Casual gamers a ‘critical’ audience for blockchain games: GameFi execs

 

The casual gaming market will remain a crucial audience for blockchain games and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in gaming, according to three blockchain gaming company co-founders. 

Casual gamers, people who play games somewhat regularly but rarely invest significant time, make up the largest segment of players in the industry.

Kieran Warwick, co-founder of the blockchain role-playing game Illuvium, called casual gamers “critical” because of the sheer number of them.

There are more than 3 billion gamers worldwide as of 2023, and it’s estimated that at least 1.95 billion are casual gamers, according to Exploding Topics.

Warwick said gamers interested in earning in-game yield, who are primarily from developing countries and are especially attracted to mobile gaming, are becoming increasingly important as well.

However, Warwick admits there is a “major challenge”closing to coaxing casual gamers into the market because of the perception that blockchain games are of inferior quality.

Despite this, he was optimistic that NFTs, blockchain and Web3 will have a bright future in mainstream gaming.

“NFTs, blockchain, and Web3 have a place in mainstream games in the long term, as mainstream game developers are already working on incorporating these technologies into their games, despite some backlash from their communities,” Warwick said.

“As more fun and engaging NFT-based games are developed, it is likely that players will experience the benefits of ownership and not want to go back to traditional games,” he added.

Yat Siu, the co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands shares a similar view calling the mainstream casual audience “absolutely critical” for blockchain and NFT games, arguing: 

“Games are still games regardless of whether they’re casual or mid-core. One of the things that actually made mainstream gaming larger was casual games.”

According to Siu, the mainstream gaming industry hit a rough patch around 2010 and 2011 and “stopped growing.” The introduction of mobile games helped revitalize and attract a whole new generation of gamers, a feat blockchain games need to replicate.

Siu believes all it will take is one good game to kick off a blockchain gaming boom — and he predicts it could start in the next 18 to 24 months with hundreds of millions of gamers entering the space.

“I think we’re charting a pretty good chart, but you know, you’re not gonna convert everyone overnight, right? But it’s beginning and people are having fun and also the games are getting better,” he said.

“All you need is one game that’s actually going to be reasonably successful and you’ll basically get large news, and because it’s Web3 what’ll happen is that once it’s very popular, it’ll bleed into the other games.”

NFTs in games have faced backlash from mainstream gaming audiences, forcing several high-profile companies to abandon plans to incorporate them, but Siu believes this is only temporary until gamers learn more about how the technology works.

“I think they’re trying to be sensitive to their audience. I mean, so that’s the right thing to do as a company. You can’t just say, well, whatever your opinions don’t matter,” he said.

“Most gamers I speak to say they are all about having digital ownership in games but are still against NFTs, but over time, education will fix that,” Siu added.

Related: Opinion: 2023 is a ‘buidl’ year for crypto gaming

Bozena Rezab, co-founder and CEO of GAMEE, a blockchain mobile gaming platform, believes mobile games will have a part to play in attracting casual gamers.

“Casual mobile games are the easiest step into gaming, with the ability to engage a mass audience. This is what these can offer to a quest of onboarding gamers to NFT / blockchain games,” she said. 

However, the gaming exec thinks several aspects must be changed first, such as dropping paywalls, shorter sessions and easier setups for casual players.

“We are still on a path of exploring the use of blockchain tech in games, the concept of ownership of assets is very powerful and will stay. The exact game genres, game economy models and mechanics that will define the future are yet to be explored,” she said.

Gianna’s and Kyle’s “heavenly” nuptials at Nestldown

Gianna and Kyle had something like a whirlwind romance – Kyle proposed just a year and a half into their relationship, and a month later, the two had brought my company, A Day Like No Other, on board for their wedding planning. Their dream venue – Nestldown Estate in Los Gatos – was booked, and off we went on a yearlong endeavor to make their wedding celebration truly special, memorable, and above all, uniquely theirs.

Last October, the big day had finally come. Bride and groom were getting ready at Hotel Valencia in San Jose …

 

…. and the bride and her bridesmaids enjoyed hair and makeup services by stylists from Wowpretty Salon.

 

Gianna had chosen a very feminine, romantic wedding dress.

 

Photographer Melissa Floriano and videographer Sean Kurtela joined the bridal party to capture all the precious moments – AND the gorgeous details!

 

As avid “stargazers,” bride and groom chose a celestial motif for their invitations – a glittery starry sky, actually, and the bride’s earrings reflect the same “heavenly” taste!

 

Bride Gianna got into her dress with the assistance of her bridesmaids …

 

… while in a suite at the other end of the hotel, groom Kyle and his groomsmen were likewise dressing up.

 
 
 
 

Time to transfer to the venue (via Corinthian Ground Transportation) for the couple’s First Look and many photos and video footage! As their First Look location, Gianna and Kyle had chosen the charming Fairytale Cottage onsite.

 
 
 

Next up: couple’s portraits and bridal party photos.

 
 
 

Gianna wore a star-studded hairpiece to complement her earrings, and for her bridal bouquet, she had chosen ivory and dark red blooms in an effortlessly feminine style (all florals by Lotus & Lily Floral Design). Dark red was also the color of choice for the bridesmaids’ dresses…

 

… while the gentlemen wore classic charcoal grey (with honey-colored dress shoes!).

 

And here is the whole impressive lineup of 8 bridesmaids and 8 groomsmen plus officiant!

 

Bridal party having fun!

 
 

In the meantime, the ceremony area in the “Chapel,” a dramatic redwood grove, had been set up and decorated with a circular arch, embellished with gorgeous flowers.

