...I used to walk backward, barefoot, and uphill both ways to school. Uh... Right.
It's that whole older generation telling the new generation just how much easier they have it. Sure, I'll admit that when it comes to gaming, this current generation has it pretty good. But when I read this I shed a tear. It's not that I'm against being environmentally friendly. Far from it. I'm just against the concept of breaking up the traditional packaging format for PC games. It's the whole iTunes revolution all over again, but I'll get to that in a bit.
The days of driving to the store to pick up that boxed game product are rapidly coming to an end. Ubisoft's move is another sign of the things to come in the future. And while I can appreciate the total convenience of electronic distribrution (Yeah! I'm pointing at you Steam!), part of me is going to miss getting my grubby mitts on the boxed deliverables.
For me, half of the experience with new games is thumbing through a thick manual full of stats, spells, class information, lore, etc, etc. In recent years many publishers have cut way back on this content, but it was still something I liked about picking up the boxed product. Nothing beat the smell of freshly printed color manuals... Ahhh printing chemicals! And honestly, an RPG manual with a phat section of spells... Heaven!
Let's get back to the iTunes thread... When is the last time you actually bought an album and LOOKED at the art and liner notes that the artist put together. This used to be a big deal for me. With the convenience of digitally distributed music, I rarely buy entire albums from the store. In fact, I can't remember the last time that I did. But I definitely have less connection to the artists these days. I know the songs that I hear but that's about it. This really 'depersonalizes' the relationship consumers have with their products.
So while I think we've gained a bit in terms of the convenience, we're losing touch of that tangible relationship we used to build with our music and our games. I expect in the not too distant future some writer somewhere will lament the loss of that quirky little thing called the US Postal service.. After all, who needs paper based mail delivery when you have email??
Back when I was your age, I had to DRIVE to the store, buy the game, and then read through the manual 4 times before playing. Boy times are changin; fast.