I came across MAME entirely by accident. I had a hobby of building an online FPS for about ten years by that point, which, for I don't know why, one day turned into a magnet for hackers. Being that I was a self-taught programmer by hobby, not a professional, I was completely out-classed by the hackers that plagued my game... and at some point I just got fed up and quit. So I started looking for something to do that didn't involve online play... and saw this homemade MAME cabinet on a website somewhere, which really caught my eye. As a kid I always wanted my own arcade cabinet in the house, so I started looking into it... which of course brought me to MAME, the heart of the homemade cabinet... and been hanging around ever since.