 
 

At the entrance to the aisle, little containers with bubbles waited for the guests, to blow bubbles on the newlyweds after the ceremony.

 

And here is the “aisle” – a dramatic stairway descending down a wooded hill into the Redwood clearing.

 

Soon enough, guests began arriving, greeted by a customized Welcome sign.

 

The ceremony, officiated by a close friend of the couple, began on time, with the processional of the groom…

 

… and HERE COMES THE BRIDE!

 

Los Gatos DJs provided beautiful wedding music (and for the groom’s entrance, a march out of “Star Wars!”)

 
 

“You may now kiss the bride!”

 
 

Just married! The parents of the groom walked out with the “guest of honor” of the day – the couple’s puppy dog “Muffin.”

 

While the newlyweds had many more photos and videos to take…

 

… their guests were treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (by Eisenhauer’s Catering) and to musical entertainment and photo booth fun (both by Los Gatos DJs). When it was time for dinner, guests found their seating assignments on a pretty seating chart…

 

… on the way to the Great Lawn where dinner tables had been set up. There were also baskets with cozy blankets to keep everyone warm.

 

 

 
 

Dark blue and maroon, accented by metallic gold, set an elegant tone. The newlyweds presided over the whole “congregation” from their special Sweetheart Table, adorned (like all guest tables) with lavish floral centerpieces by Lotus & Lily.

 

As dusk was falling, the lights in the surrounding trees came on, and the atmosphere turned magical.

 

After dinner, guests were invited to dancing in the Barn, the central building at Nestldown. A “barn” only by architectural style, it is a truly unique and elegant event space…

 

… crowned by an enormous crystal chandelier. This is where Gianna and Kyle enjoyed their First Dance as a married couple…

 

… and where they cut their “heavenly” cake (by Cake Expressions).

 

A photo gallery on the antique hutch displayed family photos from several generations back…

… and an open-air bar under twinkling lights and the photo booth provided entertainment in addition to dancing.

The evening came to its conclusion on another high point: an (LED-) sparkler send-off to the “Nestldown Trademark” vintage London Taxi to whisk the newlyweds away into their married bliss!

Off to a lifetime of shared happiness – that’s what we wish for you, Gianna and Kyle!

Accessibility in gaming: How Sony’s new PS5 controller is empowering gamers with disabilities – Yahoo Finance UK

While the worst of the squeeze is over, we’ll still be feeling the pain well into 2023
How to ensure that a video game is accessible to people with disabilities? Sony believes it has the answer, having unveiled a customisable “controller kit” for its PlayStation 5 designed to help players with disabilities.
The controller, introduced this week as “Project Leonardo” during CES 2023 in Las Vegas, is round-shaped and designed so it can lie flat on a tabletop or a wheelchair tray.
In addition, the buttons come in different shapes and sizes.
“I am excited that the design will be completed through collaboration with players rather than presenting them with a single form factor,” So Morimoto, from Sony’s design team,wrote on the company’s blog.
In the post, the company said it collaborated with different organisations, such as AbleGamers, SpecialEffect and Stack Up, in order to design and create the controller.
The initiative by Sony – who created video game franchises such as The Last of Us, God of War or Uncharted – has so far received very positive feedback on social media.
“I’m almost in tears because the arthritis in my hands is getting bad and so are many other joints in my body and gaming is starting to be a challenge,” said one user in response to Sony’s video on YouTube.
“As someone who had a stroke in July and has only tried gaming twice since then because of frustration with trying to use the traditional controllers, I am super excited,” another said.
The gaming industry has faced closer scrutiny regarding accessibility in recent years.
It is increasingly being taken seriously by the video game studios and the developers: from better visibility of disabled people through games such as “Extreme Wheelchairing” as well as a more-thought design, like a new controller.
“Project Leonardo is a product we’ve been developing for years, with the goal of making something that is truly unique and caters to a wide range of players with different physical needs,” said Jim Ryan, PlayStation president and CEO in an exclusive interview to WIRED.
In 2015, the French studio Dowino launched A Blind Legend, a fully audio video game to play on mobile or computer. In 2021, The Vale: Shadow of the Crown was released, promising “a 3D audio experience” with haptic feedback when played on Xbox.
Industry guidelines have been developed guidelines were developed by the industry and developers added multiple accessibility features, for example, a colour-blind mode.
In 2021, Microsoft and Playground Games introduced sign languages in the automobile videogame Forza Horizon 5.
Several satellites are set to be blasted into space from Cornwall Airport near Newquay.
Pakistan received over $9 billion in pledges Monday to help it recover from last year's catastrophic floods, vowing to become a model for how countries can build climate change resilience.
Major streaming services have upped their game in 2022 with the launch of ad-supported tiers, new live sports deals, hugely successful original series and more. From the HBO Max/Discovery+ merged streaming service to Netflix's password-sharing offering, here's what SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) streaming services have planned for next year and beyond. Earlier this year, Discovery acquired WarnerMedia to form Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), becoming one of the biggest media companies in the United States.
Two Subway trains collided in Mexico City on Saturday which saw 57 people injured and one killed. Authorities reported that the accident happened on line 3 of the city's metro system, between the Potrero and La Raza stations.
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Executives of bankrupt crypto lender BlockFi Inc have repaid an investor $15 million to settle a threatened lawsuit over the company's cratering equity value in summer 2022, the company's attorneys said Monday in bankruptcy court. The settlement resolved claims by the investor, identified only as "Counterparty A," who had purchased equity shares that were issued as part of executive compensation packages, BlockFi attorney Joshua Sussberg said at a bankruptcy court hearing in Trenton, New Jersey. The shares were sold at a discount to the company's January 2022 valuation of $6 billion to $8 billion, but their value plummeted over the summer as the collapse of two cryptocurrencies caused widespread havoc in crypto markets.
Rishi Sunak has no plan for economic growth and is allowing pessimism to hold back the recovery, the Bank of England’s former chief economist has said.
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The Global Porridge Market size was estimated at USD 1,291. 23 million in 2021 and expected to reach USD 1,367. 02 million in 2022, and is projected to grow at a CAGR 6. 12% to reach USD 1,844.New York, Jan. 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "Porridge Market Research Report by Type, Distribution, Region – Global Forecast to 2027 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19" – https://www.reportlinker.com/p06300753/?utm_source=GNW 62 million by 2027.Market Stati
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The discount retailer said sales increased by 24.5% over the four weeks to December 25, compared with the same period in 2021.
Respiratory Company Pharma Rankings Respiratory Company Pharma Rankings Dublin, Jan. 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The "The Corporate Reputation of Pharma in 2021 – The Patient Perspective – Respiratory Edition – The Views of 121 Respiratory Conditions Patient Groups" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. The 'Corporate Reputation of Pharma' survey- Respiratory Edition, now in its 7th year, and two years into the Covid-19 pandemic. Between November 2021-February 2022, the su
The European Union aims to finish negotiations by July on laws to deliver its 2030 climate change target, although a contentious overhaul of fossil fuel taxes will likely take longer, Sweden's ambassadors to the bloc said on Monday. The 27-country EU is in the final stretch of negotiating roughly a dozen laws to fight global warming, and last year struck deals on most, including a 2035 ban on sales of new fossil fuel cars and a major overhaul of its carbon market. Sweden, which now holds the EU's rotating presidency and will chair negotiations among member countries until July, wants to finalise tougher targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency and minimum energy performance standards for buildings, as well as requirements for airlines to use more green fuel.
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Shanghai “Snow World” To Open Later This Year – The Whiteroom – Snow-Forecast.com

