The best PlayStation 4 games of the 2010s
Jasmine Heyward
Every gamer has been in this situation: With Christmas and Hanukkah recently passing, you have gift money to spend on video games. You hop on your Playstation and check the Playstation store, but then you get stuck trying to choose which video games you want to buy. With the new Playstation 5 on the horizon, many game developers have decided to hold their game for the new release while the Playstation 4 era comes to an end. Well lucky for you, here are some of the best story-driven, PlayStation-accessible video games that have come out in the past decade that you can get. 
Minecraft (released May 17, 2009): The notorious, now 10-year-old game has become the best selling, single-title videogame of all time, according to Digital Trends. Clearly, all of these sales are for a reason. The sandbox provides a platform with unlimited creativity. In Minecraft, there are two main modes: survival and creative. If you prefer putting in the hours mining away to get different ores and upgrading your weapons and armor, to “beat” the game, survival is for you. If you are looking to create beautiful structures with all different kinds of blocks at your disposal, creative is for you. Overall, Minecraft does a good job of giving the player limitless options for play, and it is because of this that the game has become so successful.
Batman Telltale Series (released August 2, 2016): Made by Telltale, a company specializing in story mode games such as Minecraft: Story Mode and the Wolfenstein series, this game is solely story mode. Batman Telltale Series takes place in the 2010s and the player switches between the lives of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Family, friends and ego are often the things that you have to choose between, and the plot offers a lot of action-packed scenes and crime-stopping. Batman Telltale Series does an amazing job of making the player feel in control. Every time a dialogue comes up, you have the option of four responses. Batman Telltale Series does such a great job of creating tension and suspense and is honestly one of the most immersive games I’ve ever played. With two seasons with five episodes each, and with each episode taking two-to-three hours, it will provide lots of gameplay and character development to make you feel a connection with the characters. 
Detroit: Become Human (released May 25, 2018): Like Batman Telltale Series, this PlayStation exclusive game does an amazing job at making you feel like you are actually in the world. Made by Sony, Detroit: Become Human involves three characters and provides very harsh punishments if you don’t make the “right” decisions. The story takes place in 2038, where androids get abused and start to develop free will. In the game, you cycle between three different androids, where you must choose between doing the right thing or doing what gets you furthest. Through these decisions, Detroit: Become Human delivers many themes about morality. For instance, an example of one of these questions is: Just because something isn’t human, does it mean that we have to treat them inhumanely? If you want a long, difficult, and immersive experience, Detroit: Become Human is for you.
Marvel’s Spider-Man (released September 7, 2018): According to Sony Interactive Entertainment, this was the second best-selling game on the PlayStation 4. With only one year on the market, Spider-Man blew people out of the water. With its huge city, amazing graphics, fun combat skills and addicting spider web-swinging, this release was impossible to miss. Spider-Man is perfect for free-roam players, fighting players, and story players. The game is based on Peter Parker’s adventures fighting crime and defeating multiple criminals. While playing, you can unlock multiple skins and gadgets, which make the missions feel rewarding. Marvel’s Spider-Man also won the game of the year award, so it is clearly worth the buy.
Red Dead Redemption 2 (released October 26, 2018): If you like Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series, then you’ll love Red Dead Redemption 2. While technically released after Red Dead Redemption, this second installment serves as a backstory to the events that happened before the original. The story takes place in the 1900s when country gangs were starting to die out as the law was being enforced. This is an open-world game with activities like shootouts, riding horses and robbing banks. It is a fun, online, story mode game that provides an amazing narrative, great graphics and fun shootouts that occur often in its plot. If you are into story or shooting country games, then Red Dead Redemption 2 is perfect for you. The New York Times described it as “true art.”
At the end of the day, all of these are amazing story games that will be worth your time while waiting for the Playstation 5. 
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City News
Why your vote counts
Cristian Dubon Solis
Today, there are too many things to keep track of in our daily lives. Between family issues, schoolwork and possibly a job, there’s a lot going on. Within the chaos, one particular topic is often forgotten: local politics, such as the recent Boston City Council election.
In general, younger voters are less likely to vote in elections and be involved in local politics. Why does this matter? The youth are the future and they should have more of a role in local elections because the laws made by the Council will affect them for years to come. An ordinance that decreases education funding, or an ordinance that raises the age for someone to work, all directly affect young people. Since young people make up 13% of the population in America, their voice should be just as loud and strong in politics as other age groups.
Aya Nakkachi, a senior at John D. O’Bryant High, who volunteered in the recent Boston City Council Election, said of young people in politics: “I hope that people vote, it doesn’t matter who, just vote!”  
In Boston, it is evident by the voter turnout each year that many people see local election day as “business as usual”. In the recent general Boston City Councilor election, only 17% of the voting population turned out, reported The Daily Free Press. 
