The argument versus physical and digital games has been going on for quite a while and with digital games becoming increasingly popular it is an argument that is not going away any time soon.
By their nature, us “retro” gamers are tangible people. We like to hold the physical object, as it usually has more value in our eyes that way. If you are like me and grew up in the 80s you most likely feel this way, it is a natural product of having grown up in a time when technology wasn’t nearly as balls out and it is now.
The younger generations (and this is by no means a “get off my lawn” post) do not necessarily see this as their world has always been one of iPads, mp3s and throwaway app store games.
So now that we have our backstory it seems easy now – physical games work best for the geezers and digital is great for the babes.
BUT WAIT, THIS IS A MINIMALISM BLOG!
Let’s look at some pros and cons.
For physical games you have something tangible to hold in your hand. It can be placed somewhere and admired, lent out and (perhaps most importantly) resold to recoup some of the cost after your time with the game has finished. It is also by no means a secret that many games take up a lot of room. Clutter, as least for me, is akin to a wild boar coming into my house and shitting on everything that I love.
Digital games are a little bit of a different beast. They are not lend able or resell able but they do have some conveniences. They are usually able to be accessed anywhere via an account login. You can generally (though not always!) find them cheaper than their physical counterparts. Some games also only have a digital release. They also take up no physical space. Just because they take up no space does not mean you can buy them up and hoard them! The mental part of it, that invasion of the nice comfortable “zen” feeling can be affected by not just physical but digital items as well. Clutter is clutter, no matter what form it takes.
Minimalism is not just about keeping clutter in order (or non-existent!) it is also about simplifying your life. The number one reason these games exist and why we play them is that they give us experiences and enjoyment, I can recall many a game, remember the play through, sometimes even remembering where I was when I finished them (looking at you FFIX on Christmas Eve many years ago). However after I completed FFIX I have never gone back to play it. I never will, because there are so many other great experiences (both gaming and otherwise) that I have not been a part of yet! Thus I let it go and moved on to my next adventure.
Obviously which direction you go depends on what type of person you are. Through this post I am only trying to get you to have an internal dialogue with yourself and ask, “When I look around at the games I have am I completely happy?” I was not with a moderate amount of physical (and digital believe it or not), games but have gotten to a place I am personally very comfortable with.