Posts tagged with "family"

Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 MAGAZINE

KRISTEN BELL × DAX SHEPARD

AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM, REDEFINE FAMILY FUN IN NEW NBC GAME SHOW ‘FAMILY GAME FIGHT’

NBC Nabs Groundbreaking Series from Ellen DeGeneres And Warner Bros. Unscripted Television 

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NBC tests brains, brawn and family bonds with a 10- episode series pick-up of the new one-hour game show “Family Game Fight,” with comedy duo and married couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard serving as both hosts and competitors.  

Marking the first time Bell and Shepard will team up for a television project, each episode of the entertaining series will see the twosome part ways and be “adopted” into a family of four as they compete in a series of insanely fun games with a big cash prize up for grabs.

“Family Game Fight” is inspired by Bell and Shepard’s antics on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” 

“For one of our first dates, I invited Dax over for a game night at my house with a bunch of friends,” Bell said. “He said he fell in love with me there because I was a very tiny person bossing everyone around. I fell in love with him too because he’s a very large person who could boss everyone around, but chooses not to. I’m so excited to host ‘Family Game Fight’ and play all day with my best friend.”

“Kristen is my favorite human to work with,” Shepard said. “She’s the most consistently funny, playful and joyful scene partner I’ve ever had. She’s also incredibly fun to look at.”

“NBC is thrilled to be the network bringing Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard together to host a game show for the first time,” said Jenny Groom, Executive Vice President of Unscripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We’ve been wanting to work with them as a duo for years. Their energy is infectious, their comedic sensibility comes so naturally, and their transparency about their relationship is what makes them so relatable and loveable. ‘Family Game Fight’ was born out of the true competitive, yet playful and loving spirit Dax and Kristen have toward each other. We’re excited to work with them as on-camera talent and side-by-side as producing partners.”  

Mike Darnell, President Warner Bros. Unscripted Television, said, “Kristen and Dax are simply magnetic when they’re on screen. They’re a spontaneously funny and loving couple that are also surprisingly competitive in this fast-moving family competition. They are pure magic together.”

“Family Game Fight” is now casting, and NBC is looking for family teams of four. To submit your story or nominate a friend, co-worker, or family member, please visit www.Venertainment.com.

The series is executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres, Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, Derek Westervelt, Noah Bonnett, Dan Norris, Joel Van Rysselberghe, Jeff Kleeman, Mike Darnell and Brooke Karzen, in addition to Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. The series is produced by A Very Good Production and Warner Bros. Unscripted Television’s Warner Horizon division, in association with Telepictures.

ABOUT WARNER BROS. UNSCRIPTED TELEVISION

Warner Bros. Unscripted Television is the leading producer of unscripted television in America with over 50 series totaling some 2,500 hours of programming annually across broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, and first-run syndication, as well as high-end documentaries. Led by Mike Darnell, President, the division produces major franchises that include the long-running, powerhouse franchise of ’The Bachelor,’ ‘The Bachelorette,’ and ‘Bachelor in Paradise’; multiple Emmy winning ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ and the primetime hit ‘Ellen’s Game of Games’; the multi-Emmy winning blockbuster ’The Voice’; the Fox hit ‘The Masked Dancer’; the Emmy winning ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ returning to NBC; ’The Real Housewives of New York’; ’The Bradshaw Bunch’; ’Extra’; and ’The Real’; plus, the Greg Berlanti produced signature documentaries ’Helter Skelter’ for EPIX and ‘Equal’ for HBO Max, among others. The unscripted unit also recently announced ‘The Wheel’, BBC’s number 1 game show launch in over a decade, coming to NBC; the upcoming hybrid alternative-scripted series ‘True Story’ with Ed Helms and Randall Park; ‘Ellen’s Next Great Designer’ for HBO Max; the Ava DuVernay produced ‘Home Sweet Home’ coming to NBC; and the highly anticipated ‘Friends’ reunion coming to HBO Max.

ABOUT A VERY GOOD PRODUCTION

A Very Good Production (AVGP) is the Emmy® Award-winning television and film production company of producer/writer/actor/host Ellen DeGeneres. Based at Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) with an exclusive multiyear deal, AVGP produces the nationally syndicated daytime talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and develops television projects for all divisions of WBTVG, including scripted and unscripted primetime series for network and cable, as well as additional syndicated fare. AVGP is currently producing a wide range of television, including NBC’s fan-favorite game show “Ellen’s Game of Games,” NBC’s hit series “Little Big Shots,” “Green Eggs and Ham” for Netflix, and many more. AVGP also produced the film adaptation of “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase.” In September 2019, Ellen announced HBO Max has ordered four original series including “Ellen’s Next Great Designer,” “First Dates Hotel,” “Little Ellen,” as well as the docu-series “Finding Einstein.” Jeff Kleeman serves as President of A Very Good Production.

