Entertainment, Gaming, Geek Culture

Venom ready to unleash carnage in Garena’s Free Fire

Chaos is coming as Free Fire meets "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" in the mobile game's first ever collaboration with a movie franchise. Image credit: Garena
Image credit: Garena

Chaos is coming as Free Fire meets “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” in the mobile game’s first ever collaboration with a movie franchise. Launching on Oct. 10, the Free Fire x Venom crossover will feature elements of the lethal protector Venom and Carnage in one of the world’s most popular mobile games. Free Fire developer Garena promises a wild, immersive experience with exclusive content from the upcoming movie.

“This collaboration with “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is a huge milestone for us and our players all over the world. The iconic character reflects a key component of Free Fire gameplay — creating chaos and eliminating enemies to survive – and is part of our commitment to offer memorable experiences for our global community,” said Garena Producer Harold Teo in a press statement.

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Entertainment

YG Entertainment: Why isn’t it promoting Lisa properly?

Despite being denounced for alleged incompetence and racism, YG Entertainment has remained silent amid calls for more promotions for Lisa. Image credit: Screenshot of 'Money' exclusive performance video on YouTube
Image credit: Screenshot of ‘Money’ exclusive performance video on YouTube

Despite being denounced for alleged incompetence and racism, YG Entertainment has remained silent amid calls for more promotions for Lisa. The popular BLACKPINK main dancer and lead rapper has been breaking records left and right with her solo debut album “LALISA”. Lisa has dethroned her own group to become the female artist with the highest first-week sales on South Korea’s Hanteo Chart, and the first female soloist to become a half-million seller on Hanteo, for which she will get a Gold Certificate. She has broken Taylor Swift’s YouTube record for the music video with the most views in the first 24 hours, with “Lalisa” generating a remarkable 73.6 million views. And in a plot twist, Lisa beat Drake when her unpromoted B-side track “Money” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Rap Digital Song Sales chart.

YG Entertainment, however, has been criticized for not properly promoting Lisa and her solo debut album, whether in South Korea or the US, where BLACKPINK is under Interscope. In 2018, the Korean entertainment company signed an agreement for Interscope and its parent company Universal Music Group to represent BLACKPINK worldwide, outside of Asia. Lisa’s fans — called Lilies — have pointed out that Lisa’s success as a solo artist has been achieved despite the glaring lack of promotional activities, such as appearing in music shows and variety shows in South Korea, guesting on more US shows, or having more radio interviews in the US. In fact, Lisa’s fellow BLACKPINK members Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé have seemingly done a better job promoting her when the four of them got together on Friday, Sept. 24, and delighted BLACKPINK fans — called BLINKS — with a series of clips on their social media accounts of them dancing to “Lalisa”.

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Entertainment

TUDUM: Celebrate with Netflix at 1st global fan event

The stars are coming out tonight for the three-hour TUDUM: A Netflix Global Fan Event live stream, with more than 145 celebrities and creators representing over 100 series, films, and specials. Image credit: Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

The stars are coming out tonight for the three-hour TUDUM: A Netflix Global Fan Event live stream, with more than 145 celebrities and creators representing over 100 series, films, and specials. TUDUM, which has been transformed from the iconic first beat you hear whenever you watch something on Netflix to the streaming platform’s first global fan event, premieres on Sept. 26 at 12 midnight GMT+8. The event will stream on the Netflix Philippines YouTube channel. Netflix fans will be treated to exciting previews and updates, including first looks from “The Sandman” and the latest seasons of “The Witcher”, “Bridgerton”, and “Cobrai Kai”; behind-the-scenes video with the cast of “The Umbrella Academy”; and a special “Stranger Things” surprise.

TUDUM will also have special pre-shows spotlighting Korean and Indian series and films, along with exciting anime content. The pre-shows will kick off on Sept. 25 at 8 PM GMT+8 on specific channels: TUDUM: Anime Spotlight (Sept. 25, 8 PM GMT+8, Netflix Philippines YouTube channel, English), TUDUM: Korean Spotlight (Sept. 25, 9 PM GMT+8, Netflix Philippines YouTube channel, English), and TUDUM: India Spotlight (Sept. 25, 11:30 PM GMT+8, Netflix India Youtube channel). Read on for the full schedule of TUDUM: A Netflix Global Fan Event.

