selling the games in question. It's a matter of what it cost the company, though the hammer has come down now, now that the major players have smelt the sweet smell of cash!

 

So I buy the retro mini systems as a trade off to my far better implementation with decent emulators. I also owned and own a lot of the games in the same format as I play them on Emu.

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I'm pretty sure I don't own a single retro console or computer that isn't modded in some way.

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If it's a modern console by all means mod it, but it may be more fun to preserve the full retro experience of the older consoles.

 

@Nolan Bushnell may have the worlds most interesting opinion :)

 

NolanBushnellAtariParty.jpg.93b7d9b08bb7b20250564fee181fb1b6.jpg

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