Golden Globes Illustration by Heather Skovlund

Golden Globes 2021

By Dana Feeney

The Golden Globes have kicked off the 2021 awards season despite the many production disruptions in television and film in 2020 due to the CoronaVirus pandemic. For those who may not be familiar with the Golden Globes, the globes are a film and television award show that happens once a year run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). The awards were done remotely and hosted in tandem from opposite coasts by comedy powerhouses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Instead of the usual stacked audience of the biggest names in Hollywood, the members of the in-person audiences were front-line workers and first responders while celebrities watched from the safety of their homes via zoom. Fey and Poehler did not pull any punches during their opening monologue, which you can watch here.
The HFPA, a group of 87 international journalists from around 55 countries, does not have any black members. Fey commented on this almost immediately in the opening monologue saying, “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international, no-black journalists.” Throughout the night different personalities commented on the lack of representation, including “Schitt’s Creek” co-creator Dan Levy who said “in the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year this ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today because there is so much more to be celebrated,” during his acceptance speech for Best TV Series. More critically, Sacha Baron Cohen, who won multiple awards including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” and said in his acceptance speech, “Thank you to the all-white Hollywood Foreign Press.”
One of the biggest snubs of the night was the lack of nominations for “I May Destroy You,” a British-American series starring, written, co-directed, and executive produced by Michaela Coel for BBC One and HBO. Many people are frustrated by the fact that “Emily in Paris,” which is a story about a white woman navigating Paris as an American, garnered nominations over “I May Destroy You.” Deborah Copaken, a writer for Netflix’s “Emily in Paris,” spoke to The Guardian and explain how much she believes “I May Destroy You” “deserves to win all the awards.” She speaks about how well the show “takes the complicated issue of a rape – I’m a sexual assault survivor myself – and infuses it with heart, humor, pathos.” You can read the rest of her take on “I May Destroy You” here.
Additionally, the film “Minari” won Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language, you can watch director Lee Isaac Chung‘s acceptance speech which features his daughter here. “Minari” was left out of the Best Motion Picture category supposedly because portions of the film were not in English, although the film is the story of a Korean-American family set in Arkansas. This created very similar dissent to last year’s exclusion of “Parasite” written and directed by Korean Filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, from the same category at the Golden Globes, which went on to win four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. You can find more information about “Minari” and where to watch it here.
On a more positive note, many deserving producers, directors, screenwriters, actors, actresses, and more were recognized for the high caliber of content produced this past year. One of the most heart-wrenching being Chadwick Boseman, who won his first Golden Globe for Best Actor in a motion picture, drama for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.His wife, Taylor Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted the award on his behalf and gave a beautiful acceptance speech which you can watch here. It’s highly anticipated that Boseman may go on to win a posthumous Academy Award for his performance.
History was made in many categories throughout the evening. Chloé Zhao is now the first woman and the first Asian woman to win Best Director. She won Best Director for the film “Nomadland“. Of the five individuals nominated for Best Director, three of them were women, Chloé Zhao, Emerald Fennell, and Regina King. This is the first time the HFPA has recognized more than one female director. You can see Zhao’s acceptance speech here. You can read more about this historic moment for women in film here.
Andra Day won Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her role in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” She is the second black actress to win the category since Whoopie Goldberg won for “The Color Purple” 35 years ago. You can see her ecstatic reaction alongside her family and her acceptance speech here and read more about her thoughts on her win here.
After his Best Screenplay, Motion Picture win for “The Trial of The Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin is now tied with Quentin Tarantino and Robert Bolt who respectively have three wins in the screenplay category. His past two wins were for “The Social Network” (2010) and “Steve Jobs” (2015), but he has received multiple other nominations for screenwriting in the past. You can watch his acceptance speech here.
Netflix, with 42 nominations and 10 wins, Amazon, with 10 nominations and three wins, and Apple TV, with four nominations and one win, took home huge victories for streaming services. Netflix’s limited series “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” were hugely popular and won a variety of accolades. For Amazon and Apple Tv, their ringers were “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “Ted Lasso” respectively.
You can see the full list of winner’s here.

Viking Spirits Never Die: Long Live the Vikings in Modern Culture

How does a particular culture capture the imagination of the masses and live on well after its demise? Well, if it were possible, we’d ask a Viking. Native to Southern Scandinavia from the 8th to the 11th century, the Vikings are a warrior race that not only conquered almost everything they clapped eyes on, but did it in such a way that people have never forgotten. Of course, it wasn’t all pirating and plundering, the Vikings were also keen on trade and exploration in general. However, it was their prowess on the sea and way with weapons that won them respect around the world.

History Hasn’t Forgotten the Vikings

Such was their reputation that we still celebrate Viking culture today. In fact, we don’t just celebrate it, we engage with it in a myriad of ways. History books are full of Viking facts, legends, and stories. One of the best-known historical works is The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings by Lars Brownworth. This book assumes no prior knowledge of the subject and injects a sense of drama into its telling of the facts.