Axis Leisure Management has announced that it’s working on one of the planet’s flagship new indoor snow centres, currently known as Snow World Shanghai.
The building, described by Axis as, “one of the largest and most technologically advanced indoor snow and ice venues in the world” is currently scheduled for opening in Q4, 2023, the company says.
According to Axis the current spec for “Snow World” gives the building a footprint of more than 90,000 sq/m but with snow coverage of more than 45,000 sq/m This would place it in 4th place for snow area in the world behind fellow Chinese centre at Harbin (72,600sqm), Guangzhou (56,000sqm) and Chengdu (55,000sqm) but ahead of current 4th biggest, SNO near Oslo in Norway at 36,000sqm.
The Shanghai facility, located only 30km from Shanghai Disney and Pudong Airport, will feature three main ski runs and “an elaborate winter-themed snow play park providing a wide variety of activities for all age groups over multiple floors of the 60m high venue.”
The broader project includes an Olympic sized ice rink, 20,000 sqm Waterpark, Shopping Mall and more than 1000 four and five star hotel rooms, operated by Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG).
Axis is responsible for taking the operational aspects of the Snow World project through the construction and handover phase, through to grand opening, including all aspects of operational preparation, human resources and sales and marketing.
“After more than two years of setbacks, the Shanghai area is certainly ready for Snow World to bring the joy of ice and snow to the region, and to showcase the advancements that China is making in the world of wintersports,” said Justin Downes, president of Axis Leisure Management who are working on the project under the name of their subsidiary company, Hospitality Associates Asia.
Singapore based developers KOP properties originally announced plans to build the world’s largest indoor ski resort incorporating, ”the world’s longest indoor ski trail,” at Shanghai in China in 2015.  In 2020 it was reported that KOP had left the development and its 2019 opening date had obviously slid, to 2021 but construction was underway.
Over the past seven years the project has had a number of names and it si not clear if Shanghai Snow World is the final one. Thy have include Shanghai Ice & Snow Star, WintaStar Shanghai, Winterland Shanghai and Winterstar.
In September 2022 it was announced that the outer shell of the building was complete. But opening wouldn’t be until at least 2023. Ongoing pandemic restrictions on movement in Shanghai were part of the delay, the reports stated. 
Shanghai was previously home to one of China’s first and one of the world’s largest indoor snow centres, with a 380-metre-long slope, still one of the 10 longest indoor slopes ever created.  LongZhu Hokkaido Shanghai Dashung Indoor Snow (also known as: Yinqixing / Xinzhuang  Indoor Skiing Site) operated between December 2002 and September 2009 when it closed suddenly “for refurbishment”, never reopening.

Lemme Review

About Lemme

 

In the world of vitamins and supplements, Lemme is looking to carve a path of their own. They brandish pleasing visual designs and clear ingredient labels. Within the span of a few months, the company has already earned more than 336k followers on Instagram.

In this Lemme review, I will go through the brand’s history, their products, their prices, and what customers have to say about them so that you can decide for yourself whether they’re worth it.

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Lemme is Kourtney Kardashian Barker’s way of revitalizing the wellness industry. As the statement on the brand’s website reads, she’d been through so many doctors and medications that she’s seen and experienced it all.

She’s witnessed the compromise people have to make – either your medication works but it’s a chore to take, or it tastes good without providing much in the way of health benefits.

