If you're a Catholic who is serious about keeping in the state of grace and remaining in Christ's friendship then you probably think a lot about whether a given act is sinful or not. One of the things you might worry about is whether it's sinful to emulate games on your phone or computer.
Downloading a copy of a game you don't own, and which ordinarily can only be obtained by purchasing it is certainly sinful. I think if you have a habitual practice of doing this you are certainly dealing with grave matter, that is, mortal sin. Even stealing one game electronically could possibly be a mortal sin, if it is done with full knowledge that the action is serious.
Some people would argue with this, but I think we need to see intellectual properties and software in the same way we would view physical items. If you apply the same rules to the physical item, would taking it be moral?
Anyway, lets move onto the question- is it wrong to download a copy of a game you do own?
This is licit so long as, in additional to owning a copy of the game you are going to play, you also own a console on which that game can be played.
- So, for example, you own a ps1 and you own a hard copy of ff7. In that instant it is licit to emulate ff7 on your pc or phone.
- Another example, you own a ps3 (which is capable of playing ps1 games) and a hard copy of ff7. In that instant it is licit to emulate ff7 on your pc or phone.
- Again, you own a wii and you buy mario 3 on the virtual console, you can play mario 3 on your phone.
- I would even go so far as saying- you own the nes cartridge of mario 3, you have lost your nes but own a wii upon which mario 3 is available for download, in this instance I think you can play mario 3 on your phone without sin.
Keep the faith my brothers, you have one soul and there is one eternity.