‘Us’ Broke a Lot of Box Office Records

Look, we get it. If you saw the news at all over the weekend, you probably saw something about Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally turning over the findings of his 675-day Russia investigation. Entertainment news likely fell by the wayside. But that’s why The Monitor is here: To fulfill your pop culture cravings. So, what’d you miss? Well, writer-director Jordan Peele’s Us did very well for itself. Also, one of the Jonas Brothers knows how Game of Thrones ends. Oh, and Pose just made one of the most predictable casting calls of all time. Let’s get it going.

Don’t Call It Shocking: Us Just Broke Major Box Office Records

Everyone knew that Jordan Peele’s Get Out follow-up Us would be big—but it turns out it’s major. Over the weekend the film garnered the second-biggest opening so far this year after Captain Marvel, pulling [...]  read more

Devin Nunes’ Twitter Lawsuit Tops This Week’s Internet News Roundup

Good day, readers! Ready to dive into what happened online last week? It was a doozy, and not just because New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Hillary Clinton dunked on Jared Kushner and his use of WhatsApp for government business. Outside of Washington, it was a week where New Zealand managed to do what the United States has not and moved to ban assault weapons just days after a mass shooting. It was also a week where Disney finalized its purchase of huge chunks of 21st Century Fox, bringing the first of potentially many layoffs. Oh, and as with many weeks prior, nearly everyone wondered where Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report was. (They finally got their answer late Friday.) You’re not alone if you’re thinking that’s already a lot. But there was so much more. Let’s get started.

Devin Nunes Has a Cow. Well, Sorta

What Happened: Last week saw the return of a political figure who is beloved by some, and very much not beloved by others. Ladies and [...]  read more

How Do You Pronounce Buttigieg? The Internet Counts the Ways

The trick to pronouncing presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg’s last name is to keep your lips almost totally puckered through all three syllables. At least, that’s the only way I’m able to do it. If I can get my lips halfway between a pout and a whistle, and say it in one quick exhale, I can get it. Bood-eh-jedge, bood-eh-jedge, bood-eh-jedge.

I learned this a few days ago from watching video after YouTube video of Buttigieg saying his own name. Until then, whenever I’d read the name Buttigieg—which wasn’t that often, until very recently—I’d read over the weird spelling, make the sound “boojig” in my mind, and move on. I was sure I’d never say the name aloud, and let’s be real, who has time to learn new things anyway.

Then, starting in early March, Buttigieg started popping up everywhere. A trickle of weird and unforgettable facts began seeping into the news cycle, each one more [...]  read more

Review: ‘Us’ Is About Ascending From Your Own Personal Hell

The prowess of a Jordan Peele film reveals itself in the dive. With Get Out—his Oscar-winning 2017 social thriller about brain-swapping white liberals and their obsession with black bodies—Peele explored what it meant to descend into, and ultimately be trapped by, the dark vista of the mind. What unfurled was a cerebral madhouse of tangled racial horrors. It felt true. Especially true if, like Daniel Kaluuya’s character Chris Washington, you are forced to live in the world merely as a consequence to mischievous white purveyors. Peele is likewise consumed by the crescendo, the ascent. He is just as eager to detail the rise from psychological or physical terror to a place of safety. What the writer-director-producer ultimately privileged in Get Out—was it the fall or the climb?—is much harder to parse; the project lends itself to a dense canniness.

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‘Return of the Obra Dinn’ Is the Best Indie Game Around

It’s Friday, which means it’s once again time for Replay, WIRED’s look at the world of gaming. Since nearly everyone involved in the videogame industry spent the week at the Game Developers Conference discussing the future and reflecting on the past, a lot of news came out of that annual gathering. But a lot of news came from elsewhere, too. “What news?” you ask? Well, there are awards, a new title to look forward to, and an old conflict finally (almost) coming to an end. Let’s go.

The IGF Awards Showcase the Best in Indie Gaming

Earlier this week at the Game Developers Conference, the Independent Gaming Festival held its yearly awards ceremony, honoring the best and most exciting works in the indie gaming sphere. As always, a slew of titles got recognized, but there was one that was clearly the biggest winner: Return of the Obra Dinn, the [...]  read more

Markiplier Is Not Done With YouTube

On YouTube, the mononymous Markiplier is a screaming, swearing, videogame-playing sensation. His loud, zany presence has earned him 23 million followers and, by Forbes’ estimate, over $17 million in the last year. Offline and in our studio, though, Mark Edward Fischbach is deadpan, soft-spoken, and even a little serious.

