Posts tagged with "digital"

Has eSports Become a Part of Pop Culture?

A couple of decades ago, when video games burst into the mainstream audience for good, everyone could have guessed that gaming would soon become an important part of the entertainment industry. But what no one could have predicted is just how popular it would become not to play video games yourself, but to watch other people play. So popular in fact, that competitive video gaming, i.e. eSports, has slowly but steadily grown to become an important part of pop culture. But how and why did eSports gain so much momentum?

eSports expand their reach into the mainstream audience

When the first organized competitive gaming tournaments emerged where professional players vie for a prize, analysts very aptly dubbed the new practice “eSports”. And research reported by the Influencer Marketing Hub reveals that this new industry has quickly expanded its appeal and gained unprecedented growth. In 2017, eSports reached an audience of 335 million viewers, which climbed to 380 million in 2018. It is now estimated that until 2021 that number will reach roughly 557 million, exhibiting an annual growth rate of 14%. Out of those, 250 million will be regular viewers but another 307 million will be casual spectators. This means that casual viewers will constitute the majority of the eSports audience.

Furthermore, according to the same source, even people who do not watch eSports have still heard of them. In 2015, an impressive 800,000 people were aware of the industry. But a year later, over a billion people have reportedly heard of eSports – a jaw-dropping growth. In 2019 alone, eSports awareness was estimated to have reached 1.57 billion people around the world. The combination of these two facts, i.e. the number of casual viewers and the tremendous growth in awareness, lead us to the conclusion that eSports has now become an important part of pop culture.

How eSports became a part of pop culture

But if you want even more proof, just take a closer look at eSports betting. That’s right: betting sites now consider eSports as a sub-category of the traditional realm of sports betting, and punters can place wagers on the biggest eSports tournament just like they would on the NBA finals or the Super Bowl. It is no surprise, when you consider the hype surrounding the biggest eSports competitions. In 2019, the League of Legends World Championship gathered an audience of almost 4 million viewers, and the Fortnite World Cup Finals amassed an impressive 2.3 million. Speaking of Fortnite, it is perhaps the game that best encapsulates how video gaming and eSports are now part of pop culture in their own right.

Who could forget the iconic and hilarious scene in Avengers: Endgame that saw Thor compete against “Noobmaster69” on Fortnite? Just like people are still not over the live concert series that now takes place within the Fortnite game. Travis Scott was the first to take the leap of faith and performed virtually to raving reviews. Now, the digital concerts continue, with J Balvin reportedly set to headline the Fortnite Halloween Concert series, in a perfect blend of these divergent strands of pop culture that has had audiences going wild. Much like the music industry, other sectors have realized the potential of eSports and gaming that allows them to reach to a wider audience and are jumping at the chance. For example, Oakley has already announced that they would launch a new type of lenses specifically designed for gaming.

If we want to understand better how eSports have so quickly become a part of pop culture, we also need to look at the channels that enabled them to connect with their audience. Millennials are now in their 20s and 30s, and they have grown up in an increasingly digital world. Watching their favorite gamers play live on Twitch or YouTube, and interacting with them on chat or social media was an organic way for them to connect. Steven Spielberg’s recent blockbuster Ready Player One took the concept one step further. In a dystopian future, taking place in a VR gaming tournament has become the one shot its protagonist has at fixing everything wrong with the world – competitive gaming has somehow turned into something more real than real life itself.

For the young adults that are right now the driving force behind market trends, and are shaping pop culture, eSports are an integral part of life and culture.

5 Game-Changing Benefits That SEO Can Give To Your Business

Now may very well be a tough time for businesses to part with capital for marketing. The reality however is that taking such a decision, could make the difference between coming out of the pandemic in good shape, or not coming out at all. Marketing has and always will provide a great return on investment, and businesses need this more now than ever before. Any smart digital marketing campaign will feature a number strategies and SEO will form the foundation of your success. 

For big agencies like Local Digital SEO forms the bedrock of all campaigns and here is how it will be a real game changer for your business.  

Improved User Experience

In today’s world simply having an online presence isn’t enough and there is a higher focus than ever before on the type of user experience which you can offer visitors to your website. The better the user experience, the longer visitors will hang around and the more likely they are to buy. To meet with SEO requirements, ad agencies will start by bringing your website up to scratch, and the byproduct of that will be a better UX.  

Cost Effective Ad Strategy 

SEO is a one-time cost which will benefit your business for a long time to come. This is a strategy which gets more clicks than PPC and it is one of the most cost effective strategies out there. This is an inbound marketing campaign, there is less focus on going to your customers and a much higher emphasis on enticing them to come and see what you are all about.  

Improving The Awareness of Your Brand

The goal of SEO is to appear on the top pages of the search engine for a wide variety of keywords. In doing this you are going to be seen by a huge number of people, many of whom may not actually check out your site, at least not the first time. The more that you are seen on the search results however, the more a consumer recognizes the power of your brand, and that further increases your chance to make sales, and build a great online reputation. 

Attracting Local Customers

The reason why so many small businesses should focus on SEO is that it works wonders in driving local customers through the doors. Organic search is bigger than ever, and looking for businesses and services ‘near me’ is how the majority of consumers find new places to go. Through the implementation of SEO your business can really light up the local market. 

