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October 2015 Retro Gaming Article

October 26, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Are Gamefly, Netflix, & Zipcar solid trends or signs of a declining economy?

Seeing CDs descend into MP3s on iTunes and DVDs become replaced by Netflix, I feel as though I missed a major sign - an indicator of an ailing economy. The fall of CDs has removed album art and the concept of a cohesive album full of music. Netflix lets us watch anything - as long as it's within their offering.

A recent report on CNN discussed online clothing rentals. I'd never heard of such a thing, but it's apparently popular with women allowing one access to an infinite wardrobe without needing a huge budget or closet. OK, this seemed similar to GameFly's rental concept where you can play a lot of different games without having to buy or store them. But a comment by the reporter stunned me.

rental clothing She said that this rental-model is trend that's here to stay! Access to things without owning them is the future. Wait, what!?!

When I think rental, the first thing that comes to mind is housing. Lots of pople will rent an apartment if they can't afford to buy a house. Renting a home has traditionally been something one did while saving up to buy a home. Renting sometimes comes with some stigma in that respect. Certainly there are plenty of folks who don't want to be tied down to a house or bother with all the work that comes with home ownership.

I feel as though we are slowly being trained to accept access, without ownership. Our movies, music, and games are in the corporate cloud. As a result, the physical media is becoming scarce in retail. Is this rental clothing model going to effect the clothing industry in a similar manner. I feel we're in the transition with video games disappearing from stores and stored in the cloud or offered in digital DL formats. Is this the beginning of clothing going toward access without ownership? Can you imagine if clothing and shoes begin declining in retail and go toward an access-only model?.

Some of these subscription services do offer convenience, but I feel there's a larger scheme at work where ownership is diminishing and being replaced with notions of convenience and value. That may be the case in some instances, but I don't want to rent clothes or other items, like entertainment media, that have traditional ownership rights. It's upsetting to see video games, DVDs, and CDs dwindle in favor of subscription services.

I already have enough passwords and I like owning media especially since I have many CDs and DVDs that aren't available via these streaming services. I know what's mine and I'd like to keep it that way. By the way... "the cloud" is simply a server farm in some remote warehouse. There's nothing fluffy or "up in the sky" about it. All sorts of catastrophic things could happen that would sever your access to all of your media.

Everyone needs to do what best fits their needs and lifestyles, but I prefer owning a physical copy of the things I own. I've downloaded some games and some music from time to time, but it feels much better to see it all on my bookshelf. :)

Renting video games sounds good, but as a lone option, it represents access with no ownership

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