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Physical vs Digital Games

Physical vs Digital Games  

41 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you prefer Physical or Digital games?

    • Physical
      24
    • Digital
      7
    • Both
      10
    • Undecided
      0
    • I really don't care.
      0


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I don't like used games. I take care of my things, and getting a copy of a game with a small blemish (or hell, a pretty damn noticeable scratch, as the case usually was) would bother me to no end. But mainly, it was the knowledge that by purchasing used games, I wasn't helping anyone profit but Gamestop or whoever. It made me feel dirty, so I quit going to game stores altogether.

Well, to each their own. I can respect your position but it's not one that I personally share. I like having the ability to sell things that I no longer want, and buy things that other people no longer want. I don't believe that the original manufacturer / publisher / what have you / should be compensated for every instance of their products changing hands after retail, nor be allowed to prevent the change of hands from happening just because they aren't. To me that's akin to two kids trading baseball cards on the playground and then having a Topps representative step in and say "you can't do that, you have to each buy new cards instead".

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When Gamestop offered me an opened "new" game, I declined because somebody at Gamestop has already put fingerprints and sweat on it. :-)

Oh my god, I used to hate that. It seemed like EVERY new game I ever bought there was their "last copy," meaning it had been opened and used as the display copy. The price was the same as if it had been sealed, of course. No thanks.

I like having the ability to sell things that I no longer want, and buy things that other people no longer want. I don't believe that the original manufacturer / publisher / what have you / should be compensated for every instance of their products changing hands after retail, nor be allowed to prevent the change of hands from happening just because they aren't.

Well, sure, I agree with all of that. And with console games, buying an older game used is often your only option. I don't own any consoles from the last couple of generations, so I'm not sure how many games are available on virtual console or whatever similar system Microsoft and Sony have, but I imagine used is still your only option for most things.

With PC, it's much better. GOG offers tons of old games dirt-cheap with no DRM, and anything NOT available there can probably just be downloaded for free somewhere (not legal, but then neither is everything available to download on Retromags). If I want the original packaging as a collector's item, I'll gladly pay for a used copy on eBay, but if I just want the game and it isn't officially on sale anywhere, I have no compunction about downloading it.

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If I want the original packaging as a collector's item, I'll gladly pay for a used copy on eBay, but if I just want the game and it isn't officially on sale anywhere, I have no compunction about downloading it.

Right, I can get behind that logic.

As for GameStop, they seem to have gotten better over the years (and I guess it depends on the particular store that you visit) but yeah, I was really disillusioned while working there. At least the second time, which was in late 2001 when it was still just Funcoland. That's the first time I was ever taught the trick of opening a Playstation jewel case without the customer knowing. All you had to do was separate the front plate (which contained the instruction manual) from the back plate (which contained the disc) which required nothing more than gently pulling the hinge at the bottom left corner of the case to unlatch the two pieces. Then you could lift up the front of the case like a treasure box, freely exposing the disc while leaving the bar code sticker - which went across the top of the jewel case and kept its upper portion stuck together - intact. By doing this you could flip through the instructions, pop out the disc, archive it (or even play it) and then just quietly pop it back into the "sealed" case and hook that bottom hinge back together to sell the game as "new".

That wasn't the only unethical crap I was exposed to at that store. I once saw someone buy a game brand new - at least, it was presumably new given what I just described above - and open it to look at the instructions in the store while he waited for a friend to arrive. When he did, the two of them left to go somewhere else in the mall. Not five minutes later the guy came back, flustered over the fact that he'd bought the wrong game. It was something like he'd heard that the 2K sports games were good but didn't realize that they name the games a year ahead and bought the previous year's version by mistake. He politely explained the situation while asking if he could be refunded his money to buy the newer game instead. Nope, the manager said. He'd already opened the game so all they could do was give him store credit, which was of course something like a paltry quarter of what he'd just paid for it. It wasn't even that he'd left the store and could conceivably (though unlikely) have somehow made himself a copy of it or something. Nope, the mere fact that he'd removed the game's packaging was enough to change it from "new" to "used" status. Which would be understandable if not for the utter hypocrisy of the store selling "new" games that had already been subjected to the exact same handling by the employees.

That's not all. When I worked there in '95 all anybody cared about was upselling. We made a commission for every copy of whatever product was chosen as the "big ticket" item that month. In October or November of that year it was Monopoly for the Sega Genesis, for some unholy reason. And when it wasn't that (well hell, even if it was), it was the damn cleaning kits. Cleaning kits and memberships. Funco drilled you HARD about buying cleaning kits and memberships, extolling the alleged virtues of both, for no other reason that the employees got a little extra scratch from the bigwigs who ordered them to push those items. It didn't matter if they worked or were any good. Buy them because our "numbers" go up.