Thus, she founded Lemme to deliver filler- and allergen-free supplements to people who wanted to optimize their health. The other added benefit is that she put just as much energy towards their health benefits as she did towards their taste. In her mind, there’s no need for medications that taste like armpits.

Before I get any deeper into this Lemme review, allow me to tell you about some of the brand’s highlights.

Highlights

 
  • Yummy supplements
  • Free shipping on US orders over $50
  • Carbon neutral shipping
  • All products are vegan

The majority of Lemme’s products are high-quality gummies with a bevy of health benefits. However, what’s most remarkable about them is what they’re free from. You won’t find any common additives or fillers in their products, nor will you find common culprits like:

  1. Gelatin
  2. Sugar alcohols
  3. High fructose corn syrup
  4. Gluten
  5. GMOs
  6. Food dyes
  7. Artificial sweeteners
  8. Synthetic colors
  9. Dairy
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Why You Should Trust Us

Our mission is to help you make better, more informed purchase decisions. Our team spends hours researching, consulting with medical experts, gathering insight from expert professionals, reviewing customer feedback, and analyzing products to provide you with the information you need.

Lemme Gummies Review

This section of my Lemme review will give you an overview of their best-selling gummies. Let’s dive in. 

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Lemme Sleep Review

 

Lemme Sleep contains four dream-inducing and sleep-promoting compounds to help you catch up on your sheep counting. They are:

  • melatonin
  • magnesium
  • l-theanine
  • A blend of chamomile flower, lavender, and elderberry

You can grab a bottle of 60 Lemme Sleep gummies for $30. One buyer described them as such;

I have taken Lemme Sleep two night in a row and am so impressed and shocked to be honest. I fall asleep nicely without the feeling of being drugged AND awaken without drowsiness. No bad dreams and no awake at 2am once the medicine “runs out”. I’m very impressed and will likely continue use after this bottle. Well done Lemme!

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Lemme Matcha Review

 

The next item I want to feature in this Lemme review is the brand’s most popular item, though that’s not too shocking considering that matcha is the drink du jour. Lemme Matcha contains ground matcha leaves and two compounds that boost matcha’s positive health benefits – vitamin b12 and COQ10.

One shopper wrote, “I love my Matcha energy gummies! They are so good and they do give me energy. I’m only on my first month and can definitely tell a difference in my energy levels!

A bottle of 60 Lemme Match gummies costs $30.

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Lemme Debloat Review 

 

Nobody, not even beluga whales who need extra help floating above water, likes to be bloated. Luckily, there’s the Lemme Debloat, which uses lactospore, DE111, and XOS to help reduce bloating and digestive issues. 

This probiotic blend can be yours for $30. It was described by one user as such, “My body retains a lot of water. I take 2 Debloat gummies a day and have noticed a huge difference in the amount of water my body retains as well as how I feel. I’ve had much more success with my digestion since taking them, too!

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Lemme Focus Review 

 

The last product in this Lemme review is distinct from other “concentration” products. Most OTC focus aids are just stimulants with fancy names, but Lemme Focus uses nootropic ingredients like Lion’s mane alongside citicoline, Vitamin B12, and MCT oil to help you concentrate without giving you the jitters. 

As with the other items I featured in this Lemme review, a 60-capsule bottle of Lemme Focus is available for $30.

The Focus is by far my fave gummy so far. Not sure if it’s just what my body needs, but it provides me alertness and an energy boost without any jitters. And surprisingly I feel more of a boost with this than the Matcha. I will definitely continue to purchase and try new Lemme products. I love the ingredients you use and the flavors,” is how one customer described this product.

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Who Is Lemme For? 

 

The supplements in this Lemme review are for folks who want to enjoy the supplements they are taking for reasons other than the health benefits. 

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Lemme Reviews: What Do Customers Think?

 

Here are the customer scores for the products I featured in this Lemme review. All of these numbers come from the brand’s website.

  • Lemme Matcha: 5/5 stars based on more than 125 pieces of customer feedback
  • Lemme Debloat: 5/5 stars based on more than 100 pieces of customer feedback
  • Lemme Focus: 5/5 stars based on more than 70 pieces of customer feedback
  • Lemme Sleep: 5/5 stars based on 4 pieces of customer feedback

Additionally, here are some Lemme review scores courtesy of Amazon.

  • 4.3/5 stars based on more than 65 pieces of customer feedback on Lemme Matcha
  • 4.3/5 stars based on more than 40 pieces of customer feedback on Lemme Focus
  • 4.1/5 stars based on more than 50 pieces of customer feedback on Lemme Chill

As you can see, those that purchased a Lemme gummy enjoyed it, more often than not. The most common point of praise in Lemme review was the taste of the products. Simply put, they were delicious, with many people not wanting to limit themselves to one gummy. 

The lemme chill gummies are mild but effective, they help take the edge off and bring me back to earth when I’m feeling anxious. As a plus, they are the perfect sweet treat and the packaging looks stunning in the medicine cabinet. I will be adding these to my daily vitamin routine, highly recommend you try!” wrote one buyer.

The comments towards the taste were in no way meant to imply that buyers didn’t also feel some positive health benefits. Here’s a Lemme review for the Lemme Matcha that speaks to how well the product worked.

feel the energy boost for sure! Definitely quality. I will say- they taste too good and I’m not even joking. What are the affects of eating an entire bottle of these? Send me the will power not find out. It’s like when you’re a kid and flintstone vitamins are a little too much like candy and it’s a little torturous. Too good.