Low voter turnout reflects the public’s lack of awareness and care for local politics, which is a massive obstacle if we want to make our city a better place. 
Paul Pitts-Dilley, a history teacher at O’Bryant, says that our generation needs to be active and unafraid of making people upset. “If you want to create change, you have to demand change. Otherwise, people are just going to take pictures with you [the youth]...without really engaging with the youth,” he said.  
We should care about the system because it currently doesn’t serve everyone the best it can. There are many problems within Boston that affect many people, such as gentrification and a lack of affordable housing. The youth of today can make changes that solve these problems tomorrow.
Bridget Ryan, an AP government teacher also at O’Bryant, says there are many ways kids can be involved in politics. “Voting is being involved in politics — whether you’re volunteering, writing about it, you could blog about it, post on social media about it. You don’t have to be a huge advocate and be involved in protest and marches to feel you’re involved politically,” she said.
Anything someone can do to get people discussing certain issues counts as being involved. You don’t have to be a full-time volunteer. Write a post on Instagram (or Facebook if you still use it), or have conversations on current topics with friends.
Nakkachi said that her experience volunteering for Michelle Wu and Alejandra St. Guillen truly opened her eyes to how youth currently participate in politics. She wishes people could, “Educate themselves and go out and vote... It’s a fundamental basic right that everyone should use.”
The youth of Boston need to rise up and show that they care about what’s going on in politics. It’s our lives and our future, so why shouldn’t it be our government? As Nakkachi said, and as the recent extremely close election demonstrated, “Every vote matters.”
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Cultural Criticism
What's not cooking: 4 food service careers you didn't know existed
Courtesy of Madison Beehler
When it comes to careers in the food industry, common options are to become a chef or a food influencer on social media. Some people might become a chef so they can cook delicious food for themselves and not have to eat their auntie’s greasy burgers or spaghetti. However, what other types of careers are there within the food industry? While becoming a chef is an obvious option, many people seem to forget that there are other career paths in this field. If you love food and want to make a job out of it, you can also consider any of these options: 
Restaurant owner
A restaurant owner operates a business that cooks and sells food for a profit. They have employees who work as cooks, waiters, bussers or cashiers. As an owner, they are responsible for making sure that the cost of running the restaurant is balanced, they double-check the quality of the food and also help with the day-to-day tasks. On a busy day, the owner might encounter different guests with various food requests and needs to get their meals ready in a timely manner. According to the Houston Chronicle, a restaurant owner has an average income of around $60,000.
Taste tester
A taste tester is someone who tastes a variety of foods to observe the texture, smell and quality of the ingredients. They often taste products before they are put in the market and sample foods to review them. On a daily basis, a taste tester would sample food and give feedback to the producer. According to Payscale, the average income for a taste tester is about $60,000.
A farmer has many jobs including maintaining crops, stacking hay and even tending to animals. They grow, care for and sell their produce to supermarkets and restaurants. When local restaurants are looking for the freshest fruits and vegetables they can turn to their local farmer to get high-quality ingredients. According to the Houston Chronicle, the average pay is $76,000.
Food scientist
A food scientist studies and observes food in a lab to see if it’s safe to consume. A typical day would consist of testing food, ingredients, and chemicals to see if they are safe to consume, or if they are government-approved. They also break down foods and test them sometimes adding chemicals to the product or produce. According to Glassdoor, the yearly income for a food scientist is about $68,000.
The food industry is like the sea, there is so much to explore and find, so consider these fun and interesting jobs in the field! 
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Cover Story
With Title VII undecided, queer rights hang in the balance
When it comes to federal case law, LGBTQ+ people have a lot of rights. Statutory law — or the laws made by Congress — are where things get a little foggy. One of the responsibilities of federal courts is to interpret what Congress intended when they wrote a specific law. This should be fairly easy because all you’re doing is reading, right? Wrong. LGBTQ+ individuals fall into a gray category when it comes to whether they have protection under some of these laws, which has caused some trouble recently.
Obergefell v. Hodges was arguably one of the most important cases in the LGBTQ+ rights movement. It was one of the cases that gave LGBTQ+ couples and loved ones hope when it legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015. A battle started far before with a freedom of speech case, One Inc v. Olesen, which in 1958 decided that writing celebrating gay relationships isn’t automatically obscene. There has been significant headway made in the last decades.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. On October 8, 2019, The Supreme Court heard three cases of LGBTQ+ discrimination, and will now have to determine if sexual orientation and gender identity fall within the walls of Title VII. These recent cases that have arrived within the grasp of The Supreme Court have brought up many questions that I have the hopes of answering in this interview.
