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August 2017 Retro Gaming Article


August 28, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After trying online movie tickets, I decided waiting on line isn't so bad

The digital movie ticket has a few analog complications
Modern technology seems hyper focused on saving time. Shaving seconds off an online purchase takes on Olympic-like importance but digital movie tickets still have a few analog complications.
My son and I love going to the movies. We have a fairly large TV, but the home theater experience for most of us is easily dwarfed by any local cinema. Some films are just better on an enormous screen.

Overall, I"m a retro kind of guy, from gaming to modern convenience. I like shopping in stores. I still buy all my music on CDs. I like stereo sound loudly blaring from big speakers wired to a kick-ass receiver - no Bluetooth pod speakers for me. I have forgone my VCR, but I don't have DVR capability. I have never had the impetus to buy movie tickets online. But then...

Fandango Gift Card For Father's Day, my son got me a Fandango gift card. Cool! I was excited to use it with him on his next visit this Summer. I use the Fandango phone app to look up theater listings, so this seemed like a good opportunity to check out how well the internet can facilitate an afternoon flick!

Moving the funds from the gift card to my Fandango app was simple as was redeeming it for two tickets to The Dark Tower (great flick by the way). I was charged a $3.00 convenience charge - WTF. The end result was a QR code on my phone that would grant us admission. Upon arriving at the theater, it seemed to me that we sold be able to have the ticket-taker scan the code and let us in.

The gentleman at the entrance beyond the lobby had no clue what I was trying to show him on my phone. If I had a ticket, he'd tear it, but the glowing screen was not registering with him. We went back to the box office window to wait on the line that we were supposed to be bypassing with this digital purchase.

The woman at the counter issued us paper tickets and said the guy at the other entrance didn't know how to scan QR codes. Just to make sure I understood how the transaction was supposed to work, she assured me I should have been able to go right in, bypassing the line we had to wait on.

I know things can go wrong and I don't fault Fandango or the theater, but I don't see any point in paying a convenience fee for an inconvenience. The only time I bought MP3s from iTunes, it was a great experience that I repeated when buying Hey Violet's first album. I won't be repeating the internet movie ticket experience. I love CDs and I don't mind waiting on line to buy a movie ticket. If you don't have the time to wait on a short line, I'm jealous of all the important things you can accomplish with that saved time.

Technology is good, but let's not pretend that books aren't the best story telling medium available or that reading Facebook posts is a valuable use of anyone's time. Take your kid to a movie and talk to them about awesome things while you wait on line.

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