The small matt er of legalities
Dabbling with emulation and the like can fairly rapidly lead to legally murky waters. In the US copyrights last for 75 years, so even ROM files of early arcade games are off-limits. Even if you own an original copy of the game on one platform, you’re not entitled to download another (getting data off Amiga formatted disks requires special hardware, for example) for use on an emulator. Just because a title is no longer available doesn’t entitle you to download it.
However, old PC games are readily available for cheap on auction sites, fairs and stoop sales (which is like a yard sale if you live in Brooklyn). The century old “first-sale doctrine” covers this legally. For older titles you’ll need a USB floppy drive, and apparently computers now don’t come with optical drives either so you might need one of them, too. For the reinvented game engines under consideration in this feature, we’re only interested in getting the asset files from the original media. This circumvents any DRM issues we may run into if we were running the original binaries.
OpenSC2K was a remake of the classic (and dromedary-jokepacked) SimCity2000. Alas, in July GitHub received a DMCA takedown notice that obligated it to take the OpenSC2K repository offline. That repo included assets from original game, and since SimCity2000 is still sold by EA for about £5 (though the company has offered it for free in the past) the project soon attracted the attention of EA’s legal team.