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The Rise of Digital Gaming: Heralding the Demise of Physical Media

Posted In Game reviews, Technology Reviews - By Techtiplib on Saturday, November 16th, 2013 With No Comments »

Slowly but surely, Steam and the mobile phone industry are undoubtedly chipping away at the very nature of the computer games business. No longer do we buy games in stores and then run home to open them. No longer do children come home from school and find their games lying on the bed waiting to be opened, and no longer can you swap your cartridges with friends to try a new game without breaking the bank.

The Rise of Digital Gaming- Heralding the Demise of Physical Media

These days games are more often downloaded directly to our device, with no need for us to go outside. This has some benefits of course, but if you got at all nostalgic reading that top paragraph then you will probably agree with me that this change is a shame – and that we should be careful not to completely abandon the physical game disks and their packages.

The Benefits of Going Digital

The Benefits of Going Digital

Of course before we get stuck into a one-sided diatribe, it’s worth noting that there are considerable benefits to downloading games. It means of course that we can get them instantly without having to wait, and it increases margins for developers and publishers while decreasing costs for end users. In fact it opens up game development to the whole new ‘indie scene’ allowing smaller developers to get involves – often resulting in more creative, innovative and original games as a result.

Then there’s the fact that digital games can easily be updated on the fly, and that bugs can be fixed for future users – all good arguments for digital games.

But people aren’t quite ready to give up on good old traditional boxes just yet – as Microsoft recently learned with the whole Xbox One fiasco. Let’s take a look at why it’s important that we safeguard the physically packaged game – at least for the time being.

The Experience

The Experience

The first reason this is important, is that it provides a different kind of experience for computer game owners. Of course this includes all of the things I described earlier in the opening paragraph: the feeling of getting to open something and the freedom to ‘trade’ games, as well as other things such as the ability to sell them on.

But at the same time there’s the simple fact that a package can actually add to the product. For one, it allows you to display something that you’re probably proud to own. Many of us use CDs, DVDs and computer games as a way to express who we are to other people – and our choice of media can often say a lot about us. As such then, it’s a good feeling to choose physical copies of games because it allows us to display them in a collection and share our love of that game, that genre or that character. I personally own every major Sonic the Hedgehog title since the original on the Megadrive. That’s a collection that took a lot of hard work to create, and I appreciate being able to show it off by displaying it.

Author Bio: 

Shruti Vaghe, the author of this article, is a freelance blogger, who often writes for Beneco Packaging, leaders in custom box packaging in Toronto. She is passionate about gardening and loves playing basketball. You can also follow her on Twitter @ShrutiVaghe.

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