Yesterday I decided I wanted an expansion to my video game, The Sims. I had been thinking about it for a while, and the time had come to purchase something new. I got all excited and went over to the nearest mall to find a store where I could buy it. I looked around, and settled on a video game store. When I went in, it was, at first, confusing because they had all the Xbox and PS games up front, and I had to move to the back for the PC games. I found the PC games, and even found the expansion pack I wanted to buy. I bought it, at a fairly good price, and rushed home to load it in.
When I opened the package, there wasn’t a disk inside. I thought there might have been a mistake or that the store had been ripped off, and I was preparing to go back to the store when I decided to look at the few pieces of paper inside the box. One slip of paper had a website that I needed to go to, and the other had a special code I needed to enter into the website. After I did this process, my game would be downloaded from the website.
Now, I’m no stranger to downloading. I download movies, videos, photos all the time, but I haven’t ever downloaded an entire video game. Video games are supposed to come on disks, right? But, I understand the environmental upside to not having any plastic disks laying around. I followed the instructions and my download began. Estimated time: 1 hour 27 minutes!! Are they for real!?!? Are they kidding me?!?!? The whole reason I went to the store in the first place is so I could begin playing my new game immediately after I got home. Downloading the original game off the disks took less than 20 minutes, and that has 10 times the amount of data as the expansion pack!!
Unfortunately, this is where we’re going. Complete reliance on the internet and the “cloud” is the future. We will all be forced to download games in 5 times the amount of time than it would have taken us to pull them off a disk. I originally bought my game, Civilization on a disk in FNAC in Madrid. I played it for many months until I was informed that, in order to continue playing it, I had to join a website called Steam and had to store my games there. It’s a great thing that I don’t have to use my own computer to store my games and my game information, but what if this website goes down, or gets hacked. We’re all nervous about this new virus they found that has been infecting Internet Explorer and other website, what if that happens on Steam? It’s become more of a hassle using the thing that was supposed to make life easier; the internet. I would totally prefer to have a disk with my game on it than to rely on some vulnerable website or extremely long download.
I think from now on I’m just going to play the old-school games that I have on disk, or stick to the games that I can play online. I’m not going to play around with downloads and “cloud” games. I need something tangible, something “real!” People will say I’m old-fashioned and I need to get with the times, but I know what I like and I know what I’m comfortable with. I still will not get a reader….I like my paper books!!! Waiting 1 hour and 27 minutes to download something I could have gotten off a disk in 10 minutes is ludicrous! Why even sell the game box, just have the person behind the counter print a paper with the information, that will save more money and be more confusing and annoying to those of us who long for the disks!