Glitch Feed

Tangible versus Digital by +peter
August 28, 2006, 7:12 pm
Filed under: Opinions

This past weekend was home to PAX, the Penny Arcade Expo. This expo features a multitude of attractions relating to gaming and gaming culture.

One such attraction was a Q & A panel called ‘Blogphotopodcasting: New Media in the Game Industry.’

Bloggers featured were Christopher Grant of Joystiq, Brian Crecente of Kotaku, MC Wilson of Broadcast Gamer and Julianne Greer of The Escapist. The entire event was moderated by “Major Nelson” of Microsoft.

It’s a lengthy listen, about an hour, but its very interesting. If not for the punches that Brian and Chris exchange than for the insights into the blogo-sphere by some major figure heads of the scene. The .MP3 is a near crucial listen for anyone interested in the democratization of journalism.

Find it here on Major Nelson’s blog.

I agree with just about everything stated in the panel, yet I feel one issue remains unaddressed.

I shall continue.


Magazines and Newspapers are taking a major hit. Anyone can post news or a some personal story, and this is a wonderful thing. The bloggers featured unabashedly speak of the demise of the print medium as Web 2.0 propagates itself and acquires more readers and contributers.

I do not mourn the loss of newspapers and magazines. I really prefer the guerilla style of blogging than I do the traditional. What I mourn the loss of is the inherent value in a tangible object.

You know that “new” smell that seems to accompany every object we purchase. My cell phone had a “new” smell. My Macbook Pro (god bless it) had that “new computer” smell. It had a weight to it, I could run my fingers along its edges and feel the finish.

Magazines have the same quality. They have that smell when you first open them. You can get a basic sense of the quality merely by feeling the type of stock used. Not too mention pages are printed at 300 dpi while the standard resolution for screens today is 72 ppi. (Dont use web art in print ads!) so there is “depth” to a printed image as opposed to one viewed on screen.

I have this issue with all digitally distributed content. I cannot hold the actual object within my hands. I cannot sense its weight and its construction, its smell (its taste?). The only thing I have now is visual and maybe audible. Three of my basic senses have been rendered obsolete.

Does anybody else share this same grievance? I find myself groaning whenever someone states that the future is in an all digital model of distribution, because compared to what I can hold and sense in my hand, it ultimately feels of lesser worth.

peter “I need a new alias” traylor



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