Entertainment

Get back into 'Atlanta,' suck it up with Kirby and more things to do this weekend

Don’t have any plans this weekend? We’ve got you covered.

Get back into 'Atlanta,' suck it up with Kirby and more things to do this weekend

Watch "Atlanta," get gaming with Kirby, and read more about those hapless tech founders.

Image: FX, Nintendo, Theranos

This week, we’re diving back into “Atlanta”; Season 3 is here, and we haven’t seen a new episode since 2018. We’re also reacquainting ourselves with little pink puff Kirby, and carrying on our tradition of reading about the rise and fall of founders.

‘Atlanta’ season 3 takes the crew to Europe

Donald Glover’s dark, hilarious and often surreal drama centered on hip-hop manager Earnest "Earn" Marks has returned for a third season on FX/Hulu, this time relocating the narrative to Europe during an overseas tour leg for Marks’ rapper cousin Paper Boi. We haven’t seen a new episode of “Atlanta” since 2018, and the show’s superstar cast and writing and directing talent have all been plenty busy with other projects.

But Glover and director Hiro Murai’s unique flavor of social and racial commentary and often biting pop culture criticism has been sorely missed, and early reviews already have “Atlanta’s” third season as just as good, if not better, than the last.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land has a new twist

The newest Kirby game has landed on the Switch, featuring the titular voracious pink puff and its new Mouthful Mode, which is this entry’s twist on Kirby’s traditional power-stealing metamorphosis ability. Instead of becoming a new thing, though, Kirby just takes on the shape of whatever it eats. It’s hilarious and outrageous in equal measure, and players who like the newer Super Mario games and have a fondness for the linear simplicity and the adorable art direction of these Nintendo classics will surely find Forgotten Land worthwhile.

People Make Games focuses on harassment at indie studios

The latest in-depth investigation from YouTube channel People Make Games helps dispel the myth that the game industry’s pervasiness harassment, sexism and discrimination issues are restricted to larger or more traditional studios. The 40-minute video focuses on three indie darlings — Mountains, Fullbright and Funomena — and how leaders of each studio created abusive work environments. Since the video went live in March, Funomena announced it may close down due to a lack of funding.

Sky: Children of the Light takes an altruistic approach

Thatgamecompany of Flow, Flower and Journey fame took a radical new direction with Sky: Children of the Light, which came out on iOS in 2019, Android in 2020 and Nintendo Switch last year. But speaking at this year’s Game Developers Conference, game director Jenova Chen outlined how Sky took an altruistic approach to free-to-play monetization on mobile, resulting in more than 40% of the game’s seasonal passes being gifted to other players.

Sky is now Thatgamecompany’s most successful title to date, with more than 160 million players as of this year. For those who might not consider themselves traditional gamers, Sky is a fantastic way to experience accessible, high-quality mobile gaming absent any form of exploitative monetization.

Founders: They’re just like other founders

A lot has been written about the rise and fall of tech founders, with countless books and documentaries and TV shows diving into their professional and personal lives. But what if we step back from all the glitz and glory and maybe even schadenfreude? It’s there that we see that these founders are nothing more than businesspeople, and as Malcolm Harris puts it in this great article in The Nation, the founders are nothing more than “symptoms of a finance-led economy.” And unless something changes, these won’t be the last founder stories we hear about.

A version of this story also appeared in today’s Entertainment newsletter; subscribe here.

Elon Musk's influence over Twitter was clear at its annual meeting

Even though executives tried not to talk about Musk's deal to buy the company, they couldn't help but address his agenda.

Elon Musk loomed over Twitter's annual shareholder meeting.

Photoillustration: Getty Images; Unsplash; Protocol

In his opening remarks at Twitter's annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, CEO Parag Agrawal said he wouldn't discuss the pending acquisition bid from Elon Musk, which wasn't on the agenda. That didn’t matter much: Musk’s fingerprints were all over the event, even overshadowing the expected if still-emotional news that Jack Dorsey would step away from Twitter’s board at the meeting's conclusion.

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Hirsh Chitkara

Hirsh Chitkara ( @HirshChitkara) is a reporter at Protocol focused on the intersection of politics, technology and society. Before joining Protocol, he helped write a daily newsletter at Insider that covered all things Big Tech. He's based in New York and can be reached at hchitkara@protocol.com.

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Why the digital transformation of industries is creating a more sustainable future

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Three letters dominate business practice at present: ESG, or environmental, social and governance goals. The number of mentions of the environment in financial earnings has doubled in the last five years, according to GlobalData: 600,000 companies mentioned the term in their annual or quarterly results last year.

But meeting those ESG goals can be a challenge — one that businesses can’t and shouldn’t take lightly. Ahead of an exclusive fireside chat at Davos, Angela Baker, chief sustainability officer at Qualcomm, sat down with Protocol to speak about how best to achieve those targets and how Qualcomm thinks about its own sustainability strategy, net zero commitment, other ESG targets and more.

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Chris Stokel-Walker is a freelance technology and culture journalist and author of "YouTubers: How YouTube Shook Up TV and Created a New Generation of Stars." His work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian and Wired.

Workplace

Netflix’s layoffs reveal a larger diversity challenge in tech

Netflix just laid off 150 full-time employees and a number of agency contractors. Many of them were the company’s most marginalized employees.

It quickly became clear that many of the laid-off contractors possessed marginalized identities.

Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

After Netflix’s first round of layoffs, there was a brief period of relief for the contractors who ran Netflix’s audience-oriented social media channels, like Strong Black Lead, Most and Con Todo. But the calm didn’t last.

Last week, Netflix laid off 150 full-time employees and a number of agency contractors. The customary #opentowork posts flooded LinkedIn, many coming from impacted members of Netflix’s talent and recruiting teams. A number of laid-off social media contractors also took to Twitter to share the news. It quickly became clear that similar to the layoffs at Tudum, Netflix’s entertainment site, many of the affected contractors possessed marginalized identities. The channels they ran focused on Black, LGBTQ+, Latinx and Asian audiences, among others.

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Lizzy Lawrence

Lizzy Lawrence ( @LizzyLaw_) is a reporter at Protocol, covering tools and productivity in the workplace. She's a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied sociology and international studies. She served as editor in chief of The Michigan Daily, her school's independent newspaper. She's based in D.C., and can be reached at llawrence@protocol.com.

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Crypto doesn’t have to be red or blue

Sens. Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand are backing bipartisan legislation that establishes regulatory clarity for cryptocurrencies. This is the right way to approach a foundational technology.

"Crypto doesn’t neatly fall along party lines because, as a foundational technology, it is — or should be — inherently nonpartisan," says Diogo Mónica, co-founder and president of Anchorage Digital.

Photo: Anchorage Digital

Diogo Mónica is president and co-founder of Anchorage Digital.

When I moved from Portugal to the United States to work at Square, it was hard to wrap my head around the two-party system that dominates American politics. As I saw at home, democracies, by their very nature, can be messy. But as an outsider looking in, I can’t help but worry that the ever-widening gap between America’s two major parties looms over crypto’s future.

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Diogo Mónica
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Photo: Andreessen Horowitz

Andreessen Horowitz has raised $4.5 billion for two crypto venture funds. They’re the industry’s largest ever and represent an outsized bet on the future of Web3 startups, even with the industry in the midst of a steep market downturn.

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