For the most part, customers reported that the products did what they advertised. The gummies helped them fall asleep, concentrate better, or feel a surge of energy, depending on which item the user had purchased.

I’ve included one final Lemme review that speaks to that point.

I didn’t know what to expect but they work and I now take them in the morning when I start the day. Gives me clarity in AM quicker. It’s now part of my routine – though I know people are more specific about when they use them. Also the taste is pretty good.

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Is Lemme Legit?

 

Though the ingredients in most Lemme products are solid, they are not tested by a third party. The only thing customers can rely on is the word of mouth of other Lemme reviews.

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Is Lemme Worth It?

 

It depends on your needs! If what’s holding you back from bettering your health is that you just don’t like the taste of most vitamins then Lemme is likely for you.

If you don’t care about taste and just want to fill in some of the gaps of your nutrition or sleep better, then you could likely find more affordable options elsewhere.  

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Lemme Promotions & Discounts 

 

Lemme offers subscriptions for all of their products which makes each successive delivery slightly cheaper. Additionally, they also have sales on some of their bundles in time for the holidays.

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Where to Buy Lemme

 

You can buy Lemme on the brand’s website, www.lemme.com, or on Amazon.

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FAQ

 

Who owns Lemme?

Kourtney Kardashian Barker owns Lemme.

Does Lemme ship internationally?

Lemme only ships to US addresses. 

What is Lemme’s Shipping Policy?

They offer free standard shipping on all orders over $50, though you can pay extra to purchase 2-day or expedited shipping. 

What is Lemme’s Return Policy?

At this time, the company does not accept returns or refunds. All sales are final. 

What is Thumper? Super yacht soiree welcomes NZ’s first female-owned adult entertainment agency

On a rented luxury yacht expensed to the tune of $10,000, Thumper, the first female-owned adult entertainment agency in New Zealand, celebrates its launch.

Born out of a need for protection for women in the sex work industry, the company represents ladies providing content on OnlyFans and other porn websites and offers mentoring and opportunities to better their business and “maximise their potential.”

It’s a cut-throat industry – according to Variety, OnlyFans boasts 2.16m content creators with workloads that often lead to burnout, but Thumper’s founder and one of NZ’s most successful OnlyFans content creators, Jasmin, is looking towards the future of sex work with optimism.

She’s planning a “female revolution” away from the typical “male gaze” of the sex work industry, where women can perform their jobs with safety and support and the career path itself can be seen with less stigma.

READ MORE:
* The New Zealanders who sell photos of their feet online
* The UK-born OnlyFans founder who built a porn empire
* Government’s pornography awareness ad makes waves around the world

 

“[Sex work] is such a male dominated industry … it needs a fresh perspective to destigmatise it, to show that it’s a proper job,” Jasmin says.

“Anyone should be able to say ‘I want to be in the adult entertainment industry’ without any shame. It should have the same amount of respect as any other job.”

With a guest list of friends, clients, and collaborators – all Gen Z and barely into their early 20s – the launch party for Thumper is a six-hour island cruise across the Waitemata Harbour, from a particularly posh area of Auckland’s waterfront to Motuihe Island’s beachside, where boat crew set up a water slide and a smaller boat for joyriding through the waves.

There’s also charcuterie boards and dinner service, a seemingly endless supply of free alcohol provided by ready-to-drink hard iced tea company Cheeky, and a DJ setup in the yacht’s living room area.

It’s an extravagant but purposeful affair – Jasmin, 20, has big ambitions of sweeping away the negative connotations placed upon sex workers.

“I feel like people look down at everyone in this industry as dirty and going nowhere, but look where we are, we’re on a super yacht!

“I wanted to make a statement, this isn’t a low-end thing.”

The effort to destigmatise their work also lies in their name – Thumper comes from the Disney character in Bambi, used to present their agency as playful and innocent rather than overtly sexual.

She began creating content on OnlyFans after dropping out of beauty school, and says she has found her purpose by working in the industry.

The job isn’t as simple as creating a profile and taking lingerie or nude photos, and the pressure can “make or break” those looking for their big break in sex work – Jasmin sees Thumper as a gateway for creators to succeed in the industry while also taking care of themselves.

 

“I’m self-made, I had to learn everything the hard way. I know the industry so well, and it came naturally to me – some creators who do this need a bit of support and a safety net because it’s a very risky industry.

“People say ‘anyone can do it’ – if anyone could do it, a lot more people would be joining. It’s a lot more mental effort than people play off.”

While focusing on women, the agency also works to uplift queer and non-white content creators – of the four Thumper poster girls (excluding Jasmin), one is Filipina and two are mixed-Māori and Pākehā.

Shy (Ngāpuhi) is a mixed Māori and Pākehā member of Thumper who sees her work as more artistic than sexual.

She started modelling when she was 17 and after posing a nearly nude photo on Instagram, she realised there was an audience interested in her body.

“My people used to walk around exposed, and it wasn’t a big deal, it wasn’t a tapu thing, it was just a normal thing.

“The way our body was viewed as more sacred, and I wanted to hone in on that aspect of it and express the body as what it is: just a body in all of its sacredness and all of its beauty.”

“I don’t really sexualise my body… I think everyone has the freedom to view my body how they want as well, but the narrative that I have is ‘this is normal, natural, and what makes me feel free’.”

As the luxury yacht leaves Motuihe to return to Auckland, Jasmin gives a speech to celebrate her “dreams coming true.”

“I feel so much passion for the adult industry, there’s so much more growth that can happen,” Jasmin says.