I sat down with Michael J. Lambert, an attorney specializing in Media and First Amendment law at Prince Lobel to see how being part of the LGBTQ+ community contributes to his thoughts on these cases.
Before he answered the heavy questions, I needed to know something equally as important. Why should he answer these questions?
Nathan DeJesus: What is your background?
Michael Lambert: I studied journalism in Louisiana. And then I went to law school. And now I represent journalists for a living. So I don't necessarily work in the LGBTQ+ rights or civil rights area. But as a gay person, I follow these cases, and I'm a lawyer, so I have some [amount of] knowledge about it. And I do First Amendment work. So that's civil rights. In a way, it is civil rights.
Why will these cases be important justices-wise?
Justice Kennedy isn't there anymore. And he has historically written the opinions for the gay rights cases. Justice Gorsuch is big on textualism. And textualism is what I referred to before, in which when a court is asked to interpret a statute, you look to the text of the statute, and the text of the statute should be the prevailing interest. So if that theory holds and the justices interpret the Civil Rights Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that way, I'm inclined to think that the court will rule that Title VII does cover LGBTQ+ individuals.
Do you think that whether they rule in favor of the employee or employer there is going to be a ripple effect?
Unfortunately, right now, LGBTQ+ Americans don't have protections under the Civil Rights Act in the employment setting. So if the court decided that that Title VII does not cover LGBTQ+ individuals, then they wouldn't have those rights that others do within the workforce. But I think it also would send a signal to the country that LGBTQ+ rights are not respected. And are not equal. So beyond just settling this particular case in which the question is, does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act cover LGBTQ+ individuals? It kind of sends a signal to the country that we're not treating LGBTQ+ rights the same as we are other civil rights. And I think that would be a shame. If the court rules that Title VII does cover LGBTQ+ individuals, it validates the identities of so many people, even though you shouldn't have to rely on nine people in Washington to validate your identity. And it would send a signal to employers that you can't discriminate. You can't discriminate against somebody because of the sex of the person that they love, or the gender that they identify with. It would certainly send that signal and it would give LGBTQ+ people remedies against employers if they were discriminated against, and because of, who they are.
At the end of the day, this is an interpretation of the statute. The Supreme Court’s ruling may have some pretty small or pretty big effects on how the U.S. will treat queer people in the future. Lambert seems optimistic that the ruling will be in favor of the employees. The results of the cases are set to be announced in June of 2020.
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Cultural Criticism
What am I supposed to look like?
Kamila Civilus
I’ve been “misraced,” or assumed to be an ethnicity I am not, a bunch of times. My thought process after being asked is, “why do they want to know?” It’s a weird and simple question. 
A lot of people go out of their way to ask, and I know it is curiosity that drives them, especially with strangers. But, I do get weirded out when that’s the first thing a stranger asks me when they are unsure or want to confirm their assumption. Then, they have the nerve to say, “Well you don’t look like it,” when I answer. I just smile, well, at least I force myself to. I also have many black friends, not mixed with anything, that are asked if they are mixed, and they roll their eyes when they tell me that they were asked. 
What do you say to that? My dad would sarcastically ask, “Well what am I supposed to look like?” He wants the person to genuinely consider that statement because it can potentially be offensive. I don’t want someone to tell me I don’t look like what I am. That’s why it’s easier to nod and say nothing. But, should I still do that? I want to let people know that hearing that is irritating and hurtful. I already stick out at family gatherings because I am the only mixed person in my dad’s family. I am not as dark as my cousins, but they don’t care, so why should a stranger?
“For me, my identity has caused a lot of arguments and pain in my life,” Andromeda Turre wrote in The Huffington Post. “So I might not want to answer ‘What are you?’ because I might be apprehensive as to how you, a total stranger, is going to judge me and possibly react to the choice of identity that took me years to accept and understand.” I was interested in her article just from the title, “PSA: ‘What are you?’ Is Not an Icebreaker” because it already felt like I could relate to her. People are either amazed or say “you don’t look like it.” So … what is the ethnicity I am mixed with supposed to look like? 
A few years ago, someone telling me that I don’t look Haitian, would bring me back to the place of insecurity I was in when I was younger, based on not feeling enough or not fulfilling the norm of being Haitian. I love both of my cultures — being Haitian and Mexican is awesome. People are surprised every time I tell them and the positive reactions uplift me every time.
Identity is one of the most important things someone can know about themselves. What do you think when someone asks you, “Who are you?” In reality, you would just say some basic facts. But really, who are you? It’s a question that trips people up. 
 You can identify yourself in many ways. Culture, nationality, personality, ethnicity, morals and much more. The whole assuming and asking what people are thing, has to stop. There are better ways to ask and approach the topic.
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