Listening to Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie, there is one thing, out of many, that makes are regular appearance. This is a discussion of digital comics. It is always is an interesting discussion because it does a fine job of pushing the red button of rage on Tim. His anger is always entertaining but the reason this subject inspires such ire is something that has eluded me. Why would you get angry at being able to get your comics in a much simpler manner that didn’t take up a metric fuck-ton of space? I never really put much thought into this and merely chuckled each time the discussion would happen and be thankful that I was given another entertaining outburst from Tim.
It was not until recently that I really put some thought into this and found a way to understand, to a certain extent, Tim’s stance. The key to understanding was finding common ground. What was something that I loved that was facing a shift into the digital world and what were my feelings in regards to this?
The answer was table top role playing games. In the past few years, most games companies have began releasing their product in a digital format with some going digital exclusively. In addition, several companies provide you with a free copy of the PDF when you buy the physical copy.
On an intellectual level, I understand the many benefits of digital copies of my favorite role playing games. It makes it quicker for the finished product to get to me. There is a smaller capital outlay on the part of the company that is making the book. This, in turn, makes it easier for companies to put out more books. I can put the PDFs on a tablet and carry it in one hand as opposed to a bag full of books that would strain the back of Hercules. PDFs are, for the most part cheaper than the physical book making room for more purchases.
Despite these numerous benefits, I am still deeply attached to gaming books. They are beautiful pieces of work that I enjoy paging through just even when not playing the game. The book itself is another way that I use to introduce people to new games. When it is their birthday, I tend to give them a game that I am enjoying unless they have specifically requested something else. Giving them a PDF just doesn’t seem the same. There is also the nostalgia factor as well. Each new book acquired conjures up a small part of that feeling of picking up my first book at Waldenbooks so long ago.
I now understand the frustration. There is this tremendous sense of loss as something you enjoy is being replaced. Then add on to this a feeling of being marginalized for actually enjoying something despite this new trend to the contrary. It is very difficult to respond to conversations about digital media without sounding angry and dejected. These feelings are more pronounced for me when I am looking forward to a game book. I want to ask when the book itself will be released but am hesitant to do so. This hesitation arises as I have seen various companies come across as being put-upon when asked about the book and refer to the PDF being available.
Now when this situation arises on Funnybooks, I no longer chuckle. I nod to myself and sympathize with Tim. I may not feel as deeply as him in this regards but I understand the dark pit from where his anger arises.
Rage on good sir, rage on.