Back to 2001 again, we had a revolving door of managers and one of them wound up being a young, skinny Asian guy named Tony. He couldn't have been half a year into 18 and it was already difficult taking instructions from him while I was in my twenties, but I did what I was told. The guy had a flat affect, never smiled or showed any emotion. He was very monotone and cold, which made his smugness all the more evident. It didn't take long for the guy to rub me the wrong way when, on our first day of working alone together, I tried to pass dead time by making small talk to which he responded "just because there aren't any customers doesn't mean that we have to be talking". When customers did come in I started noticing that he'd hover next to them, just standing there quietly with his hands behind his back. I asked him about it and he told me that it was all about establishing his presence in order to discourage theft. I told him that he was obviously violating the customers' personal space and making them uncomfortable and he said that "good, then they'll think twice about taking anything if they know that someone's watching them".

The key moment that made me quit was when Tony told me that if a customer asked about a game, I was to push it. Push it hard. Tell them it's great, urge them to buy it, enthuse about it whether I'd actually even played it or not. If I knew that the game was shit, then just lie. I told him that I was really uncomfortable about this and that we're supposed to be there to assist the customers, not manipulate them. He replied "Fuck them. Their purpose is to give us money. We're here to sell games". This was my manager telling me this. I said that I wasn't going to be able to do what he was telling me to, that I had too much integrity to treat people like that. He said "that's why you'll never be manager here". I said "You're right" and quit the next day.

TL;DR: Deceptive aggressively profit-driven retail monopolies are bullshit.

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The key moment that made me quit was when Tony told me that if a customer asked about a game, I was to push it. Push it hard. Tell them it's great, urge them to buy it, enthuse about it whether I'd actually even played it or not. If I knew that the game was shit, then just lie. I told him that I was really uncomfortable about this and that we're supposed to be there to assist the customers, not manipulate them. He replied "Fuck them. Their purpose is to give us money. We're here to sell games". This was my manager telling me this. I said that I wasn't going to be able to do what he was telling me to, that I had too much integrity to treat people like that. He said "that's why you'll never be manager here". I said "You're right" and quit the next day.

TL;DR: Deceptive aggressively profit-driven retail monopolies are bullshit.

That's some serious mess. I almost got hired as an Assistant Manager at a local GameStop before. But these days, I'm glad I never got hired. I would of either quit within a week or get fired for worrying about the moral dilemmas. I only go there to resubscribe to Game Informer because I like physical magazines once a year. GameStop is overpriced, their used games are in terrible condition most of the time, and their employees try to sell me the latest $60 games that I can care less about.

But thanks for sharing your GameStop experiences.

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I have embraced the digital gaming paradigm. For me it's just so much more convenient. I do the majority of my gaming on PC, for PC digital is super convenient, compared to how PC game used to be distributed. I get why people are are put off by digital, you don't get that backwards compatibility from one generation to the next.

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That's some serious mess. I almost got hired as an Assistant Manager at a local Gamestop before. But these days, I'm glad I never got hired. I would of either quit within a week or get fired for worrying about the moral dilemmas. I only go there to resubscribe to Game Informer because I like physical magazines once a year. Gamestop is overpriced, their used games are in terrible condition most of the time, and their employees try to sell me the latest $60 games that I can care less about.

But thanks for sharing your Gamestop experiences.

To be fair a different manager DID offer me assistant position once but it would have meant switching to a different store, further away, and with my anxiety issues I was too nervous about trying to integrate with a different crew. So I stayed, wound up serving under the evil Asian guy, and quit. :P

I like Game Informer too, or at least I did when I last checked one out a few years back. The last few times that I've gone to GameStop - which I avoid as much as I can because I prefer to support independent locally owned businesses whenever possible - I have to admit that they treated me fine and sold me discs that were in perfectly good condition. Again though, it really does depend on which store (and staff) you happen to be dealing with.

Lol no problem, thanks for reading my GameStop experiences. Got off on kind of a tangent there.

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It has to be physical copy for me.

Maybe i'm too paranoic of loosing my collection if it's on a hardrive or if a console die...I don't know man, i feel safer having the copy of the game

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I'm as old school as you'd get and believe me all the reasons to own physical copies are reasonably valid more so then than now. But nowadays my thinking,perception and overall opinion on the matter has evolved into preferring digital if done right why?

Reason why I switched to digital done right (stored on SD cards haddrive)

PROS:if stored on SD cards etc it is basically a physical copy that's yours with the added bonus of more storage space.

Cons:doesn't come with game Manuels nor disk case with art cover.

Pros: digital comes with digital game manual that can be zoomed in to see more details in art/description you wouldn't be able to see plus the cd case designs are ugly and a moot point unlike say arguing the old days when retro games where package in cool box art with game protecting overalls.

