I'm not too sure if i'm the last of a dying breed, but quite a few of my friends don't seem to bothered by the topic i'm about to discuss.
This is something that adds to the gaming experience and that digitally distributed titles simply lack.
The thing i'm talking about?
The feeling of holding a new game in your hands and then after playing, adding it to an ever growing shelf of games for you to look at fondly.
Downloading a title doesn't have the same feelings for me as purchasing a boxed copy. I enjoy looking over the box while reading the blurb and looking at the shiny screenshots.Thumbing through the manual and taking in the artwork and layout, looking at the shiny disc and savouring the anticipation as I stick it in the console for the very first time.
I remember picking up Metal Gear Solid for the playstation in my local gaming store and then legging it home as fast as possible to look over my latest acquisition. I took every last little detail in, from the awesomely stylish logo on the box to the fold out mini poster inside the manual. I must of spent a good 20/30 minutes just reading that manual before I even stuck disc 1 into my console.
Looking back on it, I think it made me appreciate the whole experience so much more.
And with the rise in broadband speeds and the advent of services such as Steam and Direct2drive, all of the packaging is cut out and all we have to mark our new purchase is a file stored on our hard drives and the game itself.
The packaging for games is one of the only types of packaging that isn't overly intrusive and wasteful and adds to the overal completeness of the product that it contains.
The professional designers and artists who create this material lose somewhere to showcase the talent and creativity that is so apparant in some titles available for purchase.
And one day in the not too distant future, a whole generation of young gamers will miss out on something that in my eyes, made gaming all the more special.