“This industry has such a bad stigma around it, and it’s not fair. Everyone that works in this industry from the models to photographers put in genuine effort, and we’re really looked down on in society.

“We are just normal people – we’re your daughters, your sisters, your girlfriends, we are amazing, loving, talented people, and we deserve respect.”

Miami nightclub owners mourn loss of ‘crypto nerds’ after FTX collapse

Nerdy crypto entrepreneurs who spent big at Miami nightclubs, showering patrons with cash as they ordered “bathtubs of champagne” and sang with rappers like 50 Cent, have gone quiet, South Florida venue owners said.

The sudden collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the plummeting value of digital coins has Miami nightclub owners pining for the days when young entrepreneurs flocked to venues such as E11even and its neon lights, trapeze dancers and burlesque shows.

“They were ordering 12 or 24 bottles of the most expensive champagne and just showering themselves without even drinking,” Andrea Vimercati, the director of food and beverage at Moxy Hotel group, told the Financial Times. “[The crypto entrepreneurs] wanted to show that they didn’t have any limits.”

Vimercati recalled that the crypto boom of a year ago prompted a wave of predominantly young men awash in money to flaunt their newfound wealth in Miami.

“Out of the blue, all these kids from crypto started coming down and spending a lot of money — like, an insane amount of money,” he said.

“They were booking tables for $50,000, and it was like, ‘Who the hell are these people’?”

Vimercati described the crowd as “95% men, young…with a kind of nerdy style.”

“You couldn’t tell they had a lot of money if they were just walking around,” he said.

Gino LoPinto, operating partner at the Miami hotspot E11even, told FT that a group of crypto businessmen came into the club in June of last year to celebrate what they claimed was the successful sale of their company.

“50 Cent was performing, and their spend was more than a million dollars,” LoPinto told FT. “They paid in crypto.”

LoPinto added: “They had bathtubs of champagne brought out, and gave 50 Cent a bunch of cash to throw.”

In April of last year, E11even started accepting cryptocurrency payments. LoPinto said that the club processed $6 million worth of transactions between April and December of last year.

In the last three months, however, the club has taken in just $10,000.

LoPinto said that crypto entrepreneurs would brag about their wealth by showing each other their digital wallets.

“You wouldn’t normally show your bank account, but people do show their crypto wallets,” he said.

“I’ve seen more crypto wallets in a year than I’ve seen bank accounts in a lifetime.”

In the year since, the crypto partiers aren’t calling. Instead, they’re licking their wounds alongside an entire industry that has been rocked by the implosion of FTX, the exchange founded by the disgraced Sam Bankman-Fried.

FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month after it was learned that Bankman-Fried was using customer funds to place risky bets through sister firm Alameda Research.

The collapse of FTX was shocking given that the company, whose roster of celebrity endorsers included Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, Larry David, Steph Curry, and others, was at one point worth some $32 billion.

BlockFi, another crypto firm that was in talks to be acquired by FTX, filed for Chapter 11 in federal bankruptcy court in New Jersey on Monday.

The news sent the value of the overwhelming majority of cryptocurrencies down. As of 11:19 a.m. Eastern time, bitcoin was down nearly 3% while ethereum was down more than 4.8%.

 

 

Why We Love A Violent Sridevi In Mom But Criticise A Violent Alia In Darlings

 

The silver screen is replete with depictions of male rage and men engaging in violence, but when women engage in violence, even when it is reactionary violence, it doesn’t sit right with us. We allow mothers (as portrayed in Sridevi’s Mom and Raveena Tandon’s Maatr) to avenge their daughters and resort to violence when all else fails, but when the abuser is an intimate partner, the rules appear to be different.

Depictions of female rage on screen garner mixed reactions. We root for protagonists and films we agree with like Mom or Maatr, but there are also films like Darlings which drew flak for its depictions of reactionary violence.

Which women are allowed to fight back?

This begs the question, which women on screen are allowed to fight back and why do we root for some of these characters while refusing to see where others come from?

 

Darlings was met with the unwarranted outrage that Mom and Maatr escaped because Darlings portrayed a wife resorting to reactionary violence against a long-abusive husband. Many dubbed the movie feminist propaganda (whatever that might be) and suggested that Alia Bhatt’s Badru and her on-screen husband Hamza were engaging in ‘mutual abuse’.

Mutual abuse is a misleading term because no such thing actually exists. Victims of abuse who engage in violence against their abuser are reacting to the abuse they are faced with, the nature of such violence is reactionary, not mutual. Both partners in such cases cannot be deemed mutually abusive or equally abusive, the abused partner is merely retaliating to the abuse they are being subjected to by the abusive partner. The abusive partner, who initiated the abuse, is the primary aggressor with power dynamics in their favour. The response to such abuse, even when it is violent, doesn’t make a relationship mutually abusive.

It isn’t just depictions of retaliatory female violence against intimate partners which audiences seem to take issue with, it’s female characters taking a stand against intimate partner abuse that seems to cause outrage. Taapsee Pannu’s 2020 release, Thappad, depicted no reactionary violence, just a character who decides to leave her husband after he hits her. And even Thappad garnered outrage and was accused of normalizing a line of thought that is harmful to the Indian family unit.

While the 2022 release, Ammu, wasn’t met with similar outrage, the film, however, didn’t do well at the box office. It’s also worth noting that Ammu doesn’t depict any reactionary violence, but it does portray the titular character taking a stand against her abusive husband.  But films like Ammu are the exception, not the norm.