Optimizing Your Site For Mobile

No SEO campaign would be complete if it didn’t focus on mobile users and in order to do that, your business website will need to be mobile optimized. Just under half of all organic searches are made via mobile, if your website cannot be viewed on mobile, or if it only offers the desktop version, you will lose a huge opportunity to make sales. 

Squeezing out some capital for SEO marketing could be the way to secure long term success for your business. 

Online game illustration for 360 MAGAZINE

Nevada Adventures: Top 5 Unusual Things You Can Do in Vegas

Most of us associate Las Vegas with a city that never sleeps and a hometown of the biggest casinos and luxurious hotels. Vegas settles in the very heart of Nevada, a state that is considered a motherland of gambling and entertainment. When you arrive in the neon city, be prepared to meet multiple celebs walking down the streets amid casual tourists. Do you want to take a picture with His Highness Elvis Presley? Easy! Dozens of artists dressed up as the King of rock-n-roll will gladly make a selfie with you.

Vegas never sleeps, just like people who visit this marvelous city. Tourists have a myriad of cool things to do in this dazzling place. You can start your trip from attending the legendary Mob Museum to learn more about gangsters and see another dark side of Vegas. Your next destination can be the iconic museum of Madame Tussauds (not to be confused with the museum in London), where you can take a photo with eminent celebs, like Britney Spears or Mike Tyson. You can dive into the atmosphere of luxury and burlesque in the notorious Burlesque Hall of Fame. Are you a huge Marvel fan? Then welcome to the Marvel Avengers Station featuring your beloved superheroes in a full size.

Top 5 unusual things to do in the neon city

Looking for more thrilling Nevada adventures?! For more demanded tourists, who want to get a truly mind-blowing and one-of-a-kind experience in the neon city, we prepared a list of the top 5 unusual things to do in Vegas.

Feel the spirit of the Wild West ghost town

The unique atmosphere of Wild West will never stop intriguing people. No wonder, as the world of brave cowboys, bandits, and saloons seems so mesmerizing and even a bit frightening (thus even more tempting). In Vegas, tourists have a unique chance to feel that Wild West thrilling spirit by booking a tour to the Wild West ghost town. The tour duration is 10 hours (10 AWESOME hours to be exact), during which visitors can learn the history of ancient cowboys, have a drink in the authentic saloon, and try their luck in gold mining. And don’t forget to purchase a cowboy hat as a souvenir from this remarkable spot.

Don’t miss the Titanic exhibition!

The sad history of the most famed liner Titanic is known to everyone. The film adaptation, directed by the eminent James Cameron, gave a second breath to the Titanic’s story and brought 11 Oscars to its creators. People still commemorate all those passengers who tragically passed away in the liner’s crash. In Vegas, you can feel the Titanic spirit as an actual traveler by attending the unique exhibition. You can step on the deck and visit recreated rooms of the legendary ship to get that realistic experience like the Titanic’s passengers decades ago. The organizers assure that those who visited their exhibition at least once would always keep Titanic’s story in their hearts.

Check the National Atomic Testing Museum

Whether you love physics or not, the National Atomic Testing Museum is a must-to-visit spot in Vegas. The museum stores unique pieces of weapons, video recordings, and letters from the times of WWII. Visitors can get a one-of-kind experience of the atomic testing and read the diaries of the prominent scientist Albert Einstein. You can discover the mysteries of atomic evolution and find out how contemporary geniuses continue their ancestors’ path by developing new top-notch technologies. You can put yourself in Sheldon Cooper’s shoes in the museum and find out what it feels like to be a talented physicist.

Visit the Red Rock Canyon

Nothing can beat the beauty of witnessing a picturesque sunset at the Red Rock Canyon. Millions of tourists annually attend this marvelous national conservation spot in Nevada. The views of the magnificent mountains and plains, incredible wildlife, and unforgettable hiking experience make the Canyon the most beloved sightseeing among tourists and locals. Visitors can book a camping tour and spend a night under the open-air, sitting near the fire and listening to the guitar. They can admire the beauty of the surrounding nature and landscape at an aerial view by booking a flight across the Canyon. This mysterious place won’t leave anyone cold.

Get unforgettable emotions in the Caesars Palace

Nevada is a gambling state, and Vegas is the heart of the most luxurious casinos and entertainment spots. When you are in Vegas, the No.1 spot to see on your map should be Caesars Palace. This magnificent place will change your vision of entertaining routine as nobody gets bored there. No wonder that this resort is titled the Palace because once you enter its doors, you dive into the parallel universe with the gorgeous halls, Michelin-starred restaurants, and lavish casinos. The majestic gambling area in the Caesars Palace will make you feel like George Clooney’s hero at Ocean’s Eleven. Visitors can have a tour in the Caesars Palace even if they don’t stay in the hotel. It is a dream place for gamblers and high rollers or casual spectators who want to feel that unique thrill.

Things to know when scheduling a voyage to Vegas

When you are in Vegas, you won’t let yourself get bored. However, there are some rules you must know when planning to visit the city of dazzle:

In Vegas, it is forbidden to drink alcohol if you are under 21.

