May 2, 2023•275 words
One of the most recognizable brands in role-playing games faces the threat of a power grab coming from the corporation who owns the rights to the image. The rules are about to be changed, to make it easier for the mothership to monetize every bit of community-created content. The community rebels and pushes back. The big corporation relents and walks back the changes, but some of the damage is done: a new, open-sourced standard for role-playing games gets launched.
The company which owns one of the most respected journals in neuroscience refuses the appeal, launched by the journal's editors, to reduce the publishing fees which it charges its authors. The editors resign, in their dozens, and move on to launch a new journal. "Things are breaking open", they comment.
I'm not going to regurgitate the blue-tick and Twitter-to-Mastodon saga here, but parts of it fit the pattern, too.
Expect more of this, practically every time you turn on any device: resources run out, supply chains are disrupted, and energy is dear. This means that things cost more to make and run, and we're looking each $1 bill three times over before spending it. At the same time, if you want to enter the AI wild-goose-chase, you need serious investment - much more than it used to cost to start a social medium or an online shop.
The bad news is that things you used to think of as free and friendly may turn out to cost you more and/or start pissing off its user base.
The good news is that with the tools we all have, breaking open and breaking away has never been easier.