December 17, 2021 / / Comments Off on BTS test their public goodwill with one of James Corden’s crosswalk concerts
K-pop boy group BTS have taken their turn obstructing traffic with James Corden, performing to their English-language hits “Butter,” “Permission to Dance,” and “Dynamite” in the middle of a busy L.A. street.
Corden’s crosswalk concerts generally don’t seem like the wisest premise, especially considering how grumpy motorists can get when needlessly held up. Fortunately, BTS’ overwhelming charm negated the inconvenience, with some drivers excitedly leaning out their windows to get a better look at the global superstars.
It was also pretty endearing that the group seemed fully aware of what a bad idea the whole performance was.
“This is the worst,” RM said, smiling and speaking in Korean to ostensibly keep Corden in the dark.
“I’m scared, I don’t think this is safe,” agreed Jimin.
Still, the seven-member group gamely put on a show, complete with outfit changes, tinsel fireworks, and dancers dressed like waffles.
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December 15, 2021 / / Comments Off on ‘Minecraft’ spawns a massive milestone, and YouTube is celebrating
In the 10 years since it exited beta, Minecraft has become one of the world’s most beloved and best-selling games, with 140 million monthly unique players globally. Today, Dec. 15, it realizes a new achievement, and it’s a big one: 1 trillion views on YouTube. That’s right, Minecraft content on the platform has surpassed a whopping 1,000,000,000,000 views. That’s 12 zeros!
To commemorate the massive milestone, YouTube is celebrating with a mob of fun features. There’s a Minecraft-themed takeover of the YouTube homepage, and creators are sharing their favorite Minecraft memories using #MinecraftMuseum over on YouTube’s Instagram. If you’re playing today, you can check out a free in-game “YouTube Creator” skin pack featuring top Minecraft creators.
YouTube has also picked up their proverbial pickaxes to mine more than a decade of data for insights into the game’s growth. On their impressive interactive site, you can calculate your personal contribution to those 1 trillion views (mine was a pitiful 0.0000000003 percent), explore top content trends by country, and see the biggest Minecraft creator by year.
One of my favorite takeaways was that the game has racked up more than 500 billion views since 2019. That year, a natural resurgence in gameplay was burgeoned into a full-blown renaissance thanks to Keemstar’s popular Minecraft Monday tournament, Dream’s “Minecraft Manhunt” series, Pewdiepie’s renewed interest in Minecraft Let’s Plays, and interest from non-gaming creators like James Charles and Jack Black.
Creative ingenuity is driving this continuous expansion of ‘Minecraft’ viewership.
There’s one more celebratory gem that players and fans should check out: an animated video featuring top creators and some of the community’s best moments. There are Easter eggs abound, so keep your eyes peeled! YouTube’s Culture and Trends Insights Lead Earnest Pettie (who showed up to our Zoom wearing a YouTube Gaming sweater, naturally) says his favorite is a reference to CaptainSparklez’s music video parody “Fallen Kingdom.” The parody, which now sits at more than 145 million views, is an example of how Minecraft’s sandbox gameplay has become an “empty canvas” for creativity on YouTube, where creators use the game for everything from scripted role plays to activism.
“For some YouTube creators, [Minecraft videos are] an expression of their point of view as a comedian or as a game player,” explains Pettie, “and then you have people who are celebrating aspects of their identity, from Pride celebrations to people observing Ramadan.”
Even after 10 years, the game retains wide universal appeal. YouTube says it considers more than 35,000 of its creators to be part of the Minecraft community, and that the game was the most-watched on YouTube in 2020. Minecraft also jump-started the careers of YouTube’s most-subscribed individual creators, Pewdiepie and Mr. Beast, who still play on a regular basis.
Pettie says that Minecraft’s combo of flexibility and universality is key to its continued success. “Creative ingenuity is driving this continuous expansion of Minecraft viewership,” he says. “This game is over a decade old… the thing that allows it to continue to be as popular as it has been is the creators’ ability to think up new ways to keep it fresh.”
December 14, 2021 / / Comments Off on Tom Holland heroically resists being tricked into last-minute ‘No Way Home’ spoilers
Nobody in the sprawling MCU family of well-paid symmetrical faces is more infamous for dropping spoilers than Tom Holland. It’s become a game for talk show hosts (and castmates) to tease him about it — and hours before Holland’s third standalone Spider-Man film, No Way Home, premiered, Jimmy Kimmel was still trying to trick him into slipping up.
Kimmel listed off the confirmed multiversal villains, from Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock to Jamie Foxx’s Electro, before casually adding, “Who else?” He also tried a straightforward approach: “Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield: Go ahead.”
But Holland stood firm, without co-star and experienced anti-spoiler babysitter Benedict Cumberbatch needing to jump in from the chair behind him. He even got through a story about happening to run into Maguire and Garfield, just casually around town, without ever confirming that they do appear in the new film through the magic of the multiverse (and many intellectual property lawyers).
“With being in a superhero film comes great contractual liability,” deadpanned Cumberbatch.
In a later segment, adorable kids asked the cast adorable questions, from who would win in a fight between Spider-Man and Thor (“He would hammer me — both Hemsworth and Thor,” admitted Holland) to, well, how the movie ended. Jacob Batalon briefly faked out dropping the reveal, but Kimmel had to follow up: What would happen if they really did spoil the ending?
“I think they would literally kill us,” said Holland, looking to Batalon with the solemnity of someone who’s definitely been pulled into a stern meeting or three. “They put a chip in the back of our head on the first [movie] —”
“It’s like a remote control and they blow your head up,” said Batalon.