A Pox on Digital Distribution!

OK, I have benefited greatly from digital distribution over the past few years, and I buy most of my games by preference through Steam. However, that doesnt preclude me form occassionally longing for the old days, when you bought a game on disc, whacked it in, let it run, and hey presto, you would be playing within a few minutes. One such time was last night, when, stuck in a motel room with only free-to-air TV (Ouch!!), I decided to relieve the boredom by playing a few games on my trusty notebook. Did I get to play any games? No, because not one but 2 DD services let me down. First Steam decided it was not going to play ball. Persistent attempts to log-in  just led to the old reliable standby message “You do not appear to be connected to the Internet”, which from past experience I believe is Steam’s way of letting you know it has no particular reason for locking you out but is determined to do so anyway. After about 45 minutes of this, I gave up and moved on GOG, which has a good library of old reliable games, (comfort games, as I call them), and which has seldom let me down in the past. Not tonight. GOG’s downloader decided it wasnt going to accept my login, even though I had just moments before used it successfully to login to GOG itself. Another 45 minutes of trying, until in a fit of truly monumental petulance it finally decided to freeze up altogether. So, all up 90 minutes of wasted time, and no games. Thanks to DD I was left with nothing to do but watch the ghastly free to air TV. And as I said, this is one time I really did lament the demise of the humble gamedisc. DD has undoubtedly conferred enormous benefits on us, including the ability to rapidly downloading any game, anytime, anywhere, the ability to download DLC, community gaming, forums and many more, But the downside is, when DD decides its not going to come to the party, you’re pretty much stuck without access to your games or anything else for that matter. Yes, I know if the games are already downloaded you can play offline (but Steam wouldnt even let me have that last night), although without access to the cloud your saves are likely to be in jeopardy, something that always leaves me in a cold sweat. But that didnt help me, since my notebook, used for business reasons only up until now,  was gameless.  Which is why when I get home I’m going to dig out the old reliables I still have on disc and stick a few of them in my notebook bag, remembering the Boy Scout motto “Be prepared.”

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