Fischbach has been on YouTube since 2012, an eternity in social media celebrity years. He’s had his channel banned by a rogue algorithm. He’s watched his silly sketches become memes. He’s dealt with YouTube creators’ most pressing problem—burnout. “I’d been making two videos a day, everyday, without vacation,” Fischbach tells us. “It was getting to me that I was making videos I wasn’t really proud of, that I wasn’t using them to really learn anything.” Now, he’s ready for that rare luxury in influencerland: time off.

Still, he assures us, he’s far from done with the platform. “It may not be the best place to make a living, especially right away,” Fischbach says. “But it is a great place to get your thoughts and ideas out there.” For more about making it on YouTube—along with some fun facts about twerking and trypophobia—watch our WIRED Autocomplete video above.

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Oculus Rift S VR Headset: Price, Specs, Release Date

Two years and 357 days ago, the current age of virtual reality began in earnest. That was the day—March 28, 2016—that the Oculus Rift headset became available. And sure, yes, people had been waiting for it since 2012, and everything from the Google Cardboard to the Samsung Gear VR had already come out, but the Rift was the first headset to deliver on a now-mandatory threshold for VR.

While it was a necessity, it was also a stopgap. It was expensive ($599 at the time), required a high-powered PC to run it (another $1,000 or more), lacked hand controllers (the Oculus Touch would come out later that year), and delivered immersion at the price of external sensors that needed to be set up just so around the room. So two years and 357 days ago, people started asking when the Rift’s next iteration would arrive to solve these problems.

The answer is now. Kinda.

This morning, Oculus officially announced the Rift S, a headset arriving this spring that represents a sizable [...]  read more

With Google Stadia, Gaming Dreams Head For the Cloud

Last October, Google gave away one of the biggest videogames of the year, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. You didn’t have to specify which game console you wanted to play it on, or even whether you preferred PC to console. Format didn’t matter at all, because the game you were playing was stored on Google’s massive cloud-server infrastructure. The limited time offer was a wide scale beta test for something called Project Stream—Google’s bet that the next generation of gaming would leave consoles behind and bring people games wherever they were, thanks to the power of the cloud.

The bet seems to have paid off. This morning at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Google announced that Project Stream had evolved into something even more ambitious.

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p class=”paywall”>Stadia, as the company calls it, is the official name [...]  read more

The Internet Made Dumbledore Gay

Just imagine the fanfiction now. It’s the kind of thing people write on social media after a tense scene between two heavily “shipped” characters, or when fan-favorite actors get cozy off set. It’s also what Potterverse creator J.K. Rowling said to a shocked Carnegie Hall in 2007, moments after she revealed that she’d “always thought of” Albus Dumbledore, high wizard of Hogwarts, as gay. Slashfic indeed followed.

Emma Grey Ellis covers memes, trolls, and other elements of Internet culture for WIRED.

That day, Rowling’s announcement was mostly met with applause. These days, Rowling’s social-justice-flavored extratextual canonical embellishments—not only about Dumbledore’s sexuality, which she elaborated on over the weekend, but also about  [...]  read more

Star Wars News: Here’s What One Dude Has Seen of ‘Episode IX’

You’re not alone if you’re thinking that the Star Wars franchise is seeming just a little bit … more compressed lately. The animated series Star Wars Resistance just brought its first season to an end by stepping into the shadow (and runtime) of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and in doing so left only the comics and books to remind fans there’s a universe beyond the movies. Or, well, that’s the case until Lucasfilm reveals more about the Disney+ shows. For now, though, let’s get lost in what’s going on in the run up to the next big Star Wars flick.

A Least One Person Has Seen (Some of) Episode IX

The Source: One lucky Disney shareholder

Probability of Accuracy: It’s probably very accurate, if infuriatingly vague.

The Real Deal: While the rest of the world is impatiently awaiting a chance to see some footage from Star Wars: Episode IX, Disney shareholders have been enjoying the benefits of their investments with an early look at the movie. What did they [...]  read more