You can’t stop a taxi on the street in Vegas. Taxis can take passengers only in the designated spots. Usually, they locate near hotels, restaurants, and casinos.

You can get married within an hour in any chapel if you provide your ID. Vegas marriages are the fastest and easy-going, though we can’t say the same thing about the divorces. When considering tying the knot in Vegas, better think twice not to pass through a tiresome divorce process afterward.

Take gambling mindfully! Though casinos and wagering activities are allowed in Nevada, there are many pitfalls that gamblers must learn before visiting a gambling spot. According to the WorldBookmakers’ experts, bettors can start wager on real money only if they set up a strategy in advance. A good strategy is a key to hit the bank on wagering and gambling.

Summing up

People who have been in Vegas at least once admit that this majestic city stole their hearts forever. If you plan a trip to the neon city, pick up the sightseeing you want to visit beforehand. You can schedule a shopping marathon, attend the largest museums in the area, go camping to the legendary Canyon, and try your fortune at the luxurious casinos. So many awesome spots and gorgeous places to visit along the way! Vegas is full of opportunities that you can discover firsthand. 
 

Online game illustration for 360 MAGAZINE

4 Observations Showing Us the World Has Changed

Oh boy. Did you ever think back in, hey, just 2019, that we’d end up where we are now? The world has changed significantly over the course of a year, but honestly, the writing has been on the wall for a while now that things are about to get real.

1. Celebrity status is now cemented as a valid work background as a politician, even president

Yep, Kanye is making a swing at getting on the ballot for the next election in the US. Crazy? No, considering both Trump and Schwarzenegger paved the way have gone on to be successfully voted in, after serving as a reality TV star (/businessman) and action movie hero, respectively.

Celebrities are (mostly) aware that they get a huge platform to speak from: they already have household name recognition. In fact, this is why Taylor Swift said she kept her political opinions to herself for so long. She believed that she was ‘just a pop singer’ so her approval or disapproval of political goings-on shouldn’t be used to sway her listener’s votes. She ended up changing her tune, but it really speaks to the reasons why we shouldn’t listen to celebs just because they’re in our faces.

Instead (sorry, Ye) we should look to people experienced in politics, leadership, international relations, and industry, instead of celebrities who have experience in their craft, marketing, and jet setting. Instead, politicians should listen to celebs as consultants – they have a unique world view which can be useful to hear.

2. International travel is no longer a thing

Planning your next far-flung island getaway? Ha! Hahaha! Yeah… about that. 

Throw your mind waaaay back, back to the beginning of 2020. International travel was more affordable than ever. Your Instagram was filled with stories from your mates time at the Maldives, or Bali, or Croatia. Life was grand and you were excited for your summer trip this year. Then came Covid and now international travel is only really for EU citizens (and maybe not even) and everywhere else is closed. No stamps on your passport, ridiculously expensive flights, and zero tourist visas anyway. 

Hope you’re happy holidaying somewhere close to home or getting the green screen out and just pretending. How many airlines will collapse before this is all over? How much will the tickets be afterward? When are we going to get to travel? Who. Knows.

3. We’re doing evvvverything online

Working from home, attending classes online, socializing via Zoom. Everyone has had to get used to doing their regular ‘in-person’ activities in a stripped-back, purely online form. And it’s worked for the most part.

Even activities you may not have thought of have shifted online – for instance, gamblers stepping away from the huge, luxury casinos they’re used to playing at in favor of online houses. Of course, these land-based casinos have something their online counterparts cannot replicate (it’s good but not quite the same). When you enter you feel the energy, the scale of the places, and, unless you’re a billionaire, you may feel a little intimidated.

With such a huge shift online, it’s unlikely we’ll see the pendulum swing back entirely the other way to in-person activities. It’s great not having to wear pants, after all.

There is now such a thing as BC and AC: Before COVID-19 and After COVID-19, and it is apparent that there is a shift in international relations during these time periods. While there may not be a significant shift in power dynamics between different countries – yet – there certainly has been some interesting ripples as different countries, and even different regions within countries, feel dismayed at others’ policies.

4. International relations have shifted

Of course, much of this international shift has to do with the posture of the US, with Europeans now alarmed at the rising rates of coronavirus and wondering why US citizens aren’t more concerned with their health. There’s also the president out here returning to calling COVID-19 “The China Virus” which strains already fraught tensions between the two superpowers. The meddling of Russia in both the US elections and (allegedly) Brexit. People are still wary of China and yet intrigued as to how cleverly they’ve seemingly handled their internal coronavirus situation.

To sum up: it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.

However, these new emerging dynamics are unlikely to go away, or back to the way they were any time soon, if at all. It’s going to be a very interesting few years to come.

The world has changed and it’s still changing – faster and faster. Let’s see where we end up next, hey? And can 2020 please be over already?

BARD COLLEGE illustrated by Rita Azar in 360 MAGAZINE.

BARD COLLEGE – VIRTUAL CEREMOMY

BARD COLLEGE HOLDS ONE HUNDRED SIXTIETH COMMENCEMENT, IN A VIRTUAL CEREMONY, ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, 2020

Musician David Byrne Delivered Commencement Address
 
Honorary Degrees Were Awarded to Byrne, Multimedia Artist Laurie Anderson, Physicist Steven Chu, Composer Gao Xiaosong, Curator Thelma Golden,  Brooklyn Public Library President Linda Johnson,  Educational Historian Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, and Biophysicist George Rose ’63.
 