We cheer men who fight for a woman or women who fight for ‘honour’

Alternatively, Pink fared better than Thappad and Ammu because Pink sees a man (Amitabh Bachchan as a lawyer) defend a woman. Although, Pink too was dubbed feminist propaganda by many online. But we cheer on men who fight for women, but when women take charge, we object to it.

What’s ironic is that off-screen we expect women to fight back against abuse and question the truth of their abuse allegations if they don’t. We blame domestic violence survivors for staying in their abusive marriages for as long as they did, completely missing the socio-economic and cultural contexts of their decisions. We question the truthfulness of sexual violence allegations if a victim can’t prove they fought back, In reality, we expect women to fight back and take a stand, but when women do so on screen, it isn’t palatable to our sensibilities if it doesn’t align exactly with our narrow idea of what taking a stand and fighting back should look like for a woman.

Darlings was met with flak that other movies of similar nature weren’t because we expect wives to endure abuse and even if they fight back, we expect it to be in limited ways, and without the involvement of any reactionary abuse. Mothers fighting back for their child, on the other hand, are glorified because it is seen as a mother’s duty to so. And men fighting for women on-screen are heralded because for men to do the right thing is still considered applause-worthy.

The 90s and 2000s were full of the trope of the man avenging someone he loves and being heralded as a hero. Films like Damini and Garv are depictions of this trope. But a majority of these films used violence against women as a plot device to further the story of the male characters. Also, these male characters often resorted to violence not for the sake of the woman but for the sake of family honour or their pride.

It’s time we stop expecting women to be silent witnesses to their dehumanization. Films like Ammu, Thappad, or Darlings are rare in the Indian film landscape, but the fact they exist is a step in the right direction. These films attempt to normalize the wife beyond the quiet, suffering wives of times past, they give their female characters autonomy, something that is long overdue in Indian films. Our patriarchal notion of the silent, complicit, helpless wife is challenged every time a woman on-screen decides to fight back against intimate partner abuse.

Art is a powerful medium and films have the ability to normalize things, perhaps this is why we are so outraged by women who refuse to stay silent or refuse to take the high ground. We are threatened when women on-screen take back their agency because it indicates at the possibility that women might do so off-screen as well.

 

Dillian Whyte Thinks Joshua Might Be Scared Off If He Stops Franklin In 2 Rounds

Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) isn’t banking on a fight with Joshua happening next if he’s victorious against the unbeaten Franklin (21-0, 14 KOs) in their headliner on DAZN.

With the way Whyte is slurring his words, it’s not likely that he’s going to score a fast knockout of Franklin. Dillian might win, but it probably won’t be by a first or second round knockout over his hand-picked opponent.

If Whyte wins, he says he’ll look to take the best possible opponent, be it Joshua, Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, or Deontay Wilder.

It’s unlikely Whyte will get a world title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Fury or IBF, WBA & WBO champ Usyk off the back of a victory over the little-known Franklin because he’s not ranked high enough, and he’s not viewed as one of the top contenders.

Franklin is being brought in to give Whyte a tune-up/confidence builder after his knockout loss to Fury.

For Dillian to get a title shot against Fury or Usyk, he would need to beat one of the elite contenders, and he’s chosen not to fight one of the more dangerous guys in the division.

If Franklin wins, Whyte’s career will be as good as over. Yeah, he can stick around and slip into the Derek Chisora type of journeyman roll and maybe get a sympathy fight against Fury, but he won’t get a title shot against a champion if he’s forced to earn it by beating a top contender.

“I just didn’t perform up to my ability, and that was one of those nights for me,” said Dillian Whyte to iFL TV about his loss to WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury last April.

“He’s undefeated, he’s got a bit of a ranking, and he’s the one that was talking the most s**t,” said Whyte when asked why he chose Jermaine Franklin rather than another contender to fight.

“None of those other guys were willing to step up, and he stepped up. It’s a credit to him. I respect him for doing that, and he’s dangerous. he’s an undefeated heavyweight. He’s very dangerous, and he believes he can beat me.

“I don’t know if he genuinely believes it, but he’s saying it, and his coach [Jesse Addison] is saying that they’re going to kill me and destroy me. I don’t know. He was saying some wild stuff.

“I had to smack one of his guys. He [Franklin] wasn’t saying s**t, but his guys were doing a lot of talking. Dmitry [Salita] and Jesse bozo [Addison], whatever his name is. He was talking s**t, but Jesse was too far. So I smacked the closest one to me, which was [the promoter] Dmitry.

“But Jermain Franklin is a punk. He didn’t do s**t. If I was with Eddie [Hearn] and someone smacked him, I’m talking about a guy that I was fighting; I would defend him. I would back him.

“He was talking s**t. I smacked him,” said Whyte when he was asked if he hit him first. “I slapped him. I didn’t push him. I slapped him [Salita], and his little hat [Kippah] went flying. I felt bad because I didn’t want to disrespect his religion and his little hat went flying.

“These guys have to remember that I’m cool; I’m relaxed. I treat everyone with love and respect, and prosperity. I don’t mind. If you have something to say, say it to my face. Don’t hide it in the background.

“I said, ‘Shut the f**k up, man,’ and I smacked the s**t out of him. He got smacked like my b**ch. His cheeks felt like someone’s a** cheeks. His cheeks made a sound. He deserved it because he’s been talking s**t since Wallin. He was always talking s**t.

“Do you know what he said to me yesterday? He came up to me randomly. I don’t even know the guy. He said, ‘Do you know I am? Do you know what my name is?’ I said, ‘Get the f**k out of here. I don’t know who you are, mother f***er.’

