William Kryjak on the NBA 2K economy. Matt Wille on Shania Twain’s experiments in genre.
Bought in 2k
Some people made real money during quarantine from r/wallstreetbets and NFTs. I made fake money buying and selling virtual trading cards in NBA 2K. The NBA 2K franchise is known for its realistic graphics and for being the only game that approximates the feel of NBA basketball. The MyTEAM game mode lets players build fantasy rosters with virtual trading cards to compete against the computer or other players online.
There were plenty of late nights, staying up until 2 or 3 a.m. when prices were low, then selling for a bleary-eyed profit the next afternoon. Some people like to snipe — to look for mis-priced players and resell for a windfall. I prefer high volume/low margin; It's more work, but more reliable. But this is not a success story. Even a "Dark Matter" Kevin Garnett can't make up for the anxiety that comes after sleeping through a 9 a.m. meeting. — By William Kryjak
The Bollywood in Me
Shania Twain's fourth studio album Up! was a commercial success in the U.S., debuting at #1 upon its 2002 release. The album came packaged with two discs: a red disc with poppier versions of each song and a green disc with country versions. But a third version was recorded, too — a blue disc with each song done up in the style of Indian film music (aka filmi). That version was only distributed in overseas markets; the U.S. never got to experience its charms. The blue version of Up! is on Spotify, though, and I can't stop listening to it.
Listen straight through to catch the blue disc’s uncanny, hypnotic cohesion. Twain’s signature poppy twang is transformed into experimental magic. I’m left, with each listen, wishing more new music were released with such full, multiple lives. Thank you, oh mighty Internet, for bringing Shania’s Filmi explorations to the masses. — By Matt Wille