Bard College held its one hundred sixtieth commencement on Saturday, August 22, 2020. In the virtual commencement ceremony streamed live from the Bard College campus, Bard President Leon Botstein conferred 437 undergraduate degrees, in absentia, on the Class of 2020 and 161 graduate degrees, including master of fine arts; doctor and master of philosophy and master of arts in decorative arts, design history, and material culture; master of science and master of arts in economic theory and policy; master of business administration in sustainability; master of arts in teaching; master of arts in curatorial studies; master of science in environmental policy and in climate science and policy; master of music in vocal arts and in conducting; master of music in curatorial, critical, and performance studies; and master of education in environmental education. The program, which took place at 2:30 p.m. in the commencement tent on the Seth Goldfine Memorial Rugby Field, included the presentation of honorary doctoral degrees.
 
Owing to the severity and longevity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College held a modified commencement. The events and ceremonies were held in real time, but, consistent with public health policies and regulations, access to them was limited.
 
Text (unedited) of commencement address by musician David Byrne:
 
Thank you. Congratulations to the brass ensemble. It’s very difficult to play together when you’re distanced. I heard a story from a musician the other day. There was a socially distanced orchestra that was playing, and some of the musicians said, “You have to gesture bigger, we can’t see you.” So, the conductor had to make it bigger than before, so that everybody could see.
 
This is certainly my first time talking to a live audience … performing, alright, to a live audience in many, many months. It’s kind of strange. It’s kind of wonderful. It’s strange and wonderful to actually be gathered in a group of people this much. I’m encouraged by this institution. I was invited to come here. I have some familiarity with this place. I understand what Bard stands for.

I recently worked with a Bard alumnus named Alex Kalman ’06 on a book. I’ve written about the Bard Prison Initiative, which I think some of you will be familiar with. And, I’ve read some pieces that Mr. Botstein wrote about music.
 
This place is special. I’ve been here, visited here a few times over the years. I saw an exhibition at the gallery in 2008. The gallery had been turned into a re-creation of the artist Keith Edmier’s parents’ house, with all its extreme ’70s décor. It was like walking into a movie set. And, you know, as you walk into a movie set, you know that it’s all fake, but part of you is still seduced into feeling that you’re in that place. There’s this kind of wonderful tension in something like that where you know it’s fake, but you kind of feel like you’re in the place at the same time, between the real and the artificial. We are in a world that someone has made that is just like this world that this artist made of his parents’ house.
 
His world, like our world, is unreliable. It’s based on unreliable memory and imagination. We all do this. We make these artificial worlds. The difference is, we have to live in them. A world that’s made like this, it can be a seductive lie, or it can be a revealing truth. On a thing like this, a commencement, I imagine it’s common to ask oneself, “Well, what comes next for me? What comes next for me as I leave this place? Will I be a different person? Will I be a different person than I was a month ago?” Well, I think we’re all different than we were last week. Things are changing incredibly rapidly. And then you ask, “What person am I now, and how should I be as that person? What do I love? What does that entail? What, if any, are the … obligations? Obligations to myself? Obligations to a larger community? How does one reconcile oneself, between one’s personal rights, one’s personal desires, and those of the community and the collective? What have I learned here? Has the world changed? Has the world changed [laughing] since the spring? It probably has. Has it changed into something far different than the world that I knew? Is that a good thing? Is everything I learned here, at this institution, now meaningless?” I don’t think so.
 
I’m very sorry for the world you inherit. We’ve left you a mess, the one that we made, the world that we made. But, there are reasons to be cheerful. The pandemic has pulled back the curtain, which has revealed both the worst and the best of what and who we are. Arundhati Roy, the writer, referred to this moment as a portal when we have unprecedented opportunity to change things, to cross into another world. In this moment, we have been both cursed and blessed. This is one of those moments that occur once in a while. Ideas that were taken as given, economic ideas, cultural ideas, etc., are being questioned, reconsidered. An era based on a set of biases and assumptions is ending. In a sense, we’re lucky. The portal that she mentions is opened and we have a chance to go through it.
 
I’m as a guilty as anyone else for waking up in the morning and feeling that nothing really changes very much. I have moments of despair and anger and frustration. No surprise. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice,” some mornings that feels like an empty platitude when I look at the news that morning. It sometimes feels like, oh, you know, same as it ever was. But that’s not really true. The real constant is change. We often forget or overlook the momentous changes in our thinking that we now accept as obvious, inevitable. But, in truth, nothing was inevitable. The changes that have happened, that we live with now, for better or worse, they’re here because we made them so.
 