“I really didn’t know who he was. I said, ‘Get the f**k out of here. I don’t know who you are b**ch a**,’ and he said, ‘I’m Dmitry Salita.’ I said, ‘Why are you telling me? Have a nice day,’ and then I walked off.

“So I think he got a little offended from that because I didn’t know who he was. He just looked kind of like a Jewish guy to me. I thought it was a rich Jewish guy that came to give me some money.

“He said, ‘I’m Dmitry Salita,’ and I said, ‘Get the f**k out of here.’ Dmitry Salita is an a**hole. When the Otto Wallin fight got made, he went and bought a brand new Bentley.

“Then the money didn’t come in, and he was p**ssed. Seriously, he went and bought a brand-new Bentley, and the money didn’t come in. He’s thinking, ‘F**k Dillian Whyte.’

“I was like, ‘Bro, relax. I got injured. What am I going to do? Go into the fight with an injury?’ These guys are wild. Before the Wallin fight, me and Fury was never going to happen.

“The Fury fight was a quick turn around. It came out of nowhere, literally. I had to start training quick. The Fury fight came out of nowhere. I get paid to fight. Why am I going to turn down a fight when I get more money,” said Whyte when told that the perception is that he wasn’t injured when he pulled out of the Otto Wallin fight to take a fight with Fury instead.

“Then I got time to fight, rest and then go again. All these guys just talk s**t. I just learn to ignore it. I’ve learned to focus on one fight at a time,”  said Whyte when asked about him potentially getting a fight against Anthony Joshua next.

“This is heavyweight boxing. I might beat Franklin, and the Joshua fight won’t be until six months off. I’m not going to wait around for that. Joshua might have an easier option for a comeback fight.

“I might knock Franklin out in the first two rounds, and Joshua might think, ‘I don’t fancy that. I might need a warm-up fight first.’ Not everyone has the same mindset. I’ll fight anyone. I put a risk every time,” said Whyte

If it were true that Whyte would fight “anyone,” as he says, he could have picked a much better fighter than Franklin. This is a guy that Whyte has hand-picked because he believes he can beat him. Whyte could have selected someone like Frank Sanchez, Daniel Dubois, Filip Hrgovic, or Joe Joyce, but he wanted Franklin. Do you get the picture?

“I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about Franklin, and then we’ll see what happens after that. What I’ve learned is don’t bank on what’s promised. Bank on what you sign, what you negotiate, and what you get.

“Anyone in the top 10. I want to fight the best guys, and that’s it. If it’s Joshua, it’s Joshua. If it’s Wilder, it’s Wilder. If it’s Fury, it’s Fury. If it’s Usyk, it’s Usyk.

“Eddie Hearn never delivered me Wilder until this day. I don’t think he’s going to deliver him anytime soon because he’s never delivered him until this day. So I don’t think he’s going to deliver him anytime soon.

“Good business for them, bad business for me,” said Dillian about his loss to Tyson. “No regrets. I had my moments in the fight. Look at the scorecards. I had my moments in the fight. It was always going to be a hard fight. I still believe I can beat him when I have a chance for a rematch.

“I got hit with a good punch. He pushed me over as well, and I twisted my ankle. I snapped two tendons in my foot. I can still fight for a heavyweight title.

“On Saturday night, it’s another chapter in my career. I’m someone that’s eager to learn, willing to learn,” said Whyte.

 

Getting Creative With Advice

Tips to consider while choosing a truck shipping company

A shipping company will help you haul your shipment still in good shape. Some tips to consider while choosing a truck shipping company include;

The consistency of the truck shipping company truck shipping company is one factor to consider. A consistent truck shipping company is one that is steady and firm to the work they do in terms of quality, efficiency and affordability. A truck shipping company that is consistent will remain tho providing the best even with the changing and growing generation but at the same time incorporate most of the growing technologies that are available and would be useful in their truck shipping company. Choose a consistent truck shipping company as they are always there to ensure that you receive the best services and the ones that are best suited for your needs and pocket.

An experienced truck shipping company is also another aspect to put into consideration. You are guaranteed of getting desirable and excellent services from a truck shipping company that has experience in that field of business. They are fully aware and well equipped with the knowledge of their clients preferences and how their clients needs are changing from one generation to the next. A truck shipping company with experience will even be in a position to advice you on the right products and services to choose from that will be best suited for needs and the ones that will automatically be a waste of time and money. They are also in a capacity to give you references to other companies if they may feel they are not going to give you the kind of services you are looking for.

Consider the certification of the truck shipping company and it’s legality. Always ensure that the business and the truck shipping company are legal entities and that they are licensed to run their operations. A show of a legal documentation and a license that is up to date is one of the ways you can tell whether the truck shipping company you decide to work with is legal or not. Most companies are just a hide away for criminals and thugs who are out to rob clients off their money without them being caught easily. It is therefore important to have that assurance that the truck shipping company you are working with is certified and that the government is aware of their existence in that area. Avoid going for newly opened companies as they can not be fully trusted by the public and since no one has enough information about them.

It would be wise to choose a truck shipping company that has a great system for customers service. If you go in a place where everyone is kind and nice starting from the reception area all the way to the boss, the you will automatically feel the need to go back at any given time when need be. It is therefore advisable to choose a truck shipping company that carries their clients with the highest regards and one that will not hesitate to give you the kind of customer services you actually deserved and paid for. There are people who are generally rude and will make every effort to ruin your mood and day especially for no reason at all. Go for a truck shipping company with employees who are well aware of how totalk to clients.