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The Importance of Physical Media

by Isiah Frisby

Due to the rise in the digital market over the last few years, you’ll hardly ever see anyone go out and buy anything physically aside from food. When it comes to technology however something as simple as a Blu-ray DVD or a video game can simply be downloaded online. While this seems convenient this means that physical media will slowly but surly lose it’s place in this world.

Video games, with their evolving formats from cartridges to discs and now digital downloads, embody the rapid technological metamorphosis of our times. However, within the sleek cases and meticulously designed cover art lies a narrative that extends beyond mere gameplay. The tangible nature of physical video games is a tactile bridge to the past, connecting players to the roots of their gaming journey.

Christopher Shane recalls how when he was young, and his parents would buy him a video game he would read the back of the case and manual multiple times on his car rides home out of shear excitement. 

“When I was a kid I would get a video game from the store and do nothing but read that pamphlet and admire the cover art. There is just something nostalgic about owning that physical game.”

It doesn’t just stop at games the tangible nature of physical toys offers a sanctuary of authenticity in a world inundated with virtual stimuli. The act of physically interacting with toys fosters creativity, fine motor skills, and social development. In the hands of a child, each toy becomes a vessel for storytelling, a conduit for imagination that transcends the limits of screens and algorithms.

Millard Jordan mentions the importance of other forms of physical media like toys, figurines and collectibles. He mentioned how it makes him feel good to physically own the item instead of a license to own the product.

“They continue to hold value because they are tangible items. You can hand it off to someone and depending on what the item is you can determine it’s value.”

The dings, scratches, and worn edges on these play companions are not signs of wear but badges of honor, testament to the countless adventures undertaken in the fertile landscapes of childhood. Comics, with their vibrant illustrations and captivating narratives, provide a tactile sanctuary for bibliophiles and enthusiasts alike. The significance of physical comic books extends beyond the storyline they convey. The crisp feel of paper, the smell of ink, and the rustle of turning pages create a multisensory experience that immerses readers in a world where superheroes soar and fantastical tales unfold.

Physical comics, whether neatly organized on shelves or tucked away in cardboard boxes, represent a tangible connection to the rich history of the medium. Collecting and preserving these graphic treasures becomes a cultural ritual, an act of passing down stories and passions from one generation to the next. The dog-eared pages and creased spines of well-read comics tell a story of their own, bearing witness to the countless hours spent in the company of illustrated heroes and villains. As we navigate the digital landscapes that dominate our modern lives, let us not overlook the profound importance of physical media.

Video games, toys, and comics are not mere relics of the past; they are living testaments to the enduring power of touch, the joy of tangible experiences, and the irreplaceable connection they forge between generations. In their tangible forms, these artifacts serve as anchors in the ever-shifting seas of technological progress, weaving a tapestry that celebrates the essence of the physical world in an increasingly virtual age.

Infographic

This is an infographic detailing 5 ways that physical media is important for the future.

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