Once you have MacMAME (the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator software for Macintosh operating systems) installed on your computer, you will likely be ready to find some games to play. The games that are played through MacMAME are known as ROMs. These ROMs contain the actual Read-Only Memory code from the original game chips.
Users who are new to the world of MAME may wonder whether or not it is necessary to find ROMs specifically geared toward the Macintosh OS. Fortunately, the answer to this question is “no.” Much like MP3s or JPG graphic files, the ROMs themselves can be read by emulators on any operating system.
In fact, this is the job of the various MAMEs on different systems: to translate the ROM code into a usable form for a given operating system. Therefore, just like MacMAME will translate the original game ROM into a format that is usable by the Mac, a Windows-based MAME like MAME32 will translate the same exact ROM into a file that can be used on that operating system. The ROM itself is the same exact code; it is the emulator that changes.
Loading MacMAME Games
In order to play an arcade game ROM on your Macintosh, then, it is necessary to have MacMAME (or a similar emulator) installed on your computer. The games themselves can be played through the emulator’s interface, just as if you were in an actual arcade. Even the coin-operated nature of the games remains the same; instead of inserting quarters, you may have to press “5” (or another user-configurable key) to gain credits for game-play.