For those who see reading as a chore, the best way to get a handle on this ancient culture whilst being entertaining is the History Channel’s Vikings. Premiering in 2013, the fantasy drama series not only depicts the harsh reality of life as a Viking, but every aspect of daily life. From love and relationships to family and recreation, it offers a great overview of the culture. Indeed, that’s something that’s often lost in certain representations of this group. As much as Vikings were experts in sailing and fighting, they also had a love of games and recreation.

Viking Culture is Here to Stay

Evidence of ancient versions of chess and dice have been found at Viking archaeological sites across Europe. This love of recreation and entertainment is something modern gaming companies have embraced. According to Harrison Score of WDW, “Viking mythology has no doubt caught the imagination of online bingo and casino players. There are dozens of Norse inspired video slot machines as well as entire sites, like Viking Bingo, dedicated to the theme.” In fact, such is the richness of Viking culture within the gaming community that modern offerings go beyond the obvious. Slots such as Viking Runecraft pick up on intricate details of the culture such as the alphabet used.

There are also plenty of video games based on Vikings, including Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. From that, you also get to the very cutting-edge of modern technology and virtual reality. Researchers at the University of York have recreated what it would be like to take part in a Viking war. Working with Yorkshire Museum, the team created a virtual camp that puts you in the midst of a battle. Fortunately, the impending danger isn’t physical. However, the experience is truly immersive and another example of our fascination with this ancient race.

Everyone will have their own reasons for loving the Vikings. However, there are plenty of traits that many of us identify with. From their thirst for travel to strength, bravery, and love of games. Put simply, there’s a bit of Viking in all of us and that’s why their spirit will live on forever.

Gaming illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Counter-Strike: The Shooting Game Taking The World By Storm

Counter-Strike began life as a fan-made modification for Valve Corporation’s much-acclaimed title Half-Life 2. Created by Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess “Cliffe” Cliffe, Counter-Strike was acquired by Valve in 1999 and saw its first retail release later on that year. Whilst it has never been the commercial behemoth that a series such as Call of Duty has become over the years, Counter-Strike has managed to establish itself as one of the most recognisable faces in the first-person shooter (FPS) genre of gaming, with three major sequels and various spin offs titles, the latest of which, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, was released back in 2012. 

Valve have established themselves as one of the best in the business for continuing to support their games with constant tweaks and updates to keep things feeling fresh and optimised, and this has proven to be the cornerstone for Counter-Strike’s enduring popularity within the video gaming community. 

It has also been one of the biggest driving forces for the Counter-Strike franchise being able to flex itself as the most successful FPS title in the world of competitive gaming, and a huge driving force behind its growth as a multi-billion dollar industry over the past twenty years. With the series continuing its soar in popularity ahead of 2021, here’s everything you need to know about Counter-Strike: the shooting game taking the world by storm. 

Gameplay 

The Counter-Strike series has built a legacy for emphasising team play, communication, planning and short sharp bursts of action, rather than the all-out action approach of competitor titles such as Call of Duty. Whichever game in the series you play, simply running around and trying to kill opponents is not an option at a reasonable skill level. 

The game pits two teams of five players against each other on a map in a best of thirty match. Rounds last 1:55 and teams are split into either the T (Terrorist) or CT (Counter-Terrorist) side. Terrorists can win rounds by either killing the entire enemy team or successfully planting and defending a bomb until it detonates after a forty second countdown. There are two bombsites on every defusal map, and Counter-Terrorists can win rounds by either killing the enemy team before a bomb is planted, waiting out the round timer without the bomb being planted, or defusing the bomb once it has been placed. 

Teams are given an economy for each round that they have to manage, meaning that planning ahead, saving weapons, choosing between armour, utility and weaponry each round can be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of games even before a bullet is fired. 

All these factors have helped Counter-Strike develop one of the highest skill ceilings found anywhere in the gaming world, and subsequently developed an hyper-competitive professional scene.

Counter-Strike In Esports

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the latest game in the series and, despite being over eight years old now, has actually seen its numbers soar over the past year or so. Not only is it one of the most watched games on online streaming platforms such as Twitch.tv with hundreds of thousands of hours digested by viewers, but 2020 saw it peak past the one million concurrent player mark several times for the first time in its history. As of February 2021, the game averages roughly 24 million users a month, over double the amount recorded in 2016. 

For the first time in the franchise’s history, Global Offensive was moved to a free to play model by Valve in 2018 and can still be picked up and played for absolutely nothing via Steam even today. 

Naturally, with so many players and so much interest, the competitive scene for the game is one of the most heavily invested in and fleshed out in the entire Esports industry. CS:GO betting has become increasingly popular for events and tournaments right across the world and, thanks to the influx of investment from the likes of Intel, Monster, Alienware and even the United States Air Force, the standard for competition hosting has risen substantially over the past couple of years. 

The very first Counter-Strike tournament was hosted in 2001 for the original game in the series at the Cyberathlete Professional League, and the likes of the World Cyber Games and Electronic Sports World Cup hosted Counter-Strike tournaments in the early to mid 2000s as the Esports industry grew. It wasn’t until the release of Global Offensive in 2012 however that the industry really began to ramp up, coinciding with the boom in popularity of games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends. 

