How far have you embraced the digital age?
No more paper, no more plastic.
12.2% (5)
12.2% (5)
I occasionally buy physical copies if I am at the store.
29.3% (12)
29.3% (12)
I prefer to have physical copies.
51.2% (21)
51.2% (21)
Steam is the devil.
7.3% (3)
7.3% (3)
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Poll: Environmentally Friendly Gaming (Digital Age General)

I am speaking from the point of view from a PC exclusive gamer, but feel free to chime in with thoughts of consoles, since I use those as well.

Several years ago I was fairly neutral with regards to Steam. I really did not care about resale value or anything like that. I honestly thought that I would probably forget about it after Team Fortress Classic became boring and I played Half-Life 2 Episode 3. Now, after having played Killing Floor and Dawn of War 2 and its expansions for hundreds of hours, along with the fact that most developers seem to be moving towards digital distribution, I don't know.

The sales, the bonuses, the free games and the free weekends (which are essentially demos) all seem to make up for the lack of a legal resale option. Every complaint I have seems to be, more or less, broken by steam as it is now. Of course, the issue of resale was always in the back of my mind along with the thought

"How much will this be worth in ten years, if anything?"

The second post on this thread mirrored my feelings:

Skyrim, Dragon Age, Wolfenstein and other games would be WORTHLESS even if there were non-steam versions because an updated, functioning copy will be available on steam for $5-$10 for all eternity unless the publisher decides to bring in their own platform to the market. Who wants a crumpled, incomplete, dirty copy of a game and deal with ebay or amazon when they can have a cheap, flawless copy on their hard drive in minutes? Moreover, modern games are no longer made with the touch of art that they once were, or rather very few are. The manual to Elder Scrolls Arena was big, fat, and had a ton of work shoved into it. You can arguably say the same for Daggerfall and maybe even Morrowind. The Total War series came with textbooks and diagrams, as did many games of the genre such as Age of Empires. Going back to the Elder Scrolls, the collector's edition of Morowind had a dense pewter figurine that was created by professional casters. Now you generally get a figurine or ornament but it is either tacky or made out of cheap materials. I remember the Bioshock Big Daddy Fiasco and how the drill would break off if you thought about it too hard.

Along with that you get an artbook and a soundtrack along with the game and case. Usually the case is made out of plastic. The DVD of the game can only be used once, not that there is a point to it since the software is out of date and possible flawed, so the only thing that is of any use is the code. The soundtrack is probably going to end up getting ripped, and never used again since I have not seen more than five people outside with a CD player in the past seven years. That leaves you with the art book, which you will look at maybe once, since it was probably made by someone who has no idea what a person interested in that sort of thing would want to see. The Terminal Access manual for System Shock was full of back stories and useful information. Now, the manual is likely five pages long and is sparse on information, so you will probably be either relying on the tutorials or online guides. WHAT A WASTE OF PAPER AND PLASTIC.

I am moving into the territory of the namesake of the thread, so I may as well mention this now. I used to like paging through a guide before buying a game. If I liked the guide enough, I would probably buy it. Skyrim's guide seems really tantalizing since it is full of artwork and is larger than many 1000 and 2000 level textbooks I have had. Now, it just seems like such a waste of paper now that there are digital versions available, not to mention special platforms that can be used to read those digital versions in your hands.

It honestly seems that most of these things are made for people why are unaware of the fact that most of the games in the store require a digital platform if they want to play the game on the PC and it seems that it will remain this way for a while longer.

I suppose my question is: Will you finally embrace the digital age?

I forgot to add that predominantly multiplayer games are worthless in their own right along with many of the reasons mentioned above.

I prefer physical copies.
Steam, and similar, can go to hell.
I can always find a patch on a fansite or patch depository if the game needs updating.

Yet another point I completely forgot about making is WHY the games will be worthless. As stated in the link I posted, there are so many copies being made and so little content in the DVD cases that the DVD case is probably worth more than anything else.

I should probably mention GoG as well. The demand for old copies of the games in the GoG archives has dropped dramatically since the website was launched in its current form. Games considered gems impossible to find are now right there in a cheap digital package with essentially no strings attached.

I prefer physical copies, but I tolerate digital downloads from GoG and Steam. As far as console gaming goes (PS2/3, PSP, DS), I still want the physical copy, but I also use PSN for its PSOne Classics library instead of trying to scrounge up old and possibly damaged game disks.

In the last year I bought about 100 games. 7 or 8 were hard copies and those not even for full price (not even Skyrim which I got on first day).

Physical copies can go to hell.