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Entertainment

‘Money’ video drops, BLACKPINK at ‘Dear Earth’

Image credit: Screenshot of "Money" exclusive performance video on YouTube
Image credit: Screenshot of ‘Money’ exclusive performance video on YouTube

From Lisa’s “Money” exclusive performance video which dropped last night to today’s TikTok and Instagram videos of her fellow members Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé dancing to “Lalisa“, BLACKPINK fans — called BLINKS — have been treated to a deluge of new content. In fact, it’s been a series of milestones for both Lisa as a solo artist and BLACKPINK as a group, from “Lalisa” becoming the fastest music video by a female K-pop soloist to hit 200 million views, to “DDU-DU DDU-DU” becoming the first MV from a K-pop group to hit 1.7 billion views.

Moreover, BLACKPINK will participate in the “Dear Earth” YouTube Originals special event that will address climate change. “Dear Earth”, which premieres on Oct. 23, will feature former US President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Desmond Tutu, Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Billie Eilish, Anitta, Jaden Smith, and more. The only K-pop artist to join the global event, BLACKPINK will deliver a special message and performance to encourage climate action.

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Gaming

Diablo II: Resurrected brings Lord of Terror back to life

If you thought Diablo was horrifying before on your CRT monitor, wait until you see the Lord of Terror in all his HD glory in Diablo II: Resurrected. Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment
Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

If you thought Diablo was horrifying before on your CRT monitor, wait until you see the Lord of Terror in all his HD glory in Diablo II: Resurrected. Developed by Blizzard Entertainment and in-house studio Vicarious Visions, Diablo II: Resurrected is reborn on Windows PC via Battle.net, and on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and the Nintendo Switch system.

Diablo II: Resurrected will introduce one of our most beloved games to all-new audiences. It was an honor for Vicarious Visions to join Blizzard and form the team that brought this classic back to life. Everyone involved was driven by a commitment to do right by the players, and I’m hugely proud of what they’ve accomplished,” said Blizzard Entertainment Co-Leader Jen Oneal in a press statement.

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A Life Less Analog, Entertainment

Cancel culture: Cultural appropriation and the PC police

Technology column header

Thanks in large part to social media, cancel culture is out of control, with cultural appropriation being one of the charges the PC police loves to raise against targets. Different celebrities have been accused of cultural appropriation, from Coldplay and Beyonce to Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, Zac Efron, Selena Gomez, and Taylor Swift. The list goes on, and with cancel culture putting the fear of being boycotted and shunned, we’ve seen different celebrities apologizing for one thing or another.

Perhaps emboldened by what has become the PC form of a witch hunt and censorship, and the increasing prominence of Asian celebrities, the cancel culture mob is now going after Asians. Like Golden Globe Best Actress awardee — the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category — and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” star Awkwafina, who has been criticized for her frequent use of a blaccent. Plus as if PC people weren’t already moralizing about cultural appropriation, now it seems many of us are also guilty of language appropriation when we use slang. Because a lot of modern slang is based on African American Vernacular English (AAVE), and language appropriation “erases the influence of black culture“.

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Entertainment

Jessica Lee tackles racism vs Filipinos in South Korea

Image credit: Screenshot of Jessica Lee YouTube video
Image credit: Screenshot of Jessica Lee YouTube video

In her latest video, YouTube vlogger Jessica Lee, a Korean who grew up in the Philippines and recently moved back to South Korea, discusses the discrimination that Filipinos have experienced in her country. A full-blooded Korean who has lived in the Philippines for nine years and fell in love with her second home, Jessica is also known by her birth name Lee Seul. She was a pre-debut member of the K-pop girl group HIGHTEEN and was featured in their pre-debut single “Grow Up” as a vocalist. To tackle the thorny issue of racism, Jessica interviewed two of her Filipino friends living in South Korea: Caryl, who is a PhD student, and Chris, a data analyst, English teacher, and part-time actor.

“First of all, I really admire you guys because I know how tough it is to be a foreigner in a foreign country, you know? Korea is generally a tough country to live in even for Koreans, I think,” Jessica says in the video after introducing Caryl and Chris.

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Entertainment

‘Money’ best-selling rap song in US as Lisa beats Drake

Plot twist: "Money", an unpromoted B-side track from a Thai K-pop idol's solo debut album, has become the best-selling rap song in the US. Image credit: Screenshot of Billboard's Rap Digital Song Sales chart
Image credit: Screenshot of Billboard’s Rap Digital Song Sales chart

Plot twist: “Money”, an unpromoted B-side track from a Thai K-pop idol’s solo debut album, has become the best-selling rap song in the US. BLACKPINK main dancer and lead rapper Lisa has made history as “Money” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Rap Digital Song Sales chart, which measures which rap songs sold the most digital copies in the tracking week. This makes Lisa the first female K-pop artist to top this chart, dethroning Drake, whose “Way 2 Sexy” featuring Future and Young Thug now falls to second place.

