Do you want to own or borrow?

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xrayzwei

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Edited By xrayzwei
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Ry_Ry

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#1  Edited By Ry_Ry

I hate to say "we have a system for you it's the xbox360" but at least you have GOG and itch.io to get DRM free items that you can own.

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Efesell

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#2 Efesell  Online

I don't buy physical goods if I can help it anymore and I view that as a general statement of "Eh fuck it what happens happens".

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regularassmilk

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#3  Edited By regularassmilk

I can't believe the terms of consumer ownership in a world full of streaming and sub services isn't already a huge topic. Mostly people seem complacent about it, but it will probably start becoming a hot-button issue for movies and music before it happens to games.

I kind of thought all of the weird censorship or busted aspect ratios on Disney+ would ignite something, but it turns out it's mostly the domain of nerds right now.

Preservation should be key, firsthand. Games already have to contend with the last 35+ years of games that were once available that are now not.

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quasiconundrum

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#4  Edited By quasiconundrum

Eh, I stopped caring about some arbitrary concept of "ownership" of digital goods when it became apparent to me that it really doesn't matter in the end. I pay for a game, I get to play that game. That's all I'm really looking for at the end of the day. Will I have that game "forever"? Probably not, but what does that even mean? Nothing lasts forever. Obsessing over whether or not I'll still be able to play this game I just bought ten or twenty years from now is not something I feel is worth my time or energy.

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Justin258

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People in general won't actually be concerned about ownership of digital products until something big goes down and they can't access their stuff anymore. Like, really big. Like, if Steam dies for whatever reason and PC gamers can't access their five hundred game collection worth thousands of dollars, then people are going to be really upset.

This just isn't something that processes naturally for most people. You click a few buttons and ta-da! Sudden instant access to whatever you wanted! People know what they're doing but it doesn't really subconsciously process that you don't own what you just spent money on. It isn't yours. I can go up to my local used games store and buy a copy of the first Halo on original Xbox and own it, but if I go buy the Master Chief Collection on Steam I do not own it. I have access to it, an access that can be revoked at any time. If you've been buying stuff digitally for years, then you just don't think about this.

PC gaming is pretty much all digital these days. I've been trying to get in the habit of checking GOG before I check anything else for pretty much this reason.

Also, ownership of anything is disappearing as far as professional software disappears. I don't think you can outright purchase any Adobe product these days. You can buy Microsoft Office 2019, but there are only two versions you can install without a Microsoft account and Microsoft directs you to their 365 subscription anytime they can. There are open source alternatives to these products but then you start running into compatibility headaches. If video games ever approach this level of non-ownership, then I'm noping the fuck out and sticking with the past forty years of games that I haven't played yet.

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thesquarepear

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#6  Edited By thesquarepear

I thought Alex was pretty adamant about his opinion about owning movies at least.

It's become increasingly important for me to not be dependent on corporations surviving/not being bought so I support GOG when I can find the games I want there (unless they are missing workshop support, multiplayer or DLC), listen to ripped CDs most of the time (because that online shop I once found for non DRM music only had electronic music and I gave up finding a different one) and occasionally buy Blu-Rays but the catalog for online stores is quite limited where I live.

Ultimately I've probably come to terms with my life being "For Rent" (as Dido declared) as a series of ephemeral experiences but I still agree with Alex that we can't trust the megacorps to archive stuff. I put my faith in archive.org for works of text at least. I'm also hesitant to buy more stuff because I have few places to put it and no follow-through on organizing physical stuff.

In short: most adults probably don't feel that strongly about media and are already squeezing every penny out of their entertainment budget already.

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NexivSelecaf

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#7 NexivSelecaf  Online

Well, when the eventual DRM apocalypse happens where I'm locked out of most of my Steam, Origin and Ubisoft games, at least I'll still have access to 93% of my console, handheld games and ye old PC games from the 90's and 2000's.

I like my discs and cartridges.

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mikewhy

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it will probably start becoming a hot-button issue for movies and music before it happens to games.

It seems like this has already happened a bunch of times, with Netflix / Spotify / Apple Music losing rights to TV Shows, Movies and Music for a while now.

