Are digital distribution games "Physical"?

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Postby Snuggletummy » 2011.09.05 (20:17)

So, I was talking to a friend the other day, and we were comparing how many games we have. I told him that I have 215 games on Steam, and he replied with "Dude, that doesn't count, as those games aren't physical copies."

Now, I personally believe that all copies of games are physical because I bought them with my physical money. I'd go more into this, but I want to know what you think.
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Postby Vyacheslav » 2011.09.05 (20:26)

Pff, those count. Even if they aren't on CDs/DVDs/floppies/etc. the games are still, once downloaded, on your hard drive, which is a physical object.

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Postby Slayr » 2011.09.05 (20:35)

But the hard drive is the physical object not the game. The game is just intangible data.

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Postby Snuggletummy » 2011.09.05 (21:12)

Slayr wrote:But the hard drive is the physical object not the game. The game is just intangible data.


Using that logic, then your so-called "physical" CDs are just a physical container, with intangible data on them. So technically speaking, nobody would win.
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Postby Slayr » 2011.09.05 (22:24)

I think you went to play Shatter before this happened but I conceded that CD are just containers for intangible data and all video games are in fact non-physical.

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Postby Scrivener » 2011.09.06 (03:36)

Isn't there a physical difference between a CD with a game on it and one without? Isn't every bit of information that makes up that game contained entirely within that physical change? What is an example of something that isn't physical? Does love not consist of a rearrangement of atoms in two people's brains?
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Postby 乳头的早餐谷物 » 2011.09.06 (07:39)

Of course digital downloads are not physical copies. The whole point of the term "physical copy" is to distinguish such items from digital downloads. The fact that, ultimately, everything in the universe is physical (if you subscribe to such a philosophy, at least) is irrelevent.

But does that mean that your games on Steam don't count? I wouldn't be so sure. I don't download games on Steam, but I've bought a few digital downloads of albums (compared to a vastly higher number bought in physical form) and I count them proudly amongst my collection.
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Postby scythe » 2011.09.07 (03:11)

Physical they may be, but separate media they are not. If you only count a piece of media as a game, your hard drive can count once, not 215 times.

That's a ludicrous way to count, obviously.
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Postby Kablizzy » 2011.09.07 (04:38)

DR NGUYEN MINH CHAU wrote:Of course digital downloads are not physical copies. The whole point of the term "physical copy" is to distinguish such items from digital downloads. The fact that, ultimately, everything in the universe is physical (if you subscribe to such a philosophy, at least) is irrelevent.

But does that mean that your games on Steam don't count? I wouldn't be so sure. I don't download games on Steam, but I've bought a few digital downloads of albums (compared to a vastly higher number bought in physical form) and I count them proudly amongst my collection.


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Postby Vyacheslav » 2011.09.07 (04:46)

Quality, not quantity.

Though I know you have numerous amounts of both in your video game collection, Snugs.
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Postby remm » 2011.09.08 (10:49)

If you think of the situation in terms of music, you can have CDs and Albums. CDs are the round flat disc with songs on them, albums are just the data/music and can be either digital or physical. You can download an album, but you can't download a CD.

Using this with games, you have the physical device that can store a game, be it a cartridge or disc or whatever. Games can be stored on a physical device, or on a computer. There's no difference.

Imagine you buy a single cartridge, that contains three separate games. How is that in any way different to a computer with three games you installed? The games aren't in any way less real if you install them yourself.
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