Pro:digital copies last longer,don't have to worry about scratches and last longer than physical copies. Those cd games won't last forever and ya would have to rom it digitally in the end anyways.

Cons:Even SD or hardrive storage isn't completely reliable as you'd need to make backups in case of currption and with developers preventing at least one back up copy it makes the argument against cds just a little flawed.

Lastly with emulator anyways you have a lot of stored games to play at your disposal without having to constantly turn of console to switch. They come with virtual manuals,cheat codes built in and with modified flash carts you can play them on you old consoles for that retro feeling.

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Let's see, i prefer both Physical can become rare and be sold for a price....a "BIG PRICE". Digital is more easier and a lot cheaper safer and more available to buy and play.

However they do have drawbacks.

1.Physicals do tend to wear out and can get stolen or broken making you buy another game, especially if the game is rare...good luck finding another "Rare" one.

2.Digital games can be removed from the digital store list and they aren't top notch with the quality with the original physical copy of the game. They can get buggy and sometimes crash your game/computer. Also you may need to buy more upgrades to your computer, spending more of your money just to make one game/games work just to accomplish what your current gen console can already achieve.

I say both. It depends on the game you're trying to buy.

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I like physical games, although I'm getting more comfortable with the idea of digital only. I had a flood in my house and a large portion of my game collection got ruined (games, consoles). I spent a fortune amassing that collection and now I'm spending a fortune trying to replace it.

I've had songs on my computer for 15 years, I copied them to a hard drive and never had to worry about it. As long as I have copies of the they will always be there.

Another thing people don't talk about, in regards to psychical media is consoles, especially disc based consoles. Disc drives break, motors stop working, and lasers stop scanning. Good luck trying to find a disc drive for your model 1 Sega Saturn. That's what happened to me, my Saturn stopped reading discs, I tried to replace the drive, in the end it was easier to just by another console. As time goes on I get more comfortable with the idea of digital media.

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I like physical games, although I'm getting more comfortable with the idea of digital only. I had a flood in my house and a large portion of my game collection got ruined (games, consoles). I spent a fortune amassing that collection and now I'm spending a fortune trying to replace it.

I've had songs on my computer for 15 years, I copied them to a hard drive and never had to worry about it. As long as I have copies of the they will always be there.

Another thing people don't talk about, in regards to psychical media is consoles, especially disc based consoles. Disc drives break, motors stop working, and lasers stop scanning. Good luck trying to find a disc drive for your model 1 Sega Saturn. That's what happened to me, my Saturn stopped reading discs, I tried to replace the drive, in the end it was easier to just by another console. As time goes on I get more comfortable with the idea of digital media.

Even PCs aren't immune to pre-digital problems. I've got tons of boxed PC games from my childhood...all on floppy disks, which are useless to me now. Luckily, digital downloads are just a click away.

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i will always prefer physical just because i like tangible products but also its easier and you have more control with regards to ownership and sale

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i will always prefer physical just because i like tangible products but also its easier and you have more control with regards to ownership and sale

This is true. But one thing I never understood is the argument that physical things make nicer collectibles paired with the argument that they're easier to sell (and I'm not suggesting that you were saying that at all, btw).

I'm a total collector/archivist. I have thousands of games, far more than I'll ever have time to actually play, and I have no desire to ever part with them. That's what collecting means to me -- get games, keep games, even the bad ones. Selling isn't part of the equation. I personally don't have room to store thousands of physical games, and keeping dozens of systems handy, plugged in, and functioning properly isn't practical, either, so I'm happy having gone digital. That said, I can totally understand why someone would prefer the nostalgic FEELS they get when holding an actual cart or vintage controller in their hand. I just never understood why a collector would care whether they could sell their collection or not, since at that point, they're pretty much engaged in the opposite of collecting. Or I suppose my definition could be wrong and I'm not really a collector but a hoarder. I've got no problem with that. I yam what I yam.

Edited by kitsunebi77

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Physical copies are always the best but these days new games you buy are half digital anyway even if you own the disc. It's a shame because 80% of games these days come out unfinished. Say in 10-15 years you want to go back to it and you can't because it was either online only or entire modes were a download that you don't have access to.

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Ideally I'd prefer all my games to have physical copies.

The only time I do get digital copies is when I have no physical release alternative.

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I think your title and argument are misleading. You seem to be suggesting that something digital is inherently owned by someone other than yourself. Which is false.

What your title should be is: Do you prefer physical or DRM-controlled games? since that's what your subsequent post is all about.

I prefer digital in pretty much all things, and have 18TB of hard drives to prove it (mostly comics and movies/TV, but several TB of games as well.) However, NONE of those games are controlled by DRM, and I may never have a Steam account. My games are mine to do with as I please, and will be forevermore, barring massive hard drive/backup failure. Which is just as possible as the chance that a fire might destroy a physical collection, but not something one should look at as inevitable.

