Author: michaelashales

The Universal Hype of Squid Game 

michaela shales

BCM320 Contextual Report 

Project Summary

In this post, I have documented some of the research I gathered about the universal hype of the Korean Netflix series Squid Game. I also decided to jump on a social media trend where I play an online game version of Squid Game for my digital artefact on YouTube.

Squid Game instantaneously rose to the #1 Netflix TV series spot after its release on September 17, 2021. The Korean drama is based on 456 fictional characters who are in major debt and at an all time low. They travel to an undisclosed location and are offered a large cash prize for competing against each other to win a few childhood Korean games. Seymour (2021) explains how Squid Game “mirrors our money-hungry society driven by competition and displays how much… it will truly take for humans to turn their lives around and become genuine individuals”. However,

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The New Digital Age in Asia

michaela shales

The Film Industry Transitions

In my previous blog post, I reflected on digital Asia and the film industry, specifically India. I mentioned that due to the rise of technology in recent years Asia is now expanding their media for audiences to access across the globe. The film industry has since experienced a transition due to online streaming services. Streaming movies online is an extremely popular and convenient way for audiences to engage with the film industry. Platforms such as Netflix have forever changed the way audiences stream movies and TV shows. It has also meant that Western audiences now have an opportunity to engage with films produced in other countries like Asia. 

Image of a Korean Film Available on Netflix

The age of transactions reveals how media content from Asia has expanded to new audiences. Anthique (2019) mentions that “the expanding flow of media content had a transformative effect upon…

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Digital Asia: Film Industry

michaela shales

Over the past few years, Asian cinema has become increasingly more popular within the film industry. Due to the rise of technology, the world is more open to engage with media from other cultures. Online streaming services such as Netflix have changed the way the world is interacting with cinema and allows the world to access films from anywhere. As a result, a lot of Western audiences are more open to watching films produced by Asia because there is now access online.

The four main countries that account for the majority of the Asian film market are China, Japan, South Korea, and India. Paksiutov (2021) highlights that “In 2010-2018, the total box office revenue in the Asia-Pacific countries approximately doubled to $16.7 billion from $8.5 billion”. In this post, I have researched the Indian film industry to demonstrate how digital Asia has changed over the past few years. 

Indian Film…

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Asia Rising: The Next Generation of Hip-Hop (2019)

michaela shales

Rapper Keith Ape

Asia Rising: The Next Generation of Hip-Hop (2019) is a documentary directed by Jonathan Lim, which explores the rising success of Asian hip-hop artists over the past few years. The film features artists Rich Brian, Keith Ape, Higher Brothers, Suboi, Jin Dogg and Awich. It highlights their cross-cultural rise to fame around the globe and their collaboration with the 88 creative family.

In the film it was quite evident that these artists were strongly influenced by Westernised hip-hop/rap music, particularly from American artists. The South Korean rapper Keith Ape said in the documentary “the internet influenced my music style a lot, I focussed on making it sound like music from the West”. He then went on to release a song in 2015 called “It G Ma” that went viral in the West, especially America. I’d say that the rise of this song is connected to the fact…

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India In A Day

michaela shales

The footage in India In A Day (2016) is very raw as it was crowdsourced from locals and shot on cameras & smartphones on October 15th 2015. This footage was then submitted to a Google website and it was edited by Canadian-Indian film director Richie Mehta. It gives viewers an insight of the highs and lows as it is filmed from the perspective of citizens of India.

According to Ghosh Dastidar & Caroline Elliott (2020) “​​India continues to be by far the world’s largest producer of films, producing 1724 films in 2013 compared to 738 films produced in the USA, and 638 films produced in China”. This film is not the typical Bollywood style we all know. It’s actually a documentary where people of India invite us into their lives and personal experiences living in India.

A majority of the film is well photographed and the overall cinematography provides a…

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michaela shales

Human VS Artificial Intelligence 

AlphaGo (2017) is an award winning documentary, directed by Greg Kohs. This film focussed on the battle between a traditional game called Go and AI technology. Go is a Chinese strategy board game designed for only 2 players. This is an example of a game that has been continually played over the decades. The player’s objective is to surround more territory on the board than their component. To put it simply AlphaGo is an AI program that is designed to play Go. It was first developed by DeepMind Technologies in the UK, but is now owned by Google.

Gaming has become the world’s largest entertainment industry. The industry continues to grow in size with over 2.3 billion gamers worldwide spending 137.9 US billion dollars on games in 2018 (McCauley, Nguyen, McDonald & Wearing, 2020).

While watching AlphaGo (2017) I started to consider how all technology is…

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People’s Republic of Desire

michaela shales

Financial Transactions in Digital Asia

People’s Republic of Desire is a film produced by Hao Wu and released in 2018. It portrays the lives of live streaming hosts on the Chinese platform YY. This popular platform is China’s video-based version of social media, as of 2018 it has over 300 million users. Hallanan (2018) admits that “It’s a massive business, and live streaming is an important part of this revolution”. 

The film relates to the subtheme of financial transactions in Asia, as “China has been one of the most extensive adopters of digital payment platforms, becoming a world leader in the span of a few years” (Antique, 2019). There is a virtual currency that users can earn by live streaming karaoke, dancing or interacting with their fans. This money is then converted into real currency.

One of the most prominent aspects of the film that stood out to me was…

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