Valve began hosting the very first Major Championship for the game in 2013 at DreamHack Winter, and have gone on to host two annual tournaments ever since. These tournaments tend to carry with them a prize pool of $1 million dollars and are still regarded as the most prestigious events in the game to this day. 

Gaming illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

WoW Classic: The Big Finale

Measuring Success

With all of the original content being added to World of Warcraft (WoW), and the next possible Classic expansion pack being announced in a manner of weeks, it’s a good place to look back at all of the experiences we’ve had with the game. It’s not a question of if the game is worth it or not because, of course, it is worth it. It’s more of a question of: Did this version of the Vanilla game patch live up to your expectations? The experience of playing this game was a rollercoaster, and not everything went well with the first try. That being said, you have to admit, it was pretty epic. The game stood the test of time these past 12 months, though many had doubted that the hype would last, even the game’s own developers.

The legendary server queues lasted for a while. Respected forum experts had predicted that it would only take a month until the masses will stop flooding into the game, when their first month of subscription ends. However, the experts and prophets were wrong–huge queues lasted until November 2019, when they finally began to thin out. By that time, the developers opened up a few new servers, which, weirdly enough, nobody really visited. They also increased the server’s capacity to accept more players. Still, the hype hasn’t faded away for some time, it was revived for a second wave when the quarantine kicked in. All responsible workers who moved to work from home often mistook the WoW shortcut with other work-related shortcuts on the desktop, which also increased its popularity. Based on all of those factors, the experiment with reviving Vanilla Wow was successful.

The Spirit of Vanilla

What a lot of players liked about experiencing this older version of the game is the feeling of playing a true RPG. All of the older mechanics in the game that made it more difficult and not very player-friendly at the same time encourages players to really get in the shoes of their chosen characters. It’s hard to get the same feeling in Retail (another WoW expansion) with all of the systems and mechanics that make the game’s interaction with the fantasy world as seamless as possible. The Classic game mode feels nostalgic, while also giving gamers lots of new memories like taking part in the server’s opening, or realizing what it means to farm yourself to sleep. Many gamers witnessed the opening of the Ahn’qiraj Gates opening for the first time, which in itself was one of the most essential events in the history of this game. The paradox of the spirit of Vanilla is an interesting one. 

On the one hand, you have the turtle-like speed of leveling in Vanilla, an almost meditative gameplay that creates a unique experience. On the other hand, in 2021, not a lot of us are ready to spend time in something as calm and tranquil. If 15 years ago, this game had too much content, today, it doesn’t have quite enough. We constantly desire to be entertained every second. That being said, there are a lot of ways to speed up the boring routine. One of the best methods to do so is using a WoW Classic boosting that speeds up the progress only when gameplay starts to feel like a drag, making World of Warcraft truly special.

Las Vegas-Based Tour Provider

When Bindlestiff Tours owner Rachel Urban opened the Las Vegas-based adventure tour company nearly 10 years ago, she sought to offer adventurers the most immersive experiences throughout the Southwestern United States, Alaska and Western Canada. In the days leading up to the pandemic, Bindlestiff Tours was doing just that. Business was booming and the company welcomed thousands of international visitors each year.

Then borders closed, shutdowns began and the international tourism industry dried up. As reservations were cancelled and trips delayed, many tour operators opted to close their doors entirely. Yet, Bindlestiff made the bold, yet tough, decision to remain open last year as one of the only fully operating national park tour companies in Las Vegas during the height of the pandemic. Today, Bindlestiff continues to fight challenges created by the pandemic while still welcoming drive-market travelers to keep the business afloat.  

“Like many small businesses in the tourism industry, we’re fighting every day to keep our operation running while safeguarding our staff and customers’ health and well-being,” said Urban. 

With group size limits, mask enforcement rules and social distancing guidelines differing state by state, Bindlestiff’s high operating and cleaning costs for their spectacular multi-state tours through Nevada, Arizona, Utah and California have risen while the number of guests they are able to accommodate continues to remain restricted. 

Navigating which national parks and campsites are open also presents another obstacle for Bindlestiff Tours. A spike in COVID-19 cases often leads to sudden park or campsite closures or limited access to certain destinations which creates challenges in how Bindlestiff times tours, according to Urban.

Last-minute tour reservations and cancellations also add to the company’s dilemma of planning how many guests they are able to welcome on a given day. 

“While it certainly has been difficult to accommodate travelers visiting Las Vegas on a whim, it brings us such gratitude knowing there are still domestic tourists searching to get away and immerse themselves in nature,” said Urban. 

The immersive tour operator celebrates the small victories such as welcoming travelers from neighboring states, even if group sizes remain small, and continues to offer flexible booking conditions, value tour pricing and additional traveler options. 

Among these additional options are Bindlestiff Tours’ new multi-day, self-driving camping tours and private, custom single- or multi-day tours from Las Vegas.