Okay, here’s a few of them: slavery is now universally considered unacceptable. Two thousand years ago, Aristotle thought slavery was natural and necessary, but even then his contemporaries argued that it was unacceptable. These changes don’t happen overnight. Okay, here’s another one: women should be allowed to vote. If I said to anyone now that if you heard someone else say, “No, women shouldn’t be allowed to vote,” you would think that was completely ridiculous. It happened in the United States, state by state, one hundred years ago. In Saudi Arabia it happened five years ago, but it happened. Education, primary and secondary education, I think everyone accepts that it should be free, it’s a right for everyone to have it. This was not always true. Children were considered cheap labor. Eventually, maybe higher education will be considered a right as well. Interracial marriage: I think we all accept this now. We all accept this. It seems like, what’s the big deal? The Supreme Court made a ruling legalizing interracial marriage in 1967—not that long ago. Alabama has some laws on the books that counteracted the Supreme Court ruling, and those were overturned 20 years ago. Okay, gay marriage, we all know that this is now law, this is now legal. When I was a young person, if someone had told me that this would be legal and generally accepted, I would have said, “You’re crazy, this should happen, but it’s going to take forever.” But, just five years ago, in 2015, it was recognized as legal in all 50 states.
 
I can go on—infrastructure, clean air, clean water, things that don’t exist for us entirely now, but we do think of them as our right, and these ideas that we consider as part of our lives and how it is to live and how it is to be, it didn’t always have to be that way. It wasn’t always that way. This is something new in the world, and the world has changes. These changes weren’t predictable, and they weren’t inevitable. I’m a little older than some of you, and I can say that some of these changes, they weren’t expected. They weren’t expected to happen as soon as they did, and when they did, then they seemed inevitable. People make these changes. Things that seemed impossible have happened, and they will continue to happen. Try and imagine what radical and momentous changes in our thinking might happen next, and they will! We can imagine what they might be.
 
Okay, make no mistake, things can go wrong, things can go the other way. This country was ever so closely inching towards democracy, but, as in many other countries around the world, there’s been some serious backsliding. There’s no guarantee that change will be good. That part is up to us. And, so I ask myself, “How did these changes happen? Where’s the levers? Where’s the buttons? What’s the process? What can we, as a lone individual or with a little group of people, what can we do to have an effect?” I supposed you might ask yourselves the same questions. “Does my line of work have any wider resonance?” Not that every line of work has to focus directly or solely on social justice. I believe that the meaning of what we do, in our work and our lives, is more subtle than that. I’ll use myself as an example, okay? Most of the time I’m a performer and a musician, and it seems to me that music and performance affects people’s view of the world, not directly, not by me writing a song about climate policy or housing inequities, although I might like to do that. Rather, it works in a less didactic and not kind of text-based ways. It’s kind of a language without words. Music creates community. When I was young, I heard music on a little radio that was about the size of a phone. And, I realized when I heard this music that there was a world out there that was very different and wider than the little suburban town that I lived in. You’ve heard people say things like, “That song saved my life” or “That DJ saved my life,” and these are kind of clichés, but there’s a truth to it. Music can have that kind of effect. It reveals a larger world, and it brings people together because they know that there are other people out there like them. For someone else, it might not be music that has this effect. It might be the visual arts, theater, cooking, dance. It might be ways of thinking in education, sustainability, even economics can touch people about a new idea and it changes their thinking.
 
I also think that one discipline needs to influence all the others. There needs to be a lot of curiosity about what’s going on in other disciplines, and one discipline can, in surprising ways, affect another one. When I heard the music of James brown, as a young man, I came to realize that here is music where no one part is more important than any other. The melody is not played by one instrument, but it emerges out of the interlocking parts played by all the instruments. The groove is not just played by the drums, but it comes into being as a result of what everyone is doing. I sensed that, unlike traditional Western music, Brown’s music is nonhierarchical. In his musical model, we’re given an audio metaphor. We hear, metaphorically, a model of social organization and cooperation that makes us feel joyous and transported. We’re not kind of intellectually going through all of this, but I feel that we sense it. Here I sense is a social and economic argument made with music, and the transcendent feeling it brings, when you hear and experience it, is more persuasive that language. Music proposes a world. Metaphorically, it gives evidence of that possibility. An economist hearing James Brown might possibly see the world the same way. Of course, my model for cross-disciplinary influences comes from music, but it can go the other way as well.
 
I’m going to mention the first abstract artist, Hilma af Klint, who was influenced by spiritualism that was prevalent over a hundred years ago, turn of the last century. It had been proposed that one of the reasons for the wide enthusiasm for this spiritualism was because of the scientific discoveries that were happening at that time. The science was showing that there were invisible forces in our world. Electromagnetism, radiation, radio waves, X-rays. The entire world, ourselves included, are affected by these invisible and pervasive forces. Science proposed this world, a world that hadn’t previously existed in our imagination, and this affected how these artists worked. They realized that what we with see with our eyes is only part of what is there, and artists like af Klint and others began to attempt the abstractions to represent this world, a world of energy that go through buildings and go through our bodies. So, with art and science, we conjure worlds, and, over time, we who conjure these worlds, we ourselves change, and then worlds that we conjure, those change as well.
 
