Entertainment, Science

BLACKPINK to join ‘Dear Earth’ event on climate change

BLACKPINK is joining forces with YouTube to call for urgent action on climate change. Image credit: Screenshot of 'Dear Earth' trailer on YouTube
Image credit: Screenshot of ‘Dear Earth’ trailer on YouTube

The world’s biggest girl group, BLACKPINK, is joining forces with the world’s most popular video hosting platform, YouTube, to call for urgent action on climate change. BLACKPINK, which recently overtook Justin Bieber to become the most subscribed music artists on YouTube, will give a speech and perform in the YouTube Originals special “Dear Earth” on Oct. 23.

“Our generation has to come together. We must work towards saving the Earth,” BLACKPINK member Rosé said in the “Dear Earth” trailer posted on Oct. 19. BLACKPINK is the only K-pop act joining an all-star lineup of guests that includes former US President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Desmond Tutu, Alphabet/Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Billie Eilish, Anitta, Jaden Smith, and more.

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Technology

IOVLabs bullish on cryptocurrency growth in Asia

Image credit: IOVLabs
Image credit: IOVLabs

As cryptocurrencies become more mainstream, Gibraltar-headquartered IOVLabs has launched various initiatives to further accelerate cryptocurrency adoption in emerging markets in Asia and around the world. Vietnam and the Philippines are among the countries with the most active cryptocurrency users globally.

“IOVLabs has a growing team in Asia, both with technical and commercial skills, and has engaged with potential partners across Asia, including payment processors, fintech firms, and cryptocurrency exchanges to facilitate the adoption of the RIF (RSK Infrastructure Framework) token and RSK-based stablecoins such as RDOC,” IOVLabs Regional Director for Asia Pacific Eddy Travia told Digital Life Asia.

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Entertainment

‘Rent’ creator’s story brought to life in ‘tick, tick…BOOM!’

"Rent" revolutionized theater, and now Netflix is bringing the story of its creator Jonathan Larson to a global audience with "tick, tick…BOOM!" Image credit: Macall Polay / Netflix
Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson in ‘tick, tick…BOOM!’ Image credit: Macall Polay / Netflix

“Rent” revolutionized theater, and now Netflix is bringing the story of its creator Jonathan Larson to a global audience with “tick, tick…BOOM!” An adaptation of Larson’s autobiographical musical, “tick, tick…BOOM!” stars Academy Award nominee and Tony Award winner Andrew Garfield as the promising young theater composer Jon. Streaming on Netflix on Nov. 19, this film marks the feature directorial debut of Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“‘tick, tick…BOOM!’ is a corner of the world I know from every angle. I know what it’s like to be a struggling songwriter. I know what it is to be in your 20s writing that one musical, what it’s like to be in New York with a bunch of friends with artistic dreams and then watch them drop off one by one, to real life, while you’re still hanging on,” Miranda said in a press statement.

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Gaming, Technology

YGG co-founder says play-to-earn is future of gaming

Play-to-earn is here to stay, says YGG Co-Founder Gabby Dizon. Image credit: Yield Guild Games
Play-to-earn is here to stay, says Yield Guild Games Co-Founder Gabby Dizon. Image credit: Yield Guild Games

When Yield Guild Games (YGG) Co-Founder Gabby Dizon was three years old, his father brought back a Commodore VIC-20 from his US trip. Little did both know this would ignite Dizon’s burning passion for gaming, which he is now bringing to the next frontier with his Philippine-based blockchain gaming-focused startup. YGG, the play-to-earn gaming guild which he co-founded last year, is a decentralized autonomous organization that has raised US$4.6 million in a financing round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). This is the first time a16z has invested in a Philippine startup.

“I didn’t have any Nintendo consoles. I always had PCs, growing up with role-playing games like the ones early BioWare did and Ultima. The games back then were super simple, like Hangman, Stargon, and really blocky games. I didn’t really have consoles because my dad thought that if I was going to play on the computer all day, I might as well learn something while doing it,” Dizon told Digital Life Asia.

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Entertainment

Lisa’s braids did not offend them, say Black YouTubers

Lisa braids did not offend them, say Black YouTube creators. Image credit: YG Entertainment
Image credit: YG Entertainment

Upset that Lisa was made to apologize for alleged cultural appropriation when they said she did nothing wrong, some Black YouTube creators have been posting their opinions on Lisa’s braids. Lisa’s braids, which were extensions that she wore for the teaser poster and exclusive performance video of her hip-hop track “Money”, were criticized for allegedly being an example of cultural appropriation. Her critics have claimed that these were box braids — a hairstyle that they said belongs to Black culture.

“There is nothing wrong with Lisa’s braids. I am Black, I’m from Atlanta, Georgia, and some people may disagree with me. There is nothing wrong with wearing box braids even if they were box braids. They’re not goddamn box braids,” Black YouTube creator Cydnee With a C said in her video.

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A Life Less Analog, Entertainment

‘Squid Game’: Hell is racism, misogyny, fake meritocracy

Technology column header

The series “Squid Game”, which is on track to becoming the most popular show ever on Netflix, is not only a highly addictive survival drama, but also exposes the dark side of Korean society hidden beneath the shiny exterior of K-pop, K-dramas, and Hallyu (Korean Wave). The show itself is a product of this soft power strategy of South Korea. As well as of the world’s insatiable hunger for Korean content — on which Netflix has invested almost US$500M this year. Just as “Parasite” tackled social inequality in the country, so too does “Squid Game” examine the ugliness of Korean society.

In this bizarre contest, desperate people risk their lives playing deadly versions of children’s games for 45.6 billion won (approximately US$39 million). As a microcosm of South Korea, “Squid Game” shows how the worst aspects of Korean society, including racism, misogyny, and fake meritocracy, have shaped the characters and their treatment of each other.

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Entertainment, Gaming

aespa to perform ‘Next Level’ at Wild Rift SEA finals

aespa, which is releasing its first mini-album "Savage" next month that features a collaboration with Hayley Kiyoko, will perform in the opening ceremony of the first ever League of Legends: Wild Rift SEA Championship 2021 on Oct. 3. Image credit: SM Entertainment
Image credit: SM Entertainment

SM Entertainment’s fourth generation K-pop girl group aespa, which is releasing its first mini-album “Savage” next month that features a collaboration with Hayley Kiyoko, will perform in the opening ceremony of the first ever League of Legends: Wild Rift SEA Championship 2021 on Oct. 3. aespa, whose members include Karina, Giselle, Winter, and Ningning, gets its name from “avatar, experience and aspect” — meaning experiencing a new self and a new world through an avatar. Which seems to make this collaboration a match made in heaven.

“​​Over the past two years, Riot has quickly ramped up to be more than just a video games company. We have been increasingly active in the music space, with our virtual bands K/DA and Pentakill both releasing new EPs over the past year. Esports fans are no stranger to our music efforts either, with MNL48 opening the Wild Rift SEA Icon Series Summer Super Cup earlier this June. We are now thrilled to announce aespa’s showcase for the Wild Rift SEA Championship Grand Finals and we hope to continue delighting fans across the region with the highest quality of entertainment,” said G. Justin Hulog, general manager of Riot Games Southeast and Taiwan, in a press statement.

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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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