Shilling Seedi and The Morality of Retro Gaming

Shilling Seedi and The Morality of Retro Gaming

There is an issue that has been looming among the various YouTube gaming personalities for many years now that has been coming to a head: shilling.

I know this isn’t a new thing in the world.  Product shilling has been a thing longer than anyone on this planet has been alive.  Presenters, personalities and anyone in the spotlight is subject to scrutiny when making recommendations on products.  Some folks like the comedy oriented Ethan Klein (of h3h3 studios) make it abundantly clear when they have a sponsored video and keeps it to innocuous placements like shaving club membership and streaming services at the end of videos.  There is nothing wrong with that; after all, many of these folks are making their living from YouTube and put many hours of labor into their content.

The real concern is when manufacturers of mods and after market hardware start sending out free products to notable personalities.  Sure, it doesn’t require the recipient to give a shining review, but there is always the implication when getting your hands on something for review purposes.  Is the reviewer being fair with the product?  Are they going to point out the flaws and truly explore the product, or just gloss over the negatives and focus on the positives to pay back the “favor” of receiving the product?

The generic version of a Seedi!

It can be a dangerous game.  The opinion and experience of a YouTube personality can make or break a product and the creator.  With more and more new products coming out on the regular, the waters are getting murkier.  Most recently, there has been some controversy over the new Seedi system, a third-party box with a built-in optical drive capable of emulating CD based consoles of ages past.

The problem is Seedi, as a particular example, advertises the product can play this large variety of disc games from multiple consoles out of the box.  The reality however is that most of the emulation cannot function without requiring the end-user to illegally obtain the BIOS of the respective console.  This is often the case with emulation with consoles that require it, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it as a requirement with a piece of retail hardware.

Certainly, there is a need for this sort of technology to preserve gaming history and give a new platform to the dwindling stock of physical media.  Considering that some games, depending on a number of factors, are literally melting away, we need all means of preserving and still enjoying these games as possible.  Despite this, something seems stinky to me when a product is being sold that requires intellectual theft.  Even worse when the issue is glossed over by the vendor and the reviewers that have been promoting the device.

I think folks might be more inclined to bring up and examine the moral concerns with such a product.  You know, if it were not for the implication of getting the product for free.


Frank Hoskins on Twitter
Frank Hoskins
I'm a mountain born hillbilly nerd and I like a whole lot of stuff.

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