The only difference between a physical disc and an ISO or executable installer or whatever is a piece of plastic. The only real benefit a physical release has is its tangible existence. That is to say, if part of your enjoyment of the game comes not just from playing it, but in holding it in your hands. Not in reading the manual (easily done with scans), but in manually turning the pages. Which of course is a legitimate argument. If I had unlimited space in which to live, I'd agree that having a giant room full of game boxes looks cooler than a small shelf with a few HDDs sitting on it.

BTW, this is off topic, but I used to have a massive DVD collection. MASSIVE. God knows how much money I sunk into buying DVDs of things I usually only ever watched one time. And now, I can't stand looking at DVD-quality video. I LOVE old games and even the most primitive graphics aren't a turn-off for me, because that's the way they're supposed to look. But DVD was an inadequate technology for accurately representing the fidelity of the original filmed images, just as VHS was before it. There's no retro appeal to watching a low-resolution video if a better option is available. So just because something is physical, it doesn't mean you're gonna want to keep it around forever.

Yeah I prefer digital but the key is DRM-free. Sourceforge has some good open-source games (Cube 2, Hedgewars, Super Tux Kart)

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I went with both.

I tend to buy most of my newer games as physical copies. When they're older games it depends on if they are cheaper at GameStop or if they have a sale on the Playstation Network or E Shop that determines if I buy a physical or digital copy.

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for older games i prefer physical just for the nostalgia factors. But newer games especially those simpler type puzzle games, digitals is ok with me.

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I prefer physical, but I wouldn't deny anybody ROMS and emulation if acquiring the real deal would be a crippling expense. It's not like the original developers get royalty checks for new sales.

I hate digital distribution. Allows publishers to arbitrarily take your games away due to disputes with music publishers, or for no real reason. Anyone tries to take away any of my physical games, and they'll be leaving in a bag.

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Because of space issues I prefer digital over physical games, as long as they have no DRM measures.

Well, even physical games have DRM measures like Starforce, so...it's mostly just space issues, maybe. Oh, and I like when the physical boxes have beautiful art or gimmicks like cloth maps and such. Which probably means I don't care for modern physical games. And no, I don't want to pay 100 bucks for a limited edition which would have this kind of stuff. Video games are not that high a priority.

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You can find my thoughts on this in more detail at Nintendo Age. But yes I too most definitely must have actual cartridges/discs because like my baseball/football/basketball card collection and UK books and Peanuts books and so on, they are collecting hobbies to me. And no offense but a list of downloaded files is not a collection. :P And with the downloaded games (especially on what I consider the "bush leagues" of gaming, touchscreen tablet/phone games) they could just go "poof" and disappear as soon as the company no longer "feels like" hosting them for download. Whereas discs/cartridges will always be there..they don't just magically disappear.

Also, I remember a few years ago I gave my wife the complete set (at the time) of her favorite singer Carrie Underwood's albums on actual CDs. And of course she was excited/happy to receive them...but how would it be if all she found in the package was slips of paper with download codes? :P

I know there are those who insist download only is inevitable and that I shouldn't be such a fuddy duddy traditionalist. But screw it, I have to be able to collect games too and be able to have them proudly displayed on my shelf. :)

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I'm primarily a console gamer - and a retro gamer mostly - so prefer physical. Not only for the tangible aspect but for the lessened or non-existent DRM.

So I purchase (aka temporarily license) digital console and handheld games only rarely. I also ignore physical releases known to be buggy, broken messes without heavy digital patching. Same for physical releases heavy on DLC upsells, micro-transactions, etc. I have little need for a game - physically released or otherwise - reliant on DRMed downloads.

For that matter, I like to revisit games years later - I view any online functionality of a video game (multiplayer servers, leaderboards, etc) as ultimately throw-away and never as part of a game's long-term value proposition. I base my purchase on what the game is capable of when offline.

What digital downloads I do license are usually re-buys of retro games I already own physically (for save states, portability, etc), digital releases of rare physical games and arcade games, or games I know are also available DRM-free on PC. Shovel Knight, for example. A game I can play on PC when my console eventually takes my DRMed version away from me.

DRM is extremely irksome to me, frankly. I'm not sure why it's so accepted by gamers - I hope it's more a lack of understanding than just submissive acceptance. That it's so pervasive in console gaming anymore is very sad.

I'm not opposed to digital delivery itself - far from it, actually. What little PC gaming I do is digital. Music. Magazines. Some books. But all DRM free.

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I prefer physical copies for collecting. It's nice to look at the shelf to see the accomplishment.

I'd rather not spend money on digital because a hard drive failure could occur and there's the extra cost of bandwidth to reacquire the digital copies if possible.

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