Originally Posted by CiDeRmAn
But if a person has no other way to play it....
And I think that is the central conceit to emulation, no?
Not in all cases, definitely no. I greatly downsized my physical collection, and favored an emulation setup. I do own the original consoles, I do (did) own the games, I do own a CRT, and yet, I made the decision to largely 'get out'. Collecting is great, it's a wonderful hobby, and is the de facto way to experience the media in question. It does come with some caveats though, it's stupidly and artificially expensive, there's a lot of trivial willy waving that goes on with it, it can become obsessional and compulsive, you need space (potentially a lot of it), there's usually maintenance, and there's a large placebo effect going on for many people.
What I mean by that is, well, I'll ask the question of myself by choosing a random game. Was my experience of Super Metroid negatively affected, in any sense at all, by playing it via an emulator, versus playing it on actual hardware? Owning the game and console physically, I can safely say no, it wasn't. There was no middle man between me, and the games code. The games code runs flawlessly on real hardware, as it does via something like a cycle exact Snes emulator. I played with a Snes style USB controller, so no difference there. I played it with some heavy duty shader action, which gave me a very close approximation of a crt tv. All in all, a very gratifying experience.