The self-drive camping tours, also available with hotel upgrades, offer travelers an opportunity to socially distance under the stars. According to Urban, these tours are designed for guests interested in driving to the national parks of the American Southwest on their own, while still receiving expert guidance and an immersive, personalized adventure. 

Guests are provided with all the necessary camping equipment and tour guides assist with camp set-up in scenic locations. Expert tour guides meet guests at key locations throughout the tour and escort groups on remote hiking trails to spectacular viewpoints while providing live interpretive wildlife and nature content throughout the adventure. 

According to Bindlestiff, guides also facilitate evening campfires and locally sourced, fully catered al fresco dining options at camp or for hotel guests. 

To enhance the self-drive experience, Urban says guests can download the recently reconfigured Bindlestiff Tours mobile app. Now featuring tour narrations in English for domestic travelers in addition to multiple languages for international visitors, the app allows travelers to access additional details, instruction and information.


For families or groups of friends of four or more interested in experiencing national parks in a more intimate setting, Bindlestiff also offers private, custom tour options. These tour packages are pre-made and offer exclusive one-on-one attention from a dedicated, expert local guide. Guests may select day tours or multi-day outdoor camping tours or the comfort of hotel accommodation. Guides escort groups on a completely private tour throughout the experience. Guests have the option to choose from classic itineraries or request a custom-tailored tour and add on other areas of interest, according to Urban. 

Despite the overall decrease in travelers resulting from the pandemic, Bindlestiff Tours understands the importance of continuing to provide vacationers with spectacular opportunities to visit some of the country’s most breathtaking national parks when they are ready to travel again.

“During the height of the shutdown last year, we were one of the only fully operating tour providers in Las Vegas,” said Urban. “We understand the importance of offering travelers expert guides for incredible experiences they’ll never forget, especially during such a difficult time. It truly brings our team joy.” 

As Bindlestiff continues to expand its tour offerings when more people begin to travel again, the challenges of remaining viable and laying the foundation for recovery in a post-COVID economy remains present. This year, Bindlestiff is excited to launch “glamping” tours that allow families and private groups the peace of the great outdoors paired with more elevated living accommodations.

According to Urban, the tour company remains hopeful about the future. She said guests booking trips with Bindlestiff this year have felt reassured about their health and safety – some even going as far as sharing their uplifting experiences on social media. 

“Our company is beyond grateful we have remained open throughout these challenging times to welcome those searching to get out of their houses and into the wilderness,” said Urban.

For more information about private custom tours and self-drive tours, visit www.bindlestifftours.com

Gabrielle Archuleta illustration for on-line games article for 360 MAGAZINE

How the gambling houses have shaped the popular taste

The casino industry has evolved a lot over the last few centuries. In Europe during the 18th century, the underground gambling halls morphed into the first legal casinos. Eventually, the same thing happened in the United States, with Nevada’s fledgling Las Vegas providing entertainment for the workers of the nearby Hoover Dam.

From those sawdust-covered floors, modern casinos developed with names like the Golden Nugget in the 1940s. The giant integrated resorts we know today began springing up in the 1980s, and online casinos came into existence in the late 1990s.

Today, most of Europe and a growing number of US states have legalized online casinos, though New Jersey continues to lead the way on this side of the pond, with more than 23 online casinos to choose from in NJ.

At every stage along the way, these casinos have influenced pop culture, changing what we watch, what we read, and what we listen to.

Casino’s Influence on Language

You may be surprised at just how many casino-related words and phrases you use in your everyday conversations. Casino and card games have been around for the best part of a millennium, with blackjack being the descendent of several card games that go back as far as the 13th century AD. 

Having been around for such a long time, words and phrases while playing these games have worked their way into the common vernacular. 

For example, “hedging one’s bets” is a phrase we use regularly to explain when we’re not committing to one particular option to protect ourselves from a negative outcome. In betting, you may hedge your bets by wagering on two opposing outcomes, while in life you might take a job interview while staying at your old job until you see which is the better option. 

All commonly used phrases include “all bets are off,” which can mean no one is sure about the outcome of an event; and “poker face,” which describes someone who is not displaying any emotion.

Casino’s Influence on Music

Speaking of poker faces, Lady Gaga’s hit song is one of the most recent examples of the influence of casino games in music. But there are plenty of others

The country and western singer Garth Brooks had a hit with Two of a Kind Working on a Full House back in 1990. The song leaned heavily on references to poker hands to discuss his relationship with his wife (two of a kind) and the fact that they planned to build a life together (a full house). The song contained betting references all the way through, with links like “I’m her wild card man” and “a real hot hand.”

Other popular songs that have been created by the influence of casinos and casino games include The Gambler by Kenny Rogers, House of Cards by Tyler Shaw, and Ace of Spades by Motörhead.

Casino’s Influence on Movies

Perhaps the most obvious influence that casinos have had on popular culture is in movies. Hollywood loves to set a movie in Las Vegas and its casinos, with at least 92 movies set in the city since 1941. 