What makes the success of “Money” even more remarkable is that it does not have a music video, though Lisa’s agency YG Entertainment has announced that it will release a special performance video for “Money”. The rap track has debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard Digital Song Sales chart, which is the weekly ranking of the bestselling tracks in the US, where Lisa’s title track “Lalisa” has debuted at No. 6, giving her the two highest-ranking songs by a female K-pop soloist in history on that chart. “Money” also debuted at No. 44 on the Billboard Global 200, and at No. 24 on the Billboard Global Excl. US charts.

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Entertainment

Lisa makes solo debut on Billboard, No. 2 on Global 200

"Lalisa", the solo debut single of Lisa, has entered the US Billboard Hot 100 at No. 84. She becomes the second BLACKPINK member and only the third female K-pop soloist after CL and BLACKPINK Rosé to make it to the prestigious chart. Image credit: MU:PLY
Image credit: MU:PLY

“Lalisa”, the solo debut single of Lisa, has entered the US Billboard Hot 100 at No. 84. She becomes the second BLACKPINK member and only the third female K-pop soloist after CL and BLACKPINK Rosé to make it to the prestigious chart.

Not only that, but also “Lalisa” debuted at No. 2 on both the Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excl. US charts. Moreover, “Lalisa” and Lisa’s B-side single “Money” debuted at No. 6 and No. 8, respectively, on the Billboard Digital Song Sales chart, which is the weekly ranking of the bestselling tracks in the US. This makes Lisa the female K-pop soloist with the two highest-ranking songs in history on the Digital Song Sales chart. The success of “Money” is particularly remarkable since it was not promoted and does not have a music video. Lisa’s agency YG Entertainment, however, has announced that it will release a special performance video for “Money” on Sept. 22 at 11 PM GMT+8.

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Entertainment

Ylona Garcia dazzles in ‘Don’t Go Changing’ music video

Ylona Garcia. Image credit: 88rising
Image credit: 88rising

While listening to her powerful new song “Don’t Go Changing“, it’s easy to forget that Ylona Garcia just turned 19 this year. Born in Australia to Filipino parents, Ylona first became popular in the Philippines as a housemate in ABS-CBN’s “Pinoy Big Brother” in 2015. Now she’s making waves in the US as an artist under Paradise Rising, the record label that Philippine telco Globe Telecom and US-based music company 88rising launched to help more Filipino artists enjoy international success.

The “Don’t Go Changing” music video (MV) is the first one in 88rising’s filmed #withGalaxy series as part of the “Head In The Clouds 3” visual album that will showcase a number of its artists and feature their fans. Filipino viewers will see a number of Filipino elements in Ylona’s MV, including the iconic Chickenjoy of Philippine fastfood giant Jollibee.

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Gaming, Geek Culture

Yeng Constantino releases MV for MLBB x Transformers

Filipino singer, actress, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) streamer Yeng Constantino has released a music video celebrating the MLBB collaboration with the Transformers. Image credit: Moonton
Image credit: Moonton

Filipino singer, actress, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) streamer Yeng Constantino has released a music video celebrating the MLBB collaboration with the Transformers. The MV is set in the middle of Bumblebee’s installation created by Jerry Santos and Rumble Royale in partnership with MLBB developer Moonton.

MLBB, the most popular mobile multiplayer online battle arena game in Southeast Asia, has officially introduced their newest skins in partnership with the Transformers.

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Entertainment

More promotions for Lisa, her fans tell YG Entertainment

Fans of Lisa -- known as Lilies -- have made MORE PROMOTIONS FOR LISA trend on Twitter on Sept. 18 to demand more promotional activities for the Thai K-pop idol. Image credit: MU:PLY
Image credit: MU:PLY

Fans of Lisa — known as Lilies — have made MORE PROMOTIONS FOR LISA trend on Twitter on Sept. 18 to demand more promotional activities for the Thai K-pop idol. While the BLACKPINK main dancer has been breaking records with her solo debut album “LALISA” — including having the highest ever first-week sales by a female artist on South Korea’s Hanteo Chart by selling more than 730,000 copies — her agency YG Entertainment has not released a schedule of more promotional activities in South Korea, whether performances on more Korean music shows or guest appearances on variety shows.

Lisa will attend her first music show today, Sept. 19, when she performs her title track “Lalisa” on “SBS Inkigayo”. She has actually already gotten her first music show win as a solo artist when she took first place for “Lalisa” on “Music Bank” on Sept. 17 — despite not attending. With this win, Lisa has made history as the first non-Korean soloist to win on a Korean music show.

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