I fully appreciate the benefits of the digital age. It's incredibly convenient to not have to fumble with finding the game you want out of the stack, taking the other game out, putting it in its place, and putting the other game in. It's also great to not have to worry about scratching the CD, or going back to the old NES days, having to clean the game you want to play and just hope it still worked. These days, with my Xbox One, I can just literally tell the console what I want to play, and boom, it's there. And that's awesome in its own right.
However, there's something missing. I have fond memories of preordering that game I'd be so excited about, going to the store, picking up the physical copy of the game, ripping through all the layers of anti-theft packaging, flipping through the manual, and ultimately taking MY game out to play it. It was like being a kid on Christmas. That tangible part of the whole experience was a part of the fun.
Obviously, it remains an option, as physical copies of games are still sold, but most folks, including myself, will choose the most convenient option. As such, I lament that physical copies will likely soon be a thing of the past. For me, it doesn't matter as much as I near 30, because the time/hassle of getting an actual copy isn't really worth it, but I feel for the kids who might miss out on tearing open the present.
Clicking "buy" and watching a download bar just doesn't measure up. However, I'm part of the problem. I'll probably pick up a digital copy of Watch_Dogs this week. Still, I'd like to offer some appreciation for the kids who still go to the store, and for the parents who are willing to take them there to get them that game they want more than anything. I've got some nostalgia for that. I'll be that old guy some day in the not too distant future baffling kids by talking about how we used to have actual cartridges and CDs for games.
Digital purchases have their advantages, but I think we're losing something along the way.