Beyond the Page - October 9, 2019

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Magic: the Gathering will be played at the Sabine Parish Library's Many branch on Saturday. Come out and have a great time.

One speaks of how fast technology is evolving and one of the biggest ways is how we receive our entertainment.  In the past, everyone was glued to a television set, but now there are so many different options. 

During my lifetime, we’ve gone from antennas to cable to satellite.  We have also moved beyond linear entertainment and into the internet realm of multi-player gaming and live streaming.

Although there are still holdouts like me who cling to their satellite or their daily dose of what turns out to mostly be sports, many my age and younger have cut the cord completely and are now completely digital.  The internet is also a huge source of video game entertainment for others, and said gamers are being left out in the dark due to the substandard local speeds.

I currently reside in Many and use what I can safely say is the most common source of internet in town, Suddenlink. The speed was just tested with results of 17.03 Mbps download, completely unacceptable 1.44 Mbps upload, and a 22ms ping.  When living in Robeline several years ago and using AT&T DSL, I was barely able to get a 1.5 Mbps download.  Ookla, one of the biggest internet speed testing sites on the web states that the average speed in the US is now 93.98 Mpbs for downloading, which is a pipe dream here.  The average US upload speed was 22.79 Mbps.

Other than CP-TEL, which offers a great fiber service in certain areas in Many, Suddenlink is most likely the fastest internet we can hope for in the Parish.  Outside of Many and our other incorporated areas, it’s basically the wild west.  You may or may not have access to the internet at all or must depend on expensive and outdated satellite technology or cell phone only. Our more rural areas deserve better.

As the internet evolves, we are seeing a bigger and bigger need of better upload speeds.  Stream from home via services like Twitch and YouTube are big business right now.  The 1.5 Mpbs upload speed in Many is in no way fast enough to allow locals to properly use such a service.  Streaming is building in popularity and is becoming a huge source of income for many gamers and, with dozens of their efforts having broken them into the millions of dollars in income earned with the simple task alone.  In the years to come it will only become a bigger business.

To me, this is just another example of Louisiana as a whole collectively falling behind seemingly everywhere else. 

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Saturday is election day throughout Louisiana.  I’m not here to tell you who to vote for, as I consider that a conflict of interest.  However, I will tell you to go vote.  It matters. 

A visit to www.geauxvote.com can provide you with a plethora of information about the election from polling places to sample ballots. 

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Over the past few months the Sabine Parish Library has been playing host to a dedicated group of gamers playing one of the most popular card games in the world, Magic: The Gathering.

The first two sessions were extremely well-received, with the library’s many tables being filled to the brim with eager participants.

For those unaware, Magic: The Gathering is a strategic card game where you face off against your opponent and use a variety of pre-selected cards to bring his hit point total to zero.  It is an exciting, competitive, and thought-inducing game that goes well beyond the few words I’m sharing about it here. 

The next session is Saturday from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.  There will be a $5 entry fee that is used to cover the prizes that are awarded. 

All are welcome to attend and participate.  There’s always someone available who will be more than happy to teach the game.

Show up.  Have some fun.  Meet some great and genuinely friendly people. 

 

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