1. Tries to play Day of Defeat; bought it five years ago as a physical copy, registered it with Steam.
-Looks up Steam password in the Big Document Of Passwords[1]
-Launches Steam
-Clicks on DoD
-5 minutes later; Plays DoD.

2. Tries to play Bioshock; bought it 2.5 year ago as a physical copy, no Steam
-Tries to find case. Can't find case.
-Finds case. Wrong DVD in case.
-Finds correct DVD, installs game. Game installed, tries to launch game. Game asks for CD key.
Can't find CD key.

[1] I got into PC gaming again in the summer of 2011, this is when I tried to launch DoD and needed my Steam account

I only buy physical copies if I'm planning on buying the Collector's Edition, otherwise I just buy it digitally and avoid the hassle of driving to the store the day it releases when I could already have it installed on my system and unlocked at midnight.

Bah, posted early here's the edited version

I almost exclusively buy digital now. It's not that I don't like physical copies but it's more convenient. And if I don't have to lug a bunch of CDs with me wherever I go, even better. I don't mind them as much but as a student I'm moving roughly every year between accommodations and going back and to home in the mean time. If I stay in one place, it doesn't matter as much, when every purchase means an additional thing I have to be careful with not to lose/damage/forget..yeah, you get the idea.

To those who buy physical copies: What is your reasoning? Just the satisfaction of opening a game box? The new manual smell? What?

To those who buy physical copies: What is your reasoning? Just the satisfaction of opening a game box? The new manual smell? What?

Well, what I buy physical are games that I want to have on display. My Starcraft 2 CE or the Binding of Isaac CE I'll get later this week. But the games I wanted to have on display over the last year are few indeed (Alice: MR, TES V: Skyrim, Warhammer 40k: Space Marine, Deus Ex: HR...)

To those who buy physical copies: What is your reasoning? Just the satisfaction of opening a game box? The new manual smell? What?

Basically this. Also, I like being able to see my games, cause they're not cheap so you'd at least want something to literally show for it. And ever since my PS1 cracking open a new game has always been exciting and I still get tingles nowadays whenever I go to pick up a preorder.

To those who buy physical copies: What is your reasoning? Just the satisfaction of opening a game box? The new manual smell? What?

Just the fact that I can, at any time, pop a disc in my computer and install the game. I don't have to rely on some big brother DRM scheme, I can install&play even if my internet is down, unreliable or slow.

Ofcourse, in recent years, this advantage has been somewhat diminished by whatever stupid continous-internet-requiring DRM programs that publishers like to tack onto their products.
But that's what cracks are for.

Nowadays I stay away from physical copies of things unless they're very important to me. Physical copies take up physical space, and there's only so much of that to go around. It's also not particularly easy to organize.

I've got hundreds of books sitting around that I've read, most of which I'll probably never read again, so they just take up space on my bookshelves. What's the point of keeping them? There's a few that have been signed or are important to me for personal reasons, but I'll probably just end up donating most of them or giving them away and not buying any more hard copies of books, and the environment will be a better place for it.

With games it's the same. I used to think it was nice to have physical copies or artbooks or things like that, but over time, you just accumulate so many random things that you get swamped by it unless you make a conscious effort to scale it back. I'm always getting more minimalist over time, because it's just more efficient and means I've got more space to spend on things I actually really care about... so that means digital copies of everything.

No more having to keep everything organized and in cases, keep it clean and in good condition, not lose it (I tend to lose things). Why bother with physical media again and go through all that? The real nostalgia is contained in the memories of experiences, anyway, not in any physical object.


Well, your point seems to be more about digital distribution in general rather than Eco-friendly gaming, but I confess I hadn't made the connection that digital distribution is better for the environment.

I'm a bit of an eco-warrior. I really care about using as little power as possible - I bought the Xbox largely because it has lower power consumption than the PS3, and in the end I switched to a 100% renewable energy supplier. You've made me think - I'll try to switch to PC for all my single-player gaming now, unless the next console release has full digital distribution.

Of course, I'd need a PC better than my 6-year-old laptop first - off to research low-power PCs!


Well, your point seems to be more about digital distribution in general rather than Eco-friendly gaming, but I confess I hadn't made the connection that digital distribution is better for the environment.

My point is two fold: Most PC games are now digital exclusives with links to steam and most of the worthwhile old titles are on GoG, making owning physical copies of anything pointless. Because of this, I think that using so many resources for nothing is pointless.

About "low power PCs", I can tell you that you will not find much. The only thing that you can do is to purchase a bronze/silver/gold standard power supply unit when building your own computer (very easy). Most PSUs are bronze standard, with gold standard PSUs being anywhere from 20% to 50% more expensive than their "more wasteful" counterparts.


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