Everyone seems to have a preference between a physical copy of a game and a digital copy. Mine is physical but why?

Physical v Digital. Arguably the biggest gaming debate between gamers apart from which system to play on. Some people prefer to having a tangible game to hold and be able to play, whereas others prefer the opposite. I myself am on the physical side.

There are many reasons I much prefer having physical games to digital ones, and to be honest I can’t see that ever changing.

To me, the biggest reason for preferring physical, is the feeling of ownership. As I can actually hold the game, look at at it and feel it, I get the feeling that I actually own the game (and a product) myself. It is in my possession. I am not “borrowing” it so to speak. To accentuate that, when my games are put together to make my collection, I feel like I have managed to actually achieve something, I have a result of my time and effort in hunting the games down and something to show for the money spent.

Secondly, I would say aesthetics plays a factor too. I think having a room with all my games on display looks much nicer and attractive than one with only consoles on show. Additionally, getting a collection of games for a specific console together can look appealing – for example, I have a shelf full of Nintendo Switch games. To me, that row of red looks really nice against my white bookcases (which themselves are against light blue walls). It brings colour to the room (although I must admit some bias as red is my favourite colour).

There are a couple of other reasons as to why physical is my preferred media for games.

1) Security. If the digital game is removed from the eShop etc, it cannot be purchased but if a physical game is removed from stores, even if it costs more money, chances are I can buy a copy somewhere. There is also the security of knowing that if I can’t get online for some reason, I can still buy the game to play it from a brick and mortar shop.

2) This may sound a bit silly, but I get a feeling of joy (and to an extent nostalgia) when I insert a game into a console. I think it’s a surge of excitement at seeing the disc or cartridge for in (or sitting inside) the machine, knowing I’ll be playing it momentarily.

Of course, I know physical also has its downsides and digital it’s advantages.

Physical games do take up a load of space and in my case, I am already limited for space (as per my previous article: https://thatukgamer.games/2021/07/17/why-i-am-reducing-my-video-game-collection/). They also tend to be more expensive and can take longer to load. There’s also the inconvenience of having to either go out and buy the game or wait for it to arrive (which takes longer than downloading a game). There’s also arguably the inconvenience of having more to carry to play on the go. All of which are resolved through digital games.

However, for me, these are outweighed by the positives I listed above for me personally, especially the sense of ownership and that is why I will persist with getting physical media as long as possible. If I can only game a game digitally, then there’s obviously nothing I can do, but where possible, it’s physical all the way!

Ok, I’ve given you my thoughts, now let me know yours! What do you prefer and why? Let me know by leaving a comment on here or on my social media using the links at the top of the page.

Thanks for reading 😊