That's a good point, a lot of first projects aren't really original but it's kind of like comparing between a 14 year old's sketches, a van Gogh painting, and a 3 year-old's coloring book.mic_ wrote: I disagree. Most beginner coders who think "hey, writing a game would be totally radical!" and actually finishes their project end up either doing a remake of some old game (tetris, arkanoid, pong, snake), or something very similar. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with doing that - I'm just pointing out that there's nothing inherently more creative or "new" about writing a game compared to an emulator.
I guess it depends on what kind of stuff people want to write. If one just wants to write boring ol' stuff that is just 100% following specifications, then emulation would help you get good at that (assuming a ~95% documented system like the NES). If you want to come up with all sorts of cool stuff, and face all kinds of challenges in figuring out how it will work, then writing a game is the way to go.
Me personally, last year I had started to write a 6502 emulator (in Propeller assembly). I figured if nothing else, it would be the beginnings of a homemade NSF player. But it was so tedious and boring to code, that I was falling asleep while writing it, no kidding. I guess as soon as I knew it was possible, it wasn't as fun anymore, heheh.