The Nintendo DS and GBA scene is in bad shape, I don't know for sure why this has happened, but I've decided to speculate a bit. First, I'll give some history (which is only as good as my memory) ... the console scene started back in the early 1990s on BBSes all over the world. For those of you who are not familiar with BBSes go check out wikipedia for more info. SNES and Genesis/Megadrive copiers were quite expensive in those days, the cost was $400+ for a decent unit. I was a kid at the time and had no way to come up with that kind of cash. However, I was lucky enough to have weaseled my way onto a ton of BBSes and at least got to take a little peak at the console scene at the time. Groups like Anthrox, Sneakers, Elitendo, Premiere, RomKids and others were coding trainers/intros and dumping games as fast as they could get their hands on them. Although I don't know the exact numbers of people who were part of the console scene, but there were probably 50-100 people doing work for the SNES and Genesis/Megadrive consoles. Competition was fierce and the people involved in coding/dumping/training were having fun trying to win releases from their rivals. The end result was, people involved the console scene had access to new roms quickly and had trainers, intros and other cool stuff to play with (that their friends who were buying the games didn't have). If you weren't part of the scene in some way, you were basically shut out entirely. No Internet, no fserves, no rapidshare and no usenet. At some point in the mid-90s, BBSes died out when the scene started using the Internet for communication. Around this time, after spending some time on IRC chatting with my friends from various groups and getting my warez from ftps, I decided that this wasn't for me. It wasn't the same as BBSes and wasn't worth my time anymore. The good times of having a monthly conference call with your buddies was over and I didn't like it. Years later I bought a Gameboy Color and a flash cart for it. I decided to venture back onto IRC to get my hands on new roms. At first I was a bit lost and I couldn't find any of the people I used to chat with 5 years ago. I was lucky to stumble upon a channel that had fserves with new GBC roms. In this channel there were around 100 people, of which most people were rom collectors. Personally, I just wanted the new GBC roms so I could put them on my flashcart. At this time the GBC scene was very active, there were several big groups and dozens of people involved in the core of the scene. Releases came quickly and they were plenty of intros/trainers to look at. I later decided to team up with one of these groups and write some trainers for GBC. The benefit I received from writing these trainers was that I had access to roms a few minutes after they were released. Not being involved with a group, I often had to wait 4 hours or more to get the latest GBC rom (which were mostly under 500kb). Near the end of the GBC scene, the GBA appeared and all the big GBC groups like Capital, Eurasia, Lightforce, Venom and Menace had interest in continuing on to the GBA scene. Early on in the GBA scene we saw releases from these giants and even the first trainer coming from Anthrox (snes group). If you take a look back at the first couple hundred GBA releases you'll see who the big players were. In September of 2001, Capital put out their final release: Lifesaver_v1.9.7-CPL. If you can dig it up somewhere, the nfo is an interesting read. Two console scene legends, Rotox and Wayne Kerr, explain why they are calling it quits after having such a great run (although Wayne Kerr couldn't help himself and continued to do things for Venom after this). Here is a small portion of that nfo as written by Wayne Kerr, who is universally recognized as one of the finest coders in the history of the console scene: “It's a shame we have to close Capital, but we no longer feel welcome in what currently passes for "the scene". Where once people were respected for their technical ability, attitude and friendship, todays scene is run by forum-monkeys and rom-dumping chimps... The past few days of listening to people who have done exactly *NOTHING EVER* for the scene bitch about the use of intros (which brought about a sense of deja-vu for those of us in CPL, as we faced the same 2 years earlier when trying to introduce them to the GBC scene) have just driven home to us precisely how pathetic things currently are.” Since you have probably never had the privilege to chat with him, I will say that he is possibly one of the nicest people you will ever meet online. So don't think this guy is just some scener-elitest-snob, because he really isn't and he has devoted countless hours of his time to make releases for you .So, we jump to about one year later to 2002 and the GBATemp “community” was born. What was GBATemp about at that time? Providing links to websites which hosted GBA roms. You can read about this also on wikipedia, but I'll provide a short summary. According to Kivan (founder of GBATemp) there was a lack of fserves available and getting roms was too difficult therefore there was the need for GBATemp. Meanwhile the real GBA scene began to fall apart as GBATemp grew larger and larger. The admins of this forum now boast that GBATemp has over 30,000 members. We move onto Nintendo DS and the tradition of the Snes, GBC and GBA scene is all but dead. It's quite obvious that there are tens of thousands of people with the equipment needed to play and dump roms for the GBA and Nintendo DS. Compare this back to the SNES/Megadrive days where there were only hundreds of people who had the equipment but dozens of dumpers and coders flocked to the scene. Today the GBA Scene consists of three groups: WRG, Caravan and Rising Sun while the NDS scene consists of two: WRG and Legacy. There are maybe 5 active coders and less than 10 active suppliers. What has happened here? What's gone wrong? You would think with a “community” of over 30,000 people, some of them would make a contribution every now and then. Obviously that isn't the case, because we rarely see anything coming outside of those few small groups. The GBATemp forum is a community of leechers and the IRC channels bearing the same name are the greediest leeches of them all. When a group releases a new rom, if it isn't available via Rapidshare within minutes all hell breaks loose. While years ago everyone was content on waiting a few hours for a GBC rom, what has changed? The leechers have become more greedy and websites like this one only encourage them. It's funny to look at the GBATemp of today and the GBATemp of the past and compare the two. What's happened here is that all the moderators and admins have gotten famous off the work of other people (the release groups). The forum members feel that they are entitled to every rom whenever they decide that it's in stores (regardless of the truth). When a group releases a trainer, the typical response is either “Why this game?” or “I want a trainer for this other game”. GBATemp's staff gets free flash card equipment by whoring out the frontpage to advertisements, the release groups get nothing. What GBATemp is doing is wrong, and it is more wrong than what the release groups are doing by dumping roms. Release groups dump roms and make trainers ... If the release group didn't dump the rom it would be dumped by someone else at some other point. Take a look at MAME or other systems that aren't centered around the sale of illegal copying devices. The release groups do not hurt the game makers, given the way piracy has been in the last 20 years+ or so, everything that can be copied will be copied. GBATemp makes public to thousands upon thousands of people precise instructions on how to steal NDS and GBA games. While on the other hand GBATemp posts a hypocritical policy of “not condoning piracy”. Why has the handheld scene fallen apart? My personal theory is that it's the result of websites like GBATemp and the behavior of their members. I'm not going to reveal my identity in this post, some will know who I am and others will not. It's sad to me that once there was a scene based upon friendship, competition and free games that no longer exists. I know there is no way to change this, but I really wanted to get this off my chest. Thank you for reading this.