Popular examples include Ocean’s Eleven (and its 21’st century remake), Viva Las Vegas, Diamond Are Forever, The Godfather, Casino, The Hangover, and 21. 

Writers often find the excitement and mystery that casinos offer are a great setting for their stories, with films like Ocean’s Eleven and Casino entirely based around the inner workings of the gaming business. 

Others, including many James Bond movies, use casinos in certain scenes as they offer a great way to show the characters outwitting their rivals. A casino setting is also one of the few places where a protagonist and villain could sit in the same room and talk without being forced to attack or fight each other. 

Drive-In screening pop up article illustration by Gabrielle Archuleta for 360 MAGAZINE

Drive-In at the Ebell of LA

Drive-In screening awards-eligible films across LA & launches this weekend @ Ebell of Los Angeles
 
Necessity drives awards-eligible filmmaker Phyllis Stuart to create the Your Consideration Drive-In Screening Series for the awards season.
 
With the 2021 awards season in full swing and theaters still shuttered, awards voters are left to judge competing films at home via an online link this season. It’s not ideal. So one awards-eligible filmmaker, Phyllis Stuart (Wild Daze) launched a series the Your Consideration Drive-In screening series to give voters a place to experience films the way their creators intended them to be seen on the big screen. Their Drive-In will follow all public health and safety requirements as mandated by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the City of Los Angeles.
 
Awards voters are inundated with online voting links Stuart said, so motivated by The old proverb: Needs Must When The Devil Drives, aim to give my film a fighting chance to reach voters and offer other awards-eligible filmmakers a place to envelop audiences Conveniently located pop-up locations keep voters close to home while allowing them to watch films.
 
WHAT: Your Consideration Drive-in Screening Series for film awards voters
WHERE: VARIOUS / FIRST VENUE: THE EBELL OF LOS ANGELES: East Parking Lot @742 S. Lucerne Blvd. LA CA 90005
WHEN: Opening Night January 30th & 31st at 7 P.M.
HOW: Adhering to the 2021 awards outreach rules, all Your Consideration Drive-In Screening invitations will be emailed to awards voters from participating studios and campaign publicists, who will each host their own screenings
 
Like a traveling treasure hunt, the Your Consideration pop-up drive-in screening series allows Los Angeles film awards voter audiences the chance to travel short distances to see awards-eligible films on a big screen, from the safety of their own vehicles. Says its founder, Phyllis Stuart, always loved scavenger hunts as a kid, and since we must still socially distance this is a safe way to witness cinematic splendor together.
 
The first two nights of the series will take place at The Ebell of Los Angeles on January 30th and 31st with Stuart’s feature-length documentary Wild Daze. Thereafter, until April 2021 studio awards-eligible films will run at three Your Consideration Drive-In venues.
 
Director of Special Events, Anessa Birkemeier believes supporting the documentary work of a female filmmaker like “Wild Daze” director Phyllis Stuart aligns with the mission at The Ebell of Los Angeles: To participate in and encourage the educational, cultural, and social growth of the diverse LA community. The venue parking lot with 150 spaces at 742 S. Lucerne Blvd., sits directly across from the clubhouse, where the Your Consideration Drive-In will launch. Ms. Birkemeier added, “The Ebell of Los Angeles is excited to host a drive-in experience that connects our community and supports the film industry.”
 
ABOUT YOUR CONSIDERATION DRIVE-IN SCREENING SERIES
Featuring a 40-foot inflatable screen with a 30,000 lumen Barco projector and FM transmitted audio, the pop-up drive-in accommodates 75 to 150 vehicles for evening film screenings beginning January 30th through April 2021. The series offers film awards, voters, the opportunity to watch awards-eligible films on the big screen in a charming Los Angeles cinematic environment. For more venue details visit HERE and to book a screening visit HERE.
 
ABOUT THE EBELL OF LOS ANGELES
The Ebell of Los Angeles is home to the Wilshire Ebell Women’s Club, an active club that began in 1894. In 1927 the women built their historic landmark in the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles. The 75,000 square foot property includes a tri-level clubhouse and the 1,238-seat Wilshire Ebell Theatre that has hosted top artists including Cher and Stevie Wonder and lectures by world leaders like Dr. Jill Biden. Judy Garland was discovered on the Broadway-style stage while performing as Baby Frances Gumm. Revenue from the Theatre, private events, film and TV&  productions fund the operations so that the Ebell women can continue their social and philanthropic work in the community. The Ebell will serve as one of three venues for the Your Consideration Drive-In screening series.
 
ABOUT WILD DAZE THE MOVIE
Under the banner of Light Productions (The Women’s Image Awards, 50 Years of Funny Females), filmmaker Phyllis Stuart forges an awards-eligible documentary Wild Daze, a project six years in the making, fueled by a fierce desire to save African wildlife, while protecting the women, children and forest peoples whose fates are tied up with the survival of the continent’s most iconic and majestic animals. Visit www.wilddazethemovie.com and follow developments on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Trailer HERE.
Gabrielle Archuleta illustration for 360 MAGAZINE skiing article

Skiing, Snowshoeing Popular During COVID Isolation

With the holidays behind us and more snowstorms expected in Park City, Utah, YOTELPAD Park City is seeing a robust level of skiers taking advantage of the new hotel’s first season at the base of Park City Mountain.

