To My City Council: Pokemon Ban, Really?

To My City Council: Pokemon Ban, Really?

Is this what my taxes are going towards?
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July 19, 2016. The day of the Go-mageddon. The town: Newnan, Georgia. City Council passed an ordinance banning anyone from playing the worldwide phenomenon Pokémon Go in local cemeteries, claiming they are defacing and disrespecting the sacred grounds, violation punishable by up to a $1000 fine or six months in jail. The vast majority of Newnan’s PokéStops are in cemeteries.As a Newnanite myself I can assure you, there is nothing in town. We’re between a large town and a small city, but even so, there aren’t many “landmarks” that appear as PokéStops. That is, until you get to the cemeteries. One of Newnan’s prides is that we were one of the few cities not burned on the famous Sherman’s March—this is rumored because he had a mistress here. So Newnan has the majority of the few original antebellum structures left in the South. (Our other pride is that Newnan is the hometown of Alan Jackson.) However, most of these are privately owned homes, and therefore can’t really be used as public gaming hubs. Cemeteries, though, are open to the public, and full of historical gravesites and monuments. They’re the center of Pokémon Go in Newnan. One cemetery in particular has roughly 15-20 PokéStops and two Gyms, and it isn’t even the biggest one in town. You can imagine what sort of jackpot that is to any Pokémon trainer. But to immediately shut that down, it makes me wonder: do the old, wealthy, bitter people governing Newnan under the table (it’s almost like Gatsby; old money makes the rules) have anything better to do than ruin some kids’ fun? Sure, I get it. Desecrating graves is a horrendous act. But couldn’t you just make police patrol there more often to assure everything is okay? Put up some cameras or something? Why must the entire operation be shut down? I’d bet just about every dollar I have (although, as a college student, that isn’t saying much) that 99% of these “criminals” are kids under sixteen. Most of them are just playing and having fun; they aren’t trying to cause any harm. Make a law requiring parental accompaniment at cemeteries; you can’t be in Ashley Park after nine P.M. without an adult, so why can’t the same principle be applied here? The only time I would find it acceptable to ban Pokémon players would be if a funeral was being held that day. I wouldn’t want someone running up by my great aunt Lucy’s casket screaming about an Eevee. But the time, energy, and money (towards salaries, press releases, etc.) that it took to make this dumb idea come to life was an incredible waste. Now instead of police patrolling to keep Newnan safe, they’ll be arresting eight-year-olds for trying to get a Bulbasaur.

Is this really Newnan’s priority? Rather than the large number of underage drug dealers, the terrible drivers, and the shady under-the-table deals between government and businesses? It’s not that Newnan is a bad town, really, it’s quite nice. Every town has its’ problems. But is Pokémon Go the Council’s most pressing matter? Citizens have protested all over social media, so much that the ordinance was covered on Fox 5 Atlanta. It’s pretty obvious to everyone that this is a completely ridiculous ordinance that will be nothing but a waste of policemen’s time and a downer to Pokémon trainers everywhere. Newnan City Council, do you have nothing better to do?

Cover Image Credit: http://files.shandymedia.com/images/photos/hollyscoop/pokegone-no-pokemon-go-extension-chrome.png

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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."
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It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1152445/images/o-HIGH-SCHOOL-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg

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What You'd Miss Out On If Video Games Went 100% Digital

Going 100% digital is not without its disadvantages.

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It's 2019, and we are full on in the digital age.

It is no surprise that shopping is being done online a lot more now than 5-10 years ago. Online shopping does have its perks. However, some consumers still have appreciation and preference for going to an actual store to make some of their purchases. Video games, consoles, and accessories are no exception. Sure when you buy digital games, you limit the number of times you have to get up to change the game you are playing, but that is not a good enough reason to go 100% digital.

So, what would consumers miss out on if video games become 100% digital?

There are several things one would miss out on should the video game industry became 100% digital.

I still see a considerable share of video game collectors for both retro and current generation gaming consoles. They enjoy purchasing special editions of specific titles that comes with extra goodies such as steelbook cases.

The majority of gamers, such as myself, do not have a video game library that is 100% digital or 100% physical. I tend to prefer purchasing physical games, but if a specific title is either digital only or if it is significantly less expensive online, then I will make the digital purchase.

If you were to purchase a game physically and it ends up not meeting your expectations, you will have options as to what to do with the game. You can return it for partial or full value back depending on where you bought it. You can sell it online on websites like eBay or LetGo. You can even regift it to someone if you are feeling generous.

When you purchase a digital game, you are stuck with it. You can delete it from your system's hard drive, but you cannot get your money back for it or give it away to someone else.

Most current generation games have things you can purchase separately such as season passes, costumes, and weapons.

You could link a credit card to your console's account and possibly have another user make a lot of purchases of “just this one thing," resulting in a hefty credit card bill.

If you would rather avoid that happening, you can buy prepaid cards and codes at various retailers so you can either buy that one item you want or buy digital currency to add to your account so your credit card will not get charged until your account has no money or not enough money in it when you try to purchase something.

Some consumers also still enjoy conversing with a real live human being, which you do not get when you do everything online.

So while online game purchases can be more convenient, it is not necessarily always better.

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