Why Digital Games Make Sense for Parents
One of the key recurring themes of this site (and particularly my reviews) is that of goods that are distributed digitally. Yes, there are definitely downsides (as I outlined on my article about DRM), but digital delivery of games has some great benefits for a gamer parent, some of which I’d like to discuss here, based on my real experiences as a parent.
1. Discs Tend to Suffer at the Hands of My Children
Inevitably, children like the size and shininess of discs. I remember when my daughter was 6 months old, she grabbed four Wii games (Ghost Squad, Red Steel, Wii Sports and Monkey Ball I believe) and used them as knee and hand pads to crawl across the floor in the basement. The unfinished basement, with a nice cement floor full of dust and little bumps, that was perfect for scratching the hell out of discs. Ghost Squad wouldn’t work at first, and I had to track down a new copy of Wii Sports. This wouldn’t have happened with digital games, although I guess this will never be a reality on the Wii since it has a massive 512MB of flash storage.
The lesson here? Keep those discs out of reach. Yes, I understand that physical copies can be resold, traded, etc., but unfortunately they can’t be brought back from the dead.
2. My Son Thinks that the PS3 is a Jukebox
I remember this day well. My son was left alone in the living room while my wife searched for something upstairs. It was less than 5 minutes, and when she came back he had a worried look on his face. She asked him what was wrong. He had said that he wanted to watch a movie. “Which one she asked?” He replied “Cars”, then paused and add “Cars 2″, then another pause and “Pinkalicious” and then “Dora”.
She somehow managed to remove all the discs with tweezers, but since then my PS3 has made a strange whirring noise, and if I put in a Blu-Ray that is even a little bit dirty, then the audio tends to skip. This could have been easily avoided with digital. I think that kids naturally like to stick discs into all sorts of spots, or get otherwise creative.
3. Sometimes You Just Want a Game, NOW
There is the part of me that still longs for physical books, games and other media. Sometimes it is still fun to go to the store and hunt something down, to look for a little piece of plastic. And as much as I like digital, I think that for my kids having a box with a disc inside is still a nice feeling.
But what to do if it’s sold out, if the weather is crappy or you just want/need a game NOW (I find this happens more on my mobile devices)? I guess the need part is a bit extreme, but if I am waiting for the doctor, or the mechanic or something else, and would like a distraction for my kids, hoping on the Google Play Store and downloading a game is great. And if the family is at home, wants a new game and I really don’t want to spend an hour or so just to get something that I can buy from my living room (especially in the middle of a Canadian winter) then why not go digital?
So there you have it – why I love digital game distribution as a parent. I haven’t quite made the same jump with movies, but that will definitely be a future blog topic.
Article keywords: Why Digital Games Make Sense for Parents