A couple of years ago, after I finished a music tour that lasted almost a year, I decided to go to India. I wanted to catch a traditional music festival in Chennai. It was wonderful. I saw a kid, this young kid in a kind of Elvis outfit playing Carnatic music on a saxophone. I saw singers communicating with drummers with their hands. And, I also went to Kerala, which is another state in the south, and there’s a kind of performance there called Kudiyattam. It’s an ancient form of dance drama. It’s about a thousand years old. In this dance drama, the performer begins the performance by metaphorically dancing into existence and kind of proposing a world. This will be the world that the story will take place in, kind of like Star Wars or Game of Thrones. It’s complete, it has a cosmology, it has a history, every detail. In the dance drama, the world building is not made with sets and props and computers. It’s conjured in the audience’s imagination, via singing and dancing and gesture. Like the actors in this drama, we, in whichever field we endeavor, we also dance a new world into existence—not just in music or theater, every kind of work and activity we engage in proposes a world. In the end of the Kudiyattam performance, the actors dismantle the world that they have made. Likewise, we destroy an old world, a worn-out world, the one we ourselves and others before us have made, so that a new one can be imagined and brought into existence.
 
Thank you.
 
 

ABOUT THE COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER

 
David Byrne’s recent works include the Broadway debut of David Byrne’s American Utopia (2019); launch of Reasons to be Cheerful—an online magazine focused on solutions-oriented stories about problems being solved all over the world (2019); the solo album American Utopia (2018), which was nominated for Best Alternative Album at the 61st Grammy Awards; Joan of Arc: Into the Fire, a theatrical exploration of the historical heroine, which premiered at The Public Theater in New York (2017); The Institute Presents: NEUROSOCIETY, a series of interactive environments created in conjunction with PACE Arts + Technology that question human perception and bias (2016); Contemporary Color, an event inspired by the American folk tradition of color guard and performed at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Toronto’s Air Canada Centre (2015); Here Lies Love, a 22-song theatrical production about the life of Imelda Marcos, authored in collaboration with Fatboy Slim, which premiered at The Public Theater in New York City (2013), traveled to London’s National Theatre for a sold-out run (2014–15), and was remounted at Seattle Rep (2017); Love This Giant, a studio album and worldwide tour created with St. Vincent (2012); and How Music Works, a book about the history, experience, and social aspects of music (2012).
 
In 2015, Byrne curated Southbank Centre’s annual Meltdown festival in London. A cofounder of the group Talking Heads (1976–88), he has released nine studio albums and worked on multiple other projects, including collaborations with Brian Eno, Twyla Tharp, Robert Wilson, and Jonathan Demme, among others. He also founded the highly respected record label Luaka Bop. Recognition of Byrne’s various works include Obie, Drama Desk, Lortel, and Evening Standard Awards for Here Lies Love; an Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe for the soundtrack to Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor; and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Talking Heads. Byrne has published and exhibited visual art since his college days, including photography, filmmaking, and writing. He lives in New York City.

Rita Azar illustrates football player for 360 MAGAZINE

3 Common Misconceptions People Have About DraftKings

Daily fantasy sports are a type of fantasy sports (DFS) game where each contest takes place over a matter of days or hours. This is opposed to traditional fantasy sports, which take place over a whole season.
 
Just like with traditional fantasy sports, you build a team from a roster of players and earn points based on how well their team members play. You can also place bets and earn money by competing against other players via online platforms.
 
DraftKings is perhaps the most popular of these online platforms. Developed in 2012, they call themselves “the leader in daily fantasy sports” and boast a user-base of eight million players, far greater than their closest direct competitor, FanDuel.
 
Despite this popularity, there remain a number of major misconceptions when it comes to the DraftKings platform. Hopefully, by refuting these, you’ll be able to see why DraftKings is the right DFS platform for you!
 

Playing DraftKings requires more luck than skill.

 
It’s easy to see why this is a common belief. There is an element of luck in everything we do, but especially in sports – for example, a player you have in your lineup may be injured before the game, or not played by the coach during the game.
 
However, this does not mean that luck is the only thing involved when playing DraftKings. If you want to be truly successful, you will need to do your research. For example, you will need to be aware of any last-minute lineup changes before deciding on your roster of players for the game. Just because a player is famous does not mean that they are performing well, so you will also need to be aware of players’ current stats.
 
This is just some of the research that will go into being successful at DraftKings, so it is certainly not all based on luck.
 

Most games on the website are fixed.

 
There have certainly been cheating scandals about other daily fantasy sports games and websites, which makes it easy to see why many players believe that games on DraftKings have been fixed as well.
 
However, DraftKings is vigilant about cracking down on any cheating users. It uses the latest software and technology to detect anyone trying to subvert the system and takes strict action against such players. With a strong security system, you can be assured that even if some other websites have cheating problems, DraftKings is legit.
 

DraftKings uses bots to cheat players out of money.

 
Again, this is an understandable belief because of many such scandals. However, with a large user base, DraftKings is 100% legitimate and features only real players.
 
There may be players attempting to use bots in order to cheat other users out of money. However, DraftKings takes quick and decisive action against such users. Furthermore, it will never use “official” bots to affect your ability to win money – your winnings are always solely based on your matches with your rivals.
 
Ultimately, DraftKings is a great way to challenge your knowledge of sports against other users. 

Eamonn Burke illustrates a rock music video article for 360 MAGAZINE

Nothing But Thieves New Video

The English rock band Nothing But Thieves released a brand new music video for their song “Real Love Song” on Monday.

