MAME itself isn't copyrighted, mostly the roms, don't know why almost no one uses them. Will look for this game, Ataxx, since it doesn't ring a bell just to see
what it is? Some how I just like playing these arcade games from the time when quarters were kings.
Well, that's sorta the problem, Mame is like "hardware", it's nice to have a framework and all, but the roms are pretty clearly copyrighted stuff, cue all the juicy new copyright laws.
Ataxx is like a game called Othello that involves turning your opponent's markers into your own, back and forth. So the field of influence changes immensely.
This is a decent intro. http://www.youtube.c.../watch?v=z7x0i_4Q47M
The killer innovation at the time was that it uses a ranking system very much like the tournament chess world. And from the tiny bit of info I have, if you dig up a chessplayer with a ranking, their ataxx rating will be slightly close to the guy's chess rating.
Edit: I don't really agree with his strategy comments, so if anyone really gets hooked on this game dig me up and we can thrash around a little. The point is the opponents are rating-graded and he skipped the two easy ones at the low levels that most people practice on.
Edit: The keyboard controls on this game for MAME always bothered me. It's something like Tab to get past the data screen, 5 to add more coins, 1 to select first player to play, and left control as the key action push button. (The mouse part is a little fast but you can slow that down if you like, I am being lazy today. )