I've mentioned this to a few friends recently, and Mata's FaceBook post about the Kindle made me think about it again...
I'm a book-lover. And I mean both reading books, and having books. Libraries are wonderful, bookshops are glorious, and having my shelves full of books makes me feel better And that's mainly why I've not invested in a Kindle (or another e-reader). The physical properties of the traditional book are difficult to give up and, whilst I acknowledge how useful and convenient a Kindle is, I still can't bring myself to embrace it just yet. Similarly, music. Although I do own - and regularly use - an iPod, the majority of the music on it also happens to be on my shelves in CD form. Some of it is downloaded, but mainly when it doesn't actually exist in physical form. I have iTunes, Amazon MP3, etc. at my fingertips, but I still rather like having a CD, with a cover, and inlay, etc. And again, with movies. I never had THAT may videos (VHS), so the move to DVD wasn't particularly painful. But I don't own any download-only films. It's all on DVDs.
PC Games, however, I predominantly get via Steam now. Partly because many shops are just not stocking PC titles anymore, partly because only the newest releases seem to be available in stores, and partly because Steam has had some good deals over the last year. So whilst I still have some games on CD and DVD, I don't buy them in that format anymore.
Aside from clearly being materialistic, , the point I'm leading to is...
I think it's fair to say that there will soon be a generation that rarely uses physical-format media. Those formats might continue to exist, but the decline in their use is inevitable (and has already begun).
So what's my question, my burning issue to discuss? Is it whether we should mourn the loss of the physical-formats? Is it whether this will have an effect upon retail and our high streets? Is it whether it will create greater levels of piracy and digital crime?
No. My question is:
What the **** are people gonna put in their homes?! I mean, seriously. Nobody is going to need shelving because they won't have anything to put on it. Everyone is gonna have so much wallspace.