Hey can i borrow that game….?

July 18th, 2009 -

“Hey man you know that game you bought last weekend? You almost done with it? I wanna borrow it… “

With the eminent future of download only games it’s strange to think that sometime in the far out future someone will think that letting your buddy borrow one of your games will a be strange idea. How many of us have not really wanted a game, and not really wanted to rent it, but decided to borrow it from a friend? Then to our surprise we decided we wanted to buy that game. It doesn’t happen often obviously, but this type of thing does happen. So you must be thinking “hmmm this must have just happened to him which is why he’s writing this now” and… you would be right.

I got a DS very late in the cycle and I missed out on a lot of great games. I just borrowed The Ledgend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass from a friend, and to my surprise it is actually a lot of fun (I say “to my surprise” because even though I have played Zelda games in the past, I’ve never really sat down and beat one. However, this seems like one I would like to play through). Before you go on an Ocarina of Time tangent… Yes, I’ve played it. But back then I had a PS1 and my buddy had the N64 so I never really got alone time with the game to truly experience it. That being the case, it doesn’t hold a place in my heart like it does to some of you (that place is reserved for Gran Turismo, but I digress…).

Getting back on topic: I borrowed the game, decided to buy it and that got me thinking about the PSP Go!… I realized I wouldn’t be able to do this with that and I got kind of sad. Then thinking further out at some point in time, tangible media will be a thing of the past. This is great for technology, but what about games? The fact that this inspired me to buy Zelda is a bad example to my point, but what about indie games? Or just smaller budget games in general? Will we take the risk and buy these foreign games? No, most likely not. What would happen is we (I say we as the gaming population in general) would stream line our choices to what is safe to us (i.e. Madden, Call of Duty, Guitar Hero). This would lead to the majority of people passing up on games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Heavy Rain, and Patapon, which is even more sad because it keeps companies from taking chances in the industry and keeps the genres stagnant in what is “safe”…

This is all speculation of course. Who knows what the outcome of digital media will be? Answer is no one, if you didn’t know. However, it does boil down to a startling revelation… “can i borrow that game” seems common and socially acceptable now, but someday in the future such a question may be laughed at…

Am I the only one that finds this odd? Or perhaps a bit perplexing for video game companies? Sure, there’s always the option of creating a demo, but that costs money to not only create, but have people download. So those indie game creators are SOL unless they manage to get a lot of press as Q Games have been successful at doing. Should we really get rid of physical media? Just a thought.

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