MAME is an emulator application designed to recreate the hardware of arcade game systems in software, with the intent of preserving gaming history and preventing vintage games from being lost or forgotten. The aim of MAME is to be a reference to the inner workings of the emulated arcade machines; the ability to actually play the games is considered as "a nice side effect" . The name is an acronym for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator.
The first public MAME release (0.1) was on February 5, 1997, by Nicola Salmoria. As of version 0.127, released Aug 19, 2008, the emulator now supports 3827 unique games and 7185 actual ROM image sets and is growing all the time. However, not all of the games in MAME are currently playable; 930 ROM sets are marked as not working in the current version, and 38 are not actual games but BIOS ROM sets. The project is currently coordinated by Aaron Giles.