I discovered* emulation while reading about (taking a nostalgia trip) one of my favorite NES games, Rygar. Was lead to NESTen and some rom site, overjoyed that you could actually play old games on your PC. I think I found MAME when trying to find a way to play Taito's Superman. Game kind of sucks honestly, but I sank a lot of quarters into it back in the late 80s early 90s.
*I remember hearing about N64 emulation long before (probably UltraHLE) but, not knowing any better at the time, all I could think about was, "how do you plug the cartridge into your computer?" Earlier still, I remember seeing Bleem! for sale at Best Buy.