Real Love Song” is the second song from their new album titled “Moral Panic.” It follows “Is Everybody Going Crazy?” as the second song from the album, and it was produced by Mike Crossey who has worked with bands like Arctic Monkeys, The 1975, Two Door Cinema Club and The Black Keys.

At almost 3 million streams worldwide, the song breaks love and relationships into pieces. Love isn’t the perfect, romantic tale we hear in songs and see in movies. Conor Mason, lead vocals for the band, calls love “dirty,” saying the love in “Real Love Song” makes him hate himself for days, sitting alone while listening to Nick Cave.

Complete with a warning of flashing images and stroboscopic sequences, the video combines neon lights with animation to tell the story of love in the digital world.

“This is a song within a song and the video, with its nods to the modern relationship and its sensationalized band moments, tell two sides of the same story. Where does the cynicism end and the real begin?” the band said.

Nothing But Thieves has sold more than 700,000 albums and 150,000 tickets in the past few years, including a sellout at Alexandra Palace. They have also performed in the United States for Jimmy Fallon and James Corden on late night television. Though they’ve bene unable to perform live, they have kept the content flowing for their fans on their YouTube channel as all five members of the band record separately from different locations.

“Moral Panic” is available for pre-order now and will be released in October. It will be the band’s first album since their EP titled “What Did You Think When You Made Me This Way” in 2018.

NE-YO illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

NE-YO × LÜM

LÜM, a Madison-based tech startup that’s revolutionizing the way artists and fans stream and discover new music, has closed a Seed II round of funding and will continue its innovative launch of the first virtual gifting system implemented to help the development and profitability of independent artists in the music streaming industry.

Over the past year, the music streaming and discovery application built on a stand-alone social network has enabled emerging artists to circulate their music to larger audiences, grow their fan base and make money.

The Company’s Seed II financing comes alongside the rapid growth of the LÜM platform’s first-ever direct-to-artist financial support system with the launch of virtual gifting to the app in January. With this successful round of funding, the Company looks to continue developing innovative methods that empower independent artists. In just over a year, the LÜM platform has grown to over 100,000 users and over 200,000 tracks uploaded to the app, making LÜM one of the largest user-uploaded music streaming services in the US. Alongside additional investors, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) participated in this funding round.

LÜM is thrilled to announce its partnership with multi-GRAMMY Award winner NE-YO and Compound Entertainment co-founders, music executives; Tishawn Gayle and Rynell “Tango” Hay. In addition to his Global Ambassador title, NE-YO will be launching the first ever remix competition for his new single U 2 Luv featuring Jeremih. The winners will be hand selected by NE-YO and collectively receive up to one million Notes (LÜM’s in-app currency). A first ever contest of its kind for the app.

“The digital music landscape is changing, and LÜM is excited to be leading that change for how artists and fans consume, share and support music,” said Max Fergus, CEO and co-founder of LÜM. “Our partnership with NE-YO reinforces LÜM’s mission to create a new platform, outside of traditional streaming models, that provides all of the tools artists need to grow their careers and be successful promotionally, artistically and financially.”

“I am honored to join the LÜM team as we embark on making fundamental changes to the music streaming industry that will allow us to give back to the music creators and will significantly impact the digital distribution of music,” said NE-YO.

Tishawn Gayle, co-founder of Compound Entertainment states “Every so often a product hits the marketplace that’s truly disruptive. I wholeheartedly believe LÜM is that product. This social music discovery platform truly puts music discovery back in the hands of the cool kids while continuing to support the artists and creators monetarily through virtual gifting.”

Within six months of the launch of LÜM’s virtual currency, over 13,000 artists have received direct support from fans. Over 21,000,000 Notes have been gifted to artists. Each Note has direct financial value equal to the average royalty payout per stream on alternative streaming platforms. In the future, LÜM looks to apply its virtual currency to new areas of the music industry and continue to pursue the company’s ultimate goal of creating a path for independent artists to make a career out of their passion for music.

LÜM is a music streaming and discovery application built on a stand-alone social network that enables emerging artists to circulate their music and grow their fan base. The LÜM platform focuses exclusively on emerging artists and increases fan-to-fan and fan-to-artist engagement through the gamification of music discovery, and the platform’s first-ever direct-to-artist financial support system with the launch of virtual gifting to the app in January 2020.

Artists upload their content and connect with fans on LÜM’s platform. Fans discover artists and circulate music by discovering, sharing, and engaging with their friends and peer communities. Founded in 2018, LÜM is headquartered in Madison, WI.

Shaffer Chimere Smith better known as NE-YO, who is now in his fourth season as a judge on NBC’s “World of Dance.” In his career to date, he has sold a cumulative 20+ million adjusted albums worldwide. The Motown Records/Compound Entertainment recording artist has won three GRAMMY awards and been honored with a total of 14 nominations. His first single, 2005’s “So Sick,” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified quadruple Platinum. Since then, he has racked up a collection of hit singles – including “Sexy Love,” “Closer,” “Because of You,” “Miss Independent” and “Push Back” featuring Bebe Rexha and Stefflon Don. Three of his albums have entered SoundScan’s Top Current Albums chart at No. 1s a Grammy Award-winning American musician who sings R&B. In 2004 he wrote “Let Me Love You” for Mario. It was number one in the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks. After this, Def Jam Recordings signed him. His debut album, In My Own Words, was released during 2006. Other albums then followed. In 2009, Billboard ranked him as the 57th Artist of the 2000s decade. He is known for songs like “So Sick”, “When You’re Mad”, “Closer”, “Miss Independent”, “Let’s Go” and “Give Me Everything”. The first and last song both reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

