What I’m holding in my hand is a letter kindly reminding me that I have one issue left of my subscription to gaming magazine ‘Hyper’. And I can’t help but feel a bit melancholy because after 12 years, I won’t be renewing.

*cue violin* 

You see this isn’t just a goodbye to the magazine itself, but to the whole print medium.

*wipes tear*

Let’s take a trip down Memory Lane. My magazine subscription journey started in 1998. I was in the 8th grade with a Pokémon obsession and to compliment my Nintendo 64 gaming habits I subscribed to a N64-only magazine appropriately titled ‘N64 Gamer’. A few years later Nintendo launched it’s next console the GameCube and ‘N64 Gamer’ was renamed ‘Nintendo Gamer’. Sadly the GameCube did not perform as well and was pummelled by the PlayStation 2. As a result the magazine’s readership most likely fell and the magazine was cut by a metaphorical axe. My subscription with the defunct magazine was then transferred to ‘Hyper’—another gaming magazine that covered all consoles, handhelds and PC. And this is where I’ve been for the past 5+ years.

The choice to discontinue the print subscription is a bittersweet reflection of where things are heading, which I’ve only experienced over the last year. It really is all digital from here, no more touchy feely and warm fuzzy feelings associated with the printed form. I get most of my news online anyhow.

I used to browse book stores then order the books from Amazon. These days I rarely visit and their End is looming over the horizon (see Borders closing story here). For text heavy books I’m already buying eBooks. They’re cheaper and you can do things that are only possible in the digital realm, like copying quotes and pasting them on your Tumblr to remind your followers you’re deep, cultured and contemplative.

It’s a harrowing idea that my kids (if I’ll have any) may not enjoy the fruits of the printed medium, such as the unappreciated trait that paper ages and discolours; discovering scribbled notes in textbooks; the charms of doggy eared pages; or being fucking annoyed when a page has been torn out where a critical part of the book should be.

And sigh, the video stores. You see, one of my favourite past times was visiting the local video store. One day I got up with a smile, hopped into my beat up car and made it down to the local. But to my dismay it was closed. Forever. Like a desperate man who’d trekked dangerous lands in hopes of finding long lost treasure and discovering in the end there wasn’t even an ounce of gold, I fell to my knees. Threw my clenched fists out wide and roared at the disinterested sky. It wasn’t raining that day, nor was it in monochrome. But if it were, you can bet it would’ve been really dramatic.

Over the next few months other video stores were closing too. Even the franchises. Looks like downloading movies from this thing called The Internetz had taken it’s toll.

Anyhoo, every evolution has its upsides. Besides being reasonably cheaper, and I guess “interactive”, the clear advantage of digital content is that it takes up zero physical space. You know how you can never keep your living room clean like the ones in the Ikea catalogues? It’s because you always have stuff, notably magazines and books, lying all over the place.

Now it’s all neatly stored on your black iPad sitting atop your beechwood coffee table, placed parallel to the edge and next to that chai latte.