You Don’t Own It

This is something that’s been kicking around my head for a while and with the news that the 3DS and Wii U eShops’ days are numbered, it’s time to just…rant about it.

If there’s something I wish society would change, that it would unite and fight against something, it’s this mentality that has just…infested absolutely everything as of late: You Don’t Own It.

Everything has a subscription. For as long as you pay that subscription in perpetuity, you can enjoy the things you previously could have “owned”. But the minute you quit paying, you lose access to everything. Suffer a financial catastrophe and need to severely cut back? Kiss your music library goodbye, because you own nothing and you only pay for a temporary license to listen to that music. Same goes with Netflix, too. And god forbid you lose your internet connection? You lose access to everything. No matter what. Because none of it is stored locally anymore. What are you, some kind of luddite? Everything is stored on someone else’s computer in the cloud now!

You Don’t Own It.

Even software has a subscription, now. Adobe’s software for example. So if you–again–run into some financial troubles? Can’t even use the software you could have once paid for. You’re just stuck. Oh, and even hardware has a subscription! That fancy Peloton you just bought? Yeah, it’s a brick without the subscription. Hell, even cars have subscriptions! Gotta pay a subscription to use features your car comes with. Like CarPlay.

You Don’t Own It.

Speaking of software subscriptions, anyone notice the subtle jabs of the console makers to try and push you towards a digital-only future? You have the Xbox Series S and the PS5 discless version, meant to be supported by the online storefronts of the console manufacturers. That means they have total control over the pricing and content. Good luck trying to buy used copies of games, sucker! And then you have Nintendo, who’s trying to kill the 3DS and Wii U online shops and their response to people who are asking how they’re going to access the games they paid out the ass for can be summed up as “get fucked, loser”.

Steam, to their credit, at least has repeatedly assured that even they go out of business they’ll give you a way to access your library instead of riding off into the sunset and taking your hard earned money with them.

It still requires a lot of trust that they won’t screw you, though.

You Don’t Own It.

Look at all the countless App Store apps that have been lost to time because Apple routinely prunes their storefront and won’t let older devices access the store to download their purchases? Those games you once enjoyed back in like, 2009 or so? Lost forever because fuck preservation of games, sucker! We gotta make money! 

You Don’t Own It.

Or hell: Even look at right to repair with efforts from folk such as John Deere and Apple! Trying to dictate what you can and can’t do with the hardware you paid an absolute assload of money for! Want your device repaired? We’re going to make it so your only viable option is to bring it to us and pay our absolutely asinine prices such that we’ll likely just tell you to throw the machine away and buy a new one. Gotta line our pockets, baby!

You Don’t Own It.

And you’ll be happy about it, sucker.

This future sucks, and unfortunately, the convenience factor is just too attractive for anyone to stand up and demand better, to demand an end of constant subscriptions for absolutely every little thing on this damn planet.