The Out-of-Touch Adults’ Guide to Kid Culture: Why Is Everyone Watching ‘The Last of Us’?Reading Time: 4 minutes
HBO’s epic zombie series is becoming appointment television.
There’s something for everyone this week in the world of young people culture, whether you like post-apocalyptic drama, shaming creepy dudes at the gym, or pretending to be a wizard in one of them damn vidja games.
HBO’s The Last of Us takes over television
In our balkanized media environment, there aren’t many shows that everyone watches anymore, but HBO’s The Last of Us is becoming a rare exception. As much as people love binge-watching, The Last of Us‘s one-episode-per-week release schedule is clearly working for the series so far. Viewership is growing with each episode’s ‘opening night’—the premier saw 4.7 million viewers and by episode three, first-night viewership had grown 37% to 6.4 million. HBO apparently liked those numbers enough to have announced a second season this week.
The Last of Us‘s critical and popular success are even more remarkable when you consider the quality of almost every other show or movie based on a game ever made. The Last of Us pulls off that rare trick of honoring the source material while not being afraid to deviate from it as needed for a different medium. It also helps that it’s a story about a world that has descended into madness and savagery because of a contagious disease. It’s relatable.
All about Hogwarts Legacy
Like movies based on games, games based on movies/novels usually suck too. But judging from the online chatter and the millions of views of the launch trailer, the gaming world is looking forward to Hogwarts Legacy in a big way. Here’s a quick rundown of what the buzz is about: Hog Leg is a single-player, open-world, action RPG set in the Harry Potter universe. Players will enroll in Hogwarts Academy in the 19th century. As you’d probably expect, the combat is magic-heavy. Plotwise, Legacy doesn’t hew to stories of the novels and movies as it takes place hundreds of years before most of the characters in them were born. The hero is more than a run-of-the-mill wizard, of course. You’ll be a special mage with a special destiny and connection to ancient magic. It comes out for the PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on Feb. 10.
It’s a camera. For your car.
The Ring Car Cam’s dual-facing HD cameras capture activity in and around your car in HD detail.
What’s up with all the #gymcreeps?
There’s nothing new about weird cretins ogling women who are trying to work out at the gym, but younger people are using the tools of social media to identify and shame them. Under the #WeirdGuysAtTheGym and #GymCreep hashes on TikTok, you can see countless videos like this, this, or this, in which a secretly placed phone camera captures slimy dudes doing slimy dude biz, as well as reports of disturbing encounters. But because this is the internet, there are also videos where aggrieved dudes (who would never do anything like this themselves!) take offense on behalf of the male gym-going community, who were totally not staring. There are also a ton of commentary on the phenomena, probably a bunch of fakes people made to get clicks, and the usual marginally funny comedy sketches.
TikTokers trying new tricks to keep vids sticky
Our pals over at gaming site Kotaku recently identified an interesting new trend in TikTok videos: Creators are making collage-style videos featuring simultaneous clips of unrelated content, like having a clip from Family Guy on one part of the screen, accompanied by silent gameplay footage (often from mobile game Subway Surfers), and maybe someone doing something ‘satisfying,’ like scooping ice cream. The best guess for what’s behind the sensory overload is that it’s a trick to get viewers to watch longer and maybe retain more information from the ‘main’ section of the clip. The idea is that viewers will be less likely to click ‘next’ if they can switch their attention to another part of the screen instead of switching to a new clip. It could also be that the ‘relaxing’ elements of the clips make users more receptive to the message of the main video. They are certainly hypnotic, but the trend is more than a little creepy, especially if the idea is to get people to like The Family Guy.
Viral video of the week: Doom’s Most Mysterious Glitch Finally Solved After 30 Years
This week’s viral video comes from the strange and insular world of speed running, where players push games to their absolute limits in an effort to finish them as quickly as possible. Having ‘fun’ isn’t the point; the goal to exploit every possible advantage or glitch in the game’s original programming to complete it. The big news in the community: The finish time for a level in Doom has been shortened by a few seconds, thanks to a new use for a rare glitch discovered in the 1990s. You wouldn’t think a 30-year-old game would have any secrets left to exploit, but at least one wasn’t fully understood until recently. The details of the complex method for taking advantage of the ‘all ghosts’ glitch are fascinating. It involved using a brute force simulation to try every possible combination of inputs until the glitch was triggered, a process that would have taken a human 300 years.
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