The largest ski and snowboard resort in the United States, Park City Mountain has added YOTELPAD Park City last month to Canyons Village with easy access to the Gondola and Orange Bubble ski lifts to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, shopping, dining and après ski.

“We’re finding this year that cross country skiing and snowshoeing has taken a leap in popularity with our guests,” said Brandon Tyler, general manager of YOTELPAD Park City. “YOTELPAD Park City is at the base of one of the best ski mountains in the country, and families are relishing all of our outdoor winter activities.”

One national report showed 2019-20 cross country skiing was up to 5.2 percent from year-earlier figures of 4.9 percent, while year-over-year snowshoeing increased to 3.6 percent from 3.4 percent, according to Cross Country Ski Areas Association.

“With 7,300 acres of open mountain terrain as a playground, guests are loving recreating in the clean mountain while naturally distancing from others,” said Tyler, whose team opened the 144-PAD (YOTEL-speak for condos) hotel Dec. 17, 2020.

The first in the world of its kind, YOTELPAD Park City is a fully tech-equipped hotel with self-service check-in stations, Grab+Go meals and drinks, a 24/7 gym with the latest Life Fitness & Peloton equipment, ski valet service, a fireside lounge and more.

“YOTELPAD’s differentiator is our innovative designs for various-sized PADs, which include Italian furniture that transforms into multiple uses in the same room space,” he said. “Guests absolutely love the European-inspired floor plans because they optimize every inch of PADs, which can accommodate up to seven guests and make it the perfect mountain base for adventure seekers.”

Born from creative leaders at London’s YOTEL, the YOTELPAD concept is drastically altering consumers’ images of hotels.

“This first YOTELPAD is changing travelers’ expectation of hotels, which will cause hotels to adapt to travelers’ demands,” said Tyler. “From top to bottom, these PADs offer incredible options for guests. Intelligently designed PADs allow guests to enjoy the benefits of their stay without added expenses.”

Tapping into the local fresh food options, YOTELPAD provides with several local food options.

“To accommodate guests’ preferences, our Grab+Go food express offers fresh, farm-to-table local food,” he said. “Savoury Kitchen provides breakfast burritos, oatmeal, soups, sandwiches and salads. Dinner originates from Rebekah’s Kitchen, with items such as turkey chili and minestrone stew. Gold Creek Farms provides locally harvested cheeses daily.

“From quality coffees, such as Lavazza, to high-end takeaway meals, we offer a wide array of food, drinks and retail items.”

Already at 85 percent sold, YOTELPAD’s owners can submit their PADs into a nightly rental program when not in use.

“Owners can rent their PADs and instantly be listed in YOTEL’s worldwide network for guests seeking new experiences in an environment with modern designs,” said Tyler.

Operating 17 hotels in eight countries, YOTEL recently opened YOTEL London, YOTEL Glasgow and YOTEL Washington, D.C.

“The YOTEL and YOTELPAD concepts are trending, with 13 more YOTELs under development globally and two YOTELPADs being built in Miami and Dubai,” he said.

The tech-forward hotel has built a strong following for its hassle-free solutions, with travelers seeking out hotels in cities and airports from San Francisco to Europe to Singapore.

To provide mountain resort expertise, YOTEL has partnered with Benchmark, a global hospitality leader, to spearhead day-to-day operations of YOTELPAD Park City. Since acquiring Gemstone Hotels & Resorts in 2016, Benchmark has built a strong Park City presence and manages a portfolio of more than 70 unique projects across three continents, including ski properties in Park City, Vail, Lake Tahoe and Jackson Hole.

For more information, visit yotel.com/parkcity.

SHOT 3/2/17 11:13:38 AM – Park City, Utah lies east of Salt Lake City in the western state of Utah. Framed by the craggy Wasatch Range, it’s bordered by the Deer Valley Resort and the huge Park City Mountain Resort, both known for their ski slopes. Utah Olympic Park, to the north, hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and is now predominantly a training facility. In town, Main Street is lined with buildings built primarily during a 19th-century silver mining boom that have become numerous restaurants, bars and shops. (Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2017)
SHOT 3/2/17 6:46:36 PM – Aerial photos of Park City, Utah. Park City lies east of Salt Lake City in the western state of Utah. Framed by the craggy Wasatch Range, it’s bordered by the Deer Valley Resort and the huge Park City Mountain Resort, both known for their ski slopes. Utah Olympic Park, to the north, hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and is now predominantly a training facility. In town, Main Street is lined with buildings built primarily during a 19th-century silver mining boom that have become numerous restaurants, bars and shops. (Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2017)
SHOT 3/2/17 3:57:46 PM – Park City, Utah lies east of Salt Lake City in the western state of Utah. Framed by the craggy Wasatch Range, it’s bordered by the Deer Valley Resort and the huge Park City Mountain Resort, both known for their ski slopes. Utah Olympic Park, to the north, hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and is now predominantly a training facility. In town, Main Street is lined with buildings built primarily during a 19th-century silver mining boom that have become numerous restaurants, bars and shops. (Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2017)
360 MAGAZINE illustration for online gaming by Symara Briel Wilson

