View Full Version : Just got one step closer to being a digital download advocate

05-28-2020, 10:49 AM
Like many classic gamers, I have always been about having a game in physical format whenever possible. We all know the benefits-you always have it (until given/sold or when you die) and content wise it will be the same as the day you bought it. And that's the practice I typically follow.

On a typical weekday, my total "work" day doesn't end until maybe 7 PM. By day I'm a computer technician, solving the techie problems of my clients but then when I step through the front door of the house, I switch professions and become the house chef to solve the culinary problem of empty bellies and picky palates. So needless to say, it's quite the shift in gears. Usually, within maybe five minutes of walking in the door, the youngest members of my brood will bombard me asking play games/watch TV/etc. Yesterday was not typical.

My fourth oldest step son came up to me and said something normally one's wife would say (though my wife was at work already)-"Do you know what your son did today?" My full blood son, my second child that I unleashed to the world, is a young age of four. He's a stubborn boy whose influences come from his five and seven-year-old half brothers, who I have dubbed "The Noodle Brothers" as you could pick anyone of them up by the head and their body would wiggle like a noodle in the wind. My son, who I tried to teach how to handle DVDs and such properly (my daughter, from my previous marriage, got this down pat before that age), had attempted to remove disc of "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" from its case. Why he was trying, I don't know. The result was he snapped the disc clean in two.

Now, I was more disappointed than anything. He's four which gives him a bit of an out as he doesn't quite understand what happened. He might have cried earlier but when I spoke with him, he just shrugged about it. I was even more disappointed with his siblings as the issue of respecting personal property (and taking care of the stuff of mine I let them play with) has been going on for quite a while. The kids don't get the concept, even to a degree of the eldest, which turned twenty one today. As the family was always large, people would drop off clothes and toys (a lot of times broken in various ways -they figure a toy's a toy and as long as it's not in THEIR house anymore, it doesn't matter) that have accumulated over the years before I came around. So the house is pretty full with boxes of stuff here and there along with thirteen to fourteen people who live there at any given time. And toys and such get stepped on, shoved in places where they get lost, etc. This can include video game stuff where I've lost games which sometimes turn up in the most unlikely places. When you discuss how to take care of stuff, a child up to the age of fifteen just gives you this blank look like ground control is definitely NOT reaching Major Tom. It's frustrating as a parent, even more so when you're not really a "blood"parent.

While cooking, I thought of the headaches I'd not have I had downloaded the game instead. Heck, a couple years ago I ripped a bunch of "Baby Einstein" DVDs to my PS3 as the tapes and discs we had were getting beat up. That worked great. I like Steam on my PCs as my saves are saved in the Cloud and the software is always there to reinstall if need be. Though to be honest, PC and online downloads have never been a big deal to me since I first downloaded the shareware version of Doom over Prodigy years back. But I would never had gotten BOTW for the price I did if I downloaded.

In the end, I chalk it up as a lesson learned for me and hopefully for my kids. My rule is "if it breaks, I'm not replacing it" and I'm sticking to it, even though it's my game. And hopefully, this time, the lesson of taking care of other people's stuff (and maybe their own) will sink in.

05-28-2020, 11:26 AM
Ugh, I don't know how you handle that many kids and have time for anything else. I have a hard enough time with 2 (4 and 8).

Last summer I let my, then 7 year old, borrow my Gameboy SP and he managed to accidentally snap it in half the next day! And his attitude verged on "eh, oh well". Luckily no games have ever been damaged, but we don't let them handle discs for that very reason.

05-28-2020, 02:51 PM
I can't really wrap my head around being in such a large household (I think I'd go crazy, haha; in my family tree, most have only one or two kids, if that), but I think I'd definitely lean toward digital entertainment in such a scenario. Even if you can keep everything in good condition, just the sheer volume of stuff, with each person having their own possessions, sounds overwhelming. I'm due to have my first in a few months, and I'm already stressing and feeling as if I need to get rid of some stuff just to open up more space for all the things the baby will need.

I definitely enjoy having tangible versions of things I like, but I'm warming up to digital goods more and more. As I always say, there are pros and cons to both. Some people seem convinced that one is objectively better than the other, but everybody lives under different circumstances and consumes media in different ways, so there's no one-size-fits-all. Ideally, I'd like every game to be available both ways.

05-29-2020, 10:23 AM
Time to oneself is a precious commodity. It's hard to play games as there's someone of the young crowd that needs you at that moment. With one TV, there's never really a good main game to go to that involves everyone or a good majority of them. Smash Bros works well, Bombsquad (Ouya) and anything competivieClassic games don't fly too well as they get trounced and don't have the patience to stick with it or wait a turn. Games like Minecraft, Super Mario Wii (or U), Rayman Legends-anything with co-op can deteriorate quickly on the big screen. The 2/3DS's they have gotten over time work out very well. I just have to make sure my youngest doesn't leave some DS carts in spots they shouldn't be as he likes to snag them and carry them like they are teddy bears or something.

I find I do have to force my will to do things I want beyond cooking. Cooking eveyone leaves me alone (as the kitchen is kinda small and it's hard to focus when I've got a couple conversations going on at once), so I've gotten pretty good at baking (pizzas from scratch, breads, buns, etc.). My goal is to create a little hovel under the stairs in the basement that I can set up a desktop computer to do video work and gaming at, but that space is occupied by my stuff. I'm clearing it out over time so I think by summer that should happen.

Aussie-for you because you're essentially starting from the "ground up", the child will be guided by your values. In my situation, I got into an already established family that was going through a major change. So that's a learning curve. My biggest hurdle are my three youngest as they crave the most attention, mostly from Mom. They get VERY jealous when their mom talks with me, so they tend to talk over her, make noise, get into mischief and such to make that adult conversation as painful as possible. The eldest of those three just turned 8, followed by his brother who is 5 and then my son who is 4. There's a lot of "little man" syndrome going on between the three-they can be the three musketeers one moment and then just a giant ball of whining terror the next. : sigh : but it's getting there.

Back to the games side, steam games like Amazing Frogs? goes over very well. I've introduced them to Burger Lord, which is retro in nature (think multiply competive Burger Time-last man standing) which got their interest. They can get lost in Frogs for a long time, just goofing around. Plus they look forward to the updates to see what else they can find. While some are forlorn over Zelda, I can still play Skyrim on either my desktop or my laptop workstation. I'm not very far and I find that setup clicks with me better than BOTW. Link can carry several hundred pounds of cooked foods in his magic pockets....yet he can only carry what, six swords?! And i need to go to what seems like three thousand shrines just to "level up"? Naw...

05-29-2020, 01:19 PM
I'd rather see digital profits going to the publisher than any $ being taken in by the Amazon's.

05-30-2020, 12:00 AM
I guess it depends on the individuals as I got my Genesis when I was 4 and I kept everything in excellent condition, including the boxes and manuals. I always tried to take care of my stuff, sometimes some things I owned like comic books got accidentally damaged but it's not like I wasn't bothered by it.

Another part is that things are just more fragile than they used to be. Compare cartridge games to disc games, and cheaper cases compared to PS1 cases. I don't think you can snap a disc when removing it from a PS1 case if you tried. Some DVD cases are difficult to remove discs from, earlier ones were better quality. Or just compare letting kids use VHS tapes before DVDs came along, or cassette tapes before CDs, or a Gameboy cartridge compared to a DS cartridge. Or the original Gameboy to the GBA SP with it's breakable hinge. All these things aren't designed to be as durable as their predecessors, almost on purpose so they're more disposable.