Games have existed since time immemorial, from playing with rocks and sticks to board games, to arcades, to video game consoles, and finally, to virtual reality (VR). Games have served as entertainment for countless generations and will continue to do so for future generations, but perhaps in a different form.
Board Games a Tap Away
Chess, Monopoly, and Scrabble are just some of the famous board games in the recent century. Chess, in particular, has gained such popularity that there are even competitions and international tournaments dedicated to the sport. Over time, as technology progressed further, traditionally physical board games slowly shifted to a digital form. Especially once smartphones debuted and mobile games went viral, several traditionally physical games were adapted into their mobile versions. Board games not only became more visually appealing but also became more accessible through Wi-Fi and can connect with users from all over the world. Costs are cut down since there are plenty of mobile board games that are free on the Play Store and App Store. They are also more convenient to bring around in digital form as some games, especially Monopoly and Scrabble, require a whole board and mass amounts of tiny pieces, making it a hassle to lug around.
The Technovolution of Arcades
Arcades dominated the streets during the 1970s. Kids and teens would scrounge up every dime or quarter in their room and rush to the arcade after class to check on their high scores. Arcade games are either skill-based or luck-reliant, with the latter being classed legally as gambling devices such as slot machines and pachinko. While still present in arcade games, they are often restricted from minors for obvious reasons. Games of skill comprise games like Tekken, Tetris Battle, MotoGP, and the legendary Pac-Man.
Simpler arcade games such as Tetris Battle have recently become available on mobile phones and computers, offering a coin-free gaming experience that people can enjoy wherever and whenever they like. Games that are more complex and graphics-intensive, like those of Tekken, are playable on gaming PCs and PlayStation, with the option to play against others online. Games of chance are available online as well, allowing players to challenge the best online casinos in Canada even if they are living on the opposite side of the planet. These sites offer bonuses, reviews, and a wide variety of games, guaranteeing that every user will find one that suits their taste.
CDs are the New Cassettes
I remember the days when I’d ask my parents what a VHS player was or what a cassette tape would be used for. Nowadays, the younger generations would ask what a CD was and how could they not. Movies and TV series have moved on from tapes and discs to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. People used to buy discs from a game store to be able to play the game, but now they can just download and play it from online game distributors like Steam, all without having to step a foot outside. Buying a game digitally links their license to play the game to their account, making it possible for them to play the game without having to worry about not losing the CD or maintaining its health. Hardcore gamers may find this convenient as some may own more than fifty titles all at once.
The Classics vs. The Modern
It’s obvious that everything in the Digital Age is turning digital. The question is, what are the drawbacks, if there are any, to this shift?
Board games have long been a staple in any group game. Families and friends alike sit around a table to play the game together, talking and laughing. While a digitized board game boasts convenience, accessibility, and affordability, it lacks the special touch of being in front of the person they’re playing with, robbing them of the warmth, intimacy, and social experience that only traditional board games can deliver.
The same can be said for the arcade’s transcendence to the cyberzone. It’s cheaper not to have to buy coins whenever you want to play the game, but the blaring sounds of aisles of arcade machines, the colorful lights, the cheering spectators, and the screams of excited fellow gamers is an unforgettable experience that does not have a price tag.
While CD stores may not have the loud, energetic vibe that arcades have, they present practical benefits. Owners of game CDs can resell them to others once they’re done playing with it. Another benefit is that owners of physical CDs can play the game indefinitely, provided the CD retains its functional condition. Digital games are easy to get but also easy to lose. They are linked to a particular account, such that they cannot be traded or sold to others. There are even rules in most online game distributor platforms that sharing or selling accounts can result in a permanent account ban. A customer’s ownership of the game is also strictly limited to their license to play the game. If the publisher or developer decides to pull their game from the market for any reason, the customer can lose the chance to play the game forever.