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Efesell

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#9 Efesell  Online

I feel like your physical collections are just as fragile as any hypothetical catastrophe that takes out digital goods.

It's just easier to pretend you have control over something if you hold it in your hand, I suppose.

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BladeOfCreation

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@efesell: This is why I keep backups of all of my consoles, games, DVDs, and CDs in a Faraday cage buried 10 feet under a secret hatch in my basement. No EMP will destroy my ability to play games!

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49th

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I don't care, I'll pick whatever is the cheapest option.

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north6

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#12  Edited By north6

I have moved back to owning movies in 4k because of the quality difference between 4k bluray and streaming 4k is absurd.

Games - I'll do whatever is on sale. Hassle factor of changing games pushes me towards digital.

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Mamba219

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@xrayzwei said:

I listen/watch to The HotSpot this week, and I just get frustrated with the ownership discussion. Nobody actually ever says what they WANT, just how the situation IS. I WANT TO OWN the stuff I pay for. Why is it that hard? It doesn't have to be "noble" like @jeff puts it.

https://www.giantbomb.com/shows/the-hotspot-episode-366/2970-20364

Couldn't agree more. Buying digital is for chumps, or those who simply never revisit their media. This is something a staggering number of people do, and I can't fathom it.

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Slag

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the real answer is both

I grew up renting games, it was fine and makes sense for a lot of things. Makes it a lot easier to give new things a try. I view subscriptions services as the current era's version of Blockbuster, gamefly etc

Just always give me an option to buy if I want to keep it and we're good.

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Zeik

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#15  Edited By Zeik

I generally like to own games when I can, but I have no problem buying digital if it's cheaper or the only option. I like to revisit my games, but I'm not so obsessive about the idea that I refuse to buy anything digital just because I might lose access to it. Will I be upset if/when that happens? Probably. But I'm also aware of that risk and I accept it.

Besides, by the time that ever comes to pass most of these games will be able to be emulated on a PC if I'm really desperate to play them again. With the exception of maybe online games, but buying a physical copy does nothing for you there, and private servers are a thing.

When it comes to the PS5 offering a regular and digital only version I will likely choose the one that lets me play physical games, even if it costs more, because I prefer having that option, but it won't stop me from buying more digital games if it's a better value. There are more important things in life than maximizing the potential lifespan of my games. And I say that as someone who's only real hobby is video games.

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#16  Edited By conmulligan

There was a time I was adamant about owning physical media but Steam and the current console generation has buried that. It's just not worth the hassle anymore, especially when many (most?) new physical games are on a spectrum of compromised to unplayable without an internet connection regardless of how you buy it. Physical media holdouts, I salute you, but you're fighting a battle that can't be won. DRM-free digital games are another story though, and I'm glad storefronts like GOG and Itch.io are around to champion the idea of digital ownership.

@mamba219 said:
Couldn't agree more. Buying digital is for chumps, or those who simply never revisit their media. This is something a staggering number of people do, and I can't fathom it.

I've found that having a robust digital collection actually makes it much easier for me to go back and revisit older games. I'm much more likely to browse my digital game library and pick out something play than I am to go digging through shelves and boxes.

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BaneFireLord

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I buy physical when I can because I like to resell and I'm more likely to actually finish something if a box is staring me in the face from my shelf than if it's buried in my Steam library. It's those practicalities rather than the ownership/not ownership debate that drives my preference. Hell, in my twoish decades of gaming, I've lost far more physical games than I've ever had digital games get their licenses revoked...physical ownership is not any kind of ironclad protection against loss.

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Christoffer

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The older I get the less I care about "owning" a physical copy of the media I consume. The convenience of having everything digitally outweighs my need to have a backup IF Steam should shut down abruptly some day without offering a DRM free option.

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morningcoffee

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When I buy a car I want to own it.

When I buy a house I want to own it.

When I buy a game I want to own it.

When I buy a movie I want to own it.

When I buy a record I want to own it.

I'm tired of this dumb future we are barreling towards where nobody owns anything and we are all beholden to our corporate masters. I don't want to rent anything. I want to work for something physical. I want to pay a fair price for a physical product and then own it for life. I also want to be paid a fair wage in a fair labor market and then retire with dignity.

That's what I want.