Forgotten Vintage Gaming Consoles

The video game console scene these days is quite settled, boring even. Sony and Microsoft have a stranglehold on the market, with the PlayStation enjoying a healthy lead on the Xbox. And then you have Nintendo doing their own thing with the Switch on the handheld segment, despite the rise of mobile gaming. 

All this is a far cry from the early decades of video game consoles. Consoles had some crazy innovations in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, as the designers were experimenting quite a lot. Naturally, the technology was also quite primitive in terms of computing power, graphics, and display, resulting in some extra weirdness. 

These are some of the vintage gaming consoles that never made it to the big leagues in the cut-throat video games market. Some were from small brands while others are from the big names we still see churning out consoles and games today.

Fairchild Channel F 

Despite being the first home console to use cartridges and a microprocessor, the Fairchild Channel F failed in the console market. Pitted against the legendary Atari 2600 (home of Pacman), the Channel F ended up decidedly second-best. 

Before the Fairchild, other consoles like the Magnavox Odyssey came with games built-in, which severely limited choice as well as graphics quality. The Channel F came with two built-in games and a library that eventually expanded to include over 26 games. 

The cartridges for these games were called “videocarts” and had games like Tic Tac Toe, Space War, Spitfire, and Shooting Gallery. Though it had a decent list of games, the Fairchild Console could not match Atari’s popular arcade games. 

And the controllers were also decidedly poor quality, breaking rather quickly. The F in Channel F stood for “Fun.” The fun stopped for Fairchild in 1983 as sales declined and they ended production after a six-year run that started in 1976. 

Radica Games Consoles

The modern handheld consoles like PSP, GameBoy, and Switch are designed to play many different games. But in the past, we had consoles that were basically one-trick ponies – they only came with one or a few handfuls of in-built titles. 

Radica Ltd is a name that many who were kids in the 1980s and 90s may not remember. Though not as famous as Sega or Nintendo, the US manufacturer was quite prolific in the handheld consoles market, mass-producing devices between 1983 and 2006. 

Though they became famous for consoles that carried titles from the biggest brands like Sega and Taito, Radica actually started in the gambling business. The company initially launched collectible game consoles for casinos. 

These had classic games like Blackjack 21, Poker, and Solitaire. Though thoroughly outdated by modern standards, the vintage feel of the games does make Radica consoles great from a nostalgic POV. Online variations have been designed to model modern blackjack tables as found in top land-based casinos.

Radica did not do anything innovative in the design department. Their consoles largely copied the design set by others. The company was eventually acquired and fully absorbed by toy giant Mattel in 2006. 

The Vectrex

We take screens for granted these days – be it on handheld consoles or mobile phones. But there was a time when consoles had to depend entirely on an outside video output source (and they still do for PS5 and Xbox Series X). 

The Vectrex was an idea that came far too soon – in an era when screens were still bulky, monochrome, and highly pixelated. Launched in the early ’80s, the Vectrex came bundled with its display, which was like a mini-TV. 

The display was black and white, with a series of plastic color overlays that you could place on the screen to make the objects look red, green, or blue. Though it had way better graphics than contemporary consoles, thanks to vector graphics instead of bitmaps (smooth lines), the console was ultimately a failure. 

For one, it was incredibly expensive. And the allure of not needing a TV for gaming was not huge in those days, especially as this was not a portable device. It was one of the major casualties in the great market crash of the video game industry in 1983.

Virtual Boy

Virtual Reality is a cutting edge technology that holds a lot of promise in gaming. Yet in 2021, it is still a niche in the video games landscape – a fast-growing one at that, but still in need of evolution. So you can imagine how primitive a VR-based console must have been way back in the 1990s. 

Launched by Nintendo in 1995, Virtual Boy was a good 20 years ahead of the technology. The 3D game system came with a cool VR headset and a connected controller, and games in full monochrome glory. 

Yes, Virtual Boy games had to be enjoyed in red, as the hardware was not capable of outputting in any other colors. It had a real “Terminator vision” vibe to it, which was probably intentional given how popular those movies were back then. 

The hardware was quite bulky, with the headset being quite cumbersome. And it was also quite notorious for causing headaches and eye strain to users. The one major game available on the Virtual Boy was Mario’s Tennis. 

Though the stereoscopic 3D was quite impressive for its time, the console was widely panned by critics and users. It was a commercial failure as well, due to insane pricing. Nintendo did try to make it more appealing by dropping the prices but to no avail. The Virtual Boy sank without a trace.