December 10, 2021
Image: The Game Awards
Good morning! This Friday, everyone should take a page from The Game Awards, Meta’s first metaverse app is here, and if you’ve been looking for a song NFT based on the RNA of COVID-19, you’re in luck.
The Game Awards, effectively the Oscars of video games, has through sheer force of will become the most vital event in the industry, growing larger and more ambitious year after year and now eclipsing in importance many of the shows and events that have predated it.
The eighth annual show was held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Thursday evening, attracting tens of millions of viewers online across more than 40 video, social and gaming platforms. It is perhaps the prime example of how the video game industry has finally found its seat at the mainstream entertainment table.
The Game Awards has perfected its unique formula. The event, the brainchild of longtime TV host Geoff Keighley, doubles as both an awards show and a marketing extravaganza of new trailers and product announcements.
The Game Awards adapted with the times, while most other gaming events haven’t. The pandemic made in-person gatherings especially difficult, and many of the game industry’s biggest events suffered as a result. The Game Awards, however, did not. Last year, the first ever virtual show jumped to 84 million live streams, up from 42.5 million stream of the in-person gathering the year prior.
Keighley and his team understand the future of live events. The Game Awards have become a focal point for the industry because they lean into how younger audiences want to consume live broadcasts.
To those not well-versed in the marketing-heavy culture of gaming, it’s easy to balk at an awards show filled with trailers, ads and what ultimately amounts to very little time dedicated to giving out awards.
But Keighley, who’s spent years evangelizing the merits of gaming and pushing it ever closer to the mainstream, knows your run-of-the-mill awards show doesn’t cut it anymore. Viewers simply don’t care enough. Make it easy to watch and give people things they’ve never seen before, though, and you’ll find that viewers will show up in droves. It’s a lesson Hollywood might need to learn if it wants to stay remotely as relevant as gaming in the future.— Nick Statt (email | twitter)
Comcast’s powerful network keeps people connected. Since 2017, Comcast has invested more than $15 billion to continue to grow its smart, reliable network. As the technology advances, this network will become even more resilient, faster and more secure.
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Horizon Worlds is no longer invite-only. All adult users in the U.S. and Canada can now access the VR social platform, marking a huge step toward the metaverse for Meta.
Activision Blizzard employees want to unionize. Several workers say they signed union cards, and others launched a $1 million fund on GoFundMe to support fellow employees striking this week and for any future demonstrations.
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The Oversight Board flipped Instagram’s decision to delete a post. Instagram was told to better respect “diverse traditional and religious practices” after it removed a post about ayahuasca, a psychoactive brew sometimes used in spiritual ceremonies.
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Pinterest expanded its parental leave policy even more. The company extended leave for birthing parents from 16 to 26 weeks, and leave for adoptive parents from 16 to 20 weeks.
Ever heard of a song based on a virus’ RNA being turned into an NFT? We hadn’t either. But the ViroMusic project used computers to turn the genetic sequence of COVID-19 into what sounds like an ambient track; the tracks were then turned into NFTs. There’s a whole process behind the undertaking, called DNA sonification, which involves looking through genetic code and algorithms, but before your head starts to hurt, listen to the end result. The songs are kind of relaxing.
In the last 10 years, Comcast has invested $30 Billion – and $15 billion since 2017 alone – to grow and evolve America’s largest gig-speed broadband network, building more route miles and running fiber deeper to customers’ homes to help millions of people stay connected when they need it most.
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