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Thread: Just got one step closer to being a digital download advocate

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    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
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    Default Just got one step closer to being a digital download advocate

    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.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    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.
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    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.

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    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...

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    I'd rather see digital profits going to the publisher than any $ being taken in by the Amazon's.
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    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.

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    I was always pretty adverse to digital content until I realized how cluttered my place is and that it is a "greener" solution to stream everything now. I still buy physical media if I *really* like a game/movie/album/book but if it's something just to enjoy for the time being and then move on to something else, Id rather stream it. I can't imagine now in 2020 or beyond, going outside my home when it is 5 degrees and snowing, driving across town to the rental store, getting the game disc and driving back home, then having to do that again in 7 days. yeah fuck that. I've done Redbox now and then, usually if a film isn't on streaming platforms. physical media has its place but I've warmed up to it recently and it's hard to deny that the Switch library is awesome for digital content. some of those games I do wish were on physical media though.
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    I did cave and get the digital download of BoTW as a few of my kids asked for it. Now I have to enforce a schedule so not one person plays it for more than a certain amount of time. Plus I already had to have a discussion with my third eldest stepson about bullying folks on how to play the game. One of my twin step daughters sounded the "jerk alert" as she wanted to explore and he had other plans of what she should do.

    Even though the price was premium, the game is essentially safe and available to all profiles.

    Over the extended holiday I installed a Blinking Light Win into an NES that's meant for my wife's Air BnB. I discovered it had a death grip unlike any other. The more distressing part is that one of the cartridges I have for it, Kung Fu, is bad. On top of that, a DS game I gave as a gift, Transformersecepticons, didn't want to work. I cleaned it well and eventually it worked.

    Chaulk up a couple more points for downloading.

    I'd really love an FPGA handheld that played NES games. I'd becin heaven.

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    I have a Blinking Light Win with the death grip on it too. It's a minor annoyance but it's still better than the non-working 72 pin. Eventually I will just get an NES2 since I'm fine with RG signal anyways.

    worst designed console ever made. every other console I own is built like a tank and has little to no issues
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    As someone who has a 5th child on the way. I get this. 3 of my 4 current children (2 teens and an 11 year old) are all gamers. We lay down a rule that if they can't take care of their own stuff they won't get to play with our stuff. My boys are pretty careless with their own posessions. They have consoles in their room and yes, digital is typically the way it goes for them unless they use birthday, christmas, chore money etc, to get their own physical games. We have an Xbox Series X in the living room and with me and my wife both working from home, we usually have eyes on the kids. Thankfully they are not as bad as when they were younger. I do not go 100% physical anymore, because some games I just don't care if I own physical copies and realistically...If i download a game and fall in love with it, I will grab a used copy later anyways. So I am in the middle. Until my kids are old enough to buy all their own games, I typically gift them with nintend/microsoft/playstation gift cards for digital purchase.
    Last edited by Genesaturn; 12-28-2020 at 09:27 PM.
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    So, gonna bumpify this because I had an experience that showed me a downside of digital downloads.

    Recently, my Nintendo Switch developed problems--it still plays games, but the power button doesn't register being pressed and there's a weird "bright area" on the screen. I think something got spilled on it. Regardless, I figured it prudent to get a second Switch and transfer all my account data over before attempting repairs or anything like that.

    I thought this would allow me to just move the MicroSD card over as well, but nope... different Switch, so it had to be formatted. And this meant every game I owned that wasn't a physical cart had to be re-downloaded.

    And since I have one of those lame internet plans where my download allowance is limited during the day but unlimited at night, well... you can see where I might have a few issues.

    To be honest though its not so bad. I chose to prioritize the games I'm likely to play in the next few days (so... Puyo Puyo Tetris and Celest. I also now own Breath of the Wild but that one is a physical cart and I haven't bought any of the DLC yet). But I am looking at it being a long time before I have my entire library up and running again.

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    What happens if you get banned from a service? Is it possible to be banned from say your Sony or Microsoft account so you lose access to the games you paid for?

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    Microsoft- games downloaded still work, save for online ones.

    PSN-is a little less clear. It sounds like if the account is suspended, you can't access "products and services" but doesn't specifically say "thou canst play your downloaded games".

    Steam- downloaded games playable but online activity shut off.

    Nintendo- even less clear than Sony. Doing a brief Goigle search I turned up nothing from Nintendo. I read articles that went one way or the other with access. A writer for CNN had their account hacked and it was suspended so they tried everything. Games with heavy online or part of a famiky account won't work. Already downloaded games seem to work.

    All the console manufacturers can not only ban accounts but systems as well.

    It definitely strikes a bit of fear but it takes something bad and stupid to get banned. Nintendo seems the most stringent, with what accounts to a "two strikes, your Switch is perma-banned", though will take it on a case by case basis.

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    My friend who pirates anything and everything says he can't go online with his Switch because Nintendo banned him
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    I mainly ask because someone on another board mentioned being banned by Sony and not being able to redownload the games he already purchased. It turned out to be a temp ban so he eventually got access again but that would scare me in case something happened to my console and I lost my downloads. It's not easy to back things up unless you mod a system, backing up a PC hard drive is pretty simple by comparison. Of course having to buy spare hard drives for backups gets expensive too. Anytime you have a drive full of data you need at least another one to have a copy of it or you could lose it all if a crash happens. If you have 5 full drives, you really need 10. If you have large drives to consolidate everything, it's easier to lose everything at once compared to using several smaller drives. Cartridges and factory pressed discs are more reliable than a hard drive, and you're less likely to lose everything at once.

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    My 60GB PS3 isn’t going to last forever, so I went ahead and got a slim a little over a year ago. I had no problems downloading the digital only Afterburner Climax onto the slim. It’s one of those games that you can’t get at the PSN store, unless had previously purchased it.

    My gaming PCs are pretty much digital gaming device, even though I did install optical drives when I’d built them.

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    There is one problem with digital downloads - unannounced delistings. A couple of weeks ago I went to the PS Store on my PS3 to look at how much to purchase both of the Monkey Island games. Back then they had the Purchase button and cost. My plan was to use my gift card to purchase Hitman 3 then use the remainder to purchase both MI games. Last night I did the Hitman 3 purchase on my PS4 then hooked up the PS3 to get the MI games. Unfortunately, when I tried to acquire them the Purchase button was gone and I can no longer acquire them from the Store. There was no warning they were going to do this or I would have done this sooner. The good news is that both games are on disc but is Europe only - the bad news is that the disc is pricey but it something to look out for in the future.
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    I ran into this just last night. I was setting up my Xbox to just be a, well Xbox and not a be all emulation machine. When I modded my original system years back, I backed up my data but since then the drive that data was on died. Not a huge deal except I was getting Karaoke Revolution Party set up and I used to have the DLC (which was expensive). Well, don't anymore and no way to redownload it officially.

    Thankfully kind folks who archived that stuff had it available, so I could get it. So if anything stuff is "out there" like aliens and Tommy Chong, but no longer in the legit way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoshiM View Post
    Thankfully kind folks who archived that stuff had it available, so I could get it. So if anything stuff is "out there" like aliens and Tommy Chong, but no longer in the legit way.
    Thankfully most content will still be available in some way, much like abandonware was available unofficially around 15 years ago. It's fans that make old content still available, when companies can't be bothered as it's no longer profitable.

    I just don't want to reward companies with practices I disagree with so I won't be buying digital content. It's like paying to rent a digital movie, you don't even get to keep the file and it's almost as much as a used DVD or Bluray anyway.

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