For the past 15 years Compound Entertainment has been on the forefront of identifying and working with emerging talent. Founded by CEO Reynell “Tango” Hay and his partner COO Tishawn Gayle, they have devoted almost two decades to working with and developing artists. Music has always been at the core of what Compound stands for. They have made it their mission to work with artists at inception and have since gone on to launch the careers of countless multi-platinum artists. Most notably their partnership with Multi GRAMMY Award winner, writer, producer, and actor NE-YO, who has been with the company since its start.

Follow NE-YO: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Follow LÜM: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

360 MAGAZINE gaming illustration by Ivory Rowen.

Things to Do While We Are in the Final Stages of Lockdown

As life slowly begins to return to normal, you may still be struggling to find things to do. Even though in many areas, restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, gyms and more are opening, there are still many people that are not quite ready to venture out. If you have spent much of your lockdown struggling to come up with ideas of what to do, now is the time to get some of those things done, but also have a bit of fun before everything goes back to normal!

If you were anything like many of us, you probably began lockdown with a long list of things you planned to achieve; fast forward a few months and you may have realized that you did not actually achieve half, if any, of what you wanted. While we are in these final stages, make a short list of your main goals – perhaps paint the shed, or lose a pound, or maybe even finish knitting that blanket!

If you want to kick back, relax and have some fun, then look no further than sites such as onlinecasinobet.vip for example! You have the opportunity to enjoy classic casino games all from the comfort of your living room, backyard, or even the bath. You can choose between games such as poker, roulette, and slots and try your luck.

For those who have been in lockdown with family, why not suggest a board game evening or perhaps play some cards? It’s a great way to have a bit of competitive fun, bring everyone together, and enjoy each other’s company.

If you have not yet returned to work, you may want to begin getting yourself into some sort of routine so that you do not find adjusting too difficult. Set a night-time routine for yourself, whether that includes having a nice warm bath followed by reading your favorite book in bed. Either way, get back into a habit of going to bed at a more appropriate time. The same goes for the mornings: set your alarm and get breakfast prepared. The more you create a routine and schedule for yourself now, the easier you will find it when lockdown comes to a complete end.

Of course, last but not least, enjoy your final stages of lockdown. While some people may have really struggled during these times, there have been many of us that have been able to take advantage of this time we have had with our children, or even ourselves, and we aren’t likely to experience this again.

360 MAGAZINE gaming illustration by Ivory Rowen.

7 Best Designed Canadian Online Casinos

These days, it’s not enough to simply offer an online casino platform. With so much competition, operators need to provide a fresh and intuitive design to attract new attention.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing to play at a Canadian online casino real money. Although the design isn’t necessarily an essential feature, it’s the first thing you notice. Daniel Bennet, our guest author for 360 MAGAZINE, gives us his top ten well-designed online casinos.

Top 7 Best Designed Casinos

We all have different tastes when it comes to aesthetics. The most beautiful online casino designs need to cater to this wide variety. A poker player might enjoy a western theme while a roulette enthusiast would relish something more glamorous. We’re sure at least one of the following casinos would earn your approval.

PlayAmo

The operator entices you with its most popular slots and current promotions, complete with stunning graphics. Its sleek design makes it easy to navigate around. Additionally, its tournament section provides action any competitor would enjoy.

WooCasino

Clarity is the name of the game for this online casino’s layout and colour scheme. It’s sure to tick your boxes if you’re a neat freak. You’ll find symbols depicting the sections, making it a breeze to navigate.
JackpotCity Casino
When it comes to casinos, it’s hard not to imagine Las Vegas. As a result, this operator borrows many of the city’s iconic traits for its online casino website design. Its high level of security should make you feel like a VIP.

Energy Casino

True to its name, this online casino pulses with vibrant colours. Jump into the hottest slot games from top game designers such as NetEnt. The provider also features a bookmaker if you’re a sports fan.

888 Casino

The 888 Casino website stands out from the moment you arrive. It greets you with the top slot games along with the current bonuses on offer. The design is intuitive, and the multiple payment methods provide the convenience you need.

Spin Casino

Spin Casino combines modern design with a touch of elegance. Its high-quality graphics and natural flow make for a great casino website design. The provider also features a live dealer section if you’re searching for a more realistic feel.

GoWild

GoWild Casino uses animated graphics and hints of playful cartoon monsters to set the mood. It’s licenced with the Malta Gaming Authority and provides games from the industry’s best developers.

What to Look For in An Online Casino

Visually appealing websites aren’t the only thing to consider. When you decide on an online casino, you should always take these key features into account.

First, check that it’s licensed and registered with an accredited association. It’s equally important to make sure the operator offers data protection and all-round security.

Next, familiarise yourself with the bonuses on offer as these significantly boost your potential winnings.

Finally, always read up on the terms and conditions before applying to any online casino. By doing this, you avoid any pitfalls in the future.