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Illegal ROMs at Wizard World? What?!


I recently attended Wizard World Philadelphia, not because I'm a huge comic nerd or anything, but because my friends are. So, with a couple of buddies, I headed on down to the Philly Convention Center and prepared myself to be underwhelmed by the gaming action on tap and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of cosplayers there.

Imagine my surprise when I actually stumbled on something I could write about. Well, it's not something I'm actually happy to be writing about. You see, for some odd reason, a vendor was allowed to be set up on the show floor, selling CDs chock full of illegal ROMs.

As I was walking the show floor, I caught a glimpse of Contra out of the corner of my eye. I'm pretty good at doing that, actually, since Contra is pretty much super awesome. But, seriously, how does this happen?

How can they get away with this? Now, you may be asking yourself why I didn't report them or just run up to the booth with a sledge hammer and lay into everything there. Well, I'm no snitch and I personally am a big believer in karma. What these folk are doing will come back around, is my opinion. So I felt it best to just leave it at that and write a post about it once I got back to HQ.

What they had at the booth were compilation discs, sold for only about $20 a pop. Each disc contained supposed complete libraries of titles, spanning from the NES to coin-operated arcade titles. It was stunning to see these computers set up for folks to play, as well as advertisements to buy these pirated discs all over the booth. Doesn't anyone running this show have half a brain?

How would someone even be able to set up a space at the show for this? Wouldn't a show floor coordinator walk around for a last check? Wouldn't they realize how illegal it is to have hundreds of games on one CD-ROM? Like, I just can't explain to you how puzzling this whole situation is to me.

Imagine my surprise when I got home and found out not another single soul on the internet has written a thing about this. But, maybe it's a widespread practice, a kind of unspoken thing at these kinds of shows? I'm not one to usually attend these, so I figured I'd put the question to you all. Have you seen this practice at other shows or events? Your local Wizard World?

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