Friday Lunch Bites #11

China imposes bans on gamers under 18, Facebook gets rebranded and James Dean’s ghoulish return to the big screen draws criticism

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 08.11.2019

Friday Lunch Bites #11 thumbnail

James Dean ‘returns’ in new starring role  

James Dean is to return to the silver screen 65 years after he died thanks to the ‘magic’ of CGI. Cutting-edge technology will ghoulishly be used to cast Dean as the central character in a Finding Jack, a movie based on the book of the same name about a suicidal soldier who finds a reason to live in a stray dog.

Critics and actors, including Avengers star Chris Evans, raised concerns over the ‘return’ of the long-dead superstar, who tragically died in a car crash in 1995 at the age of just 24.

“This is awful”, tweeted Evans. “Maybe we can get a computer to paint us a new Picasso. Or write a couple new John Lennon tunes.”

Zelda Williams, whose father Robin Williams passed away in 2014, said the use of technology to reanimate the dead “sets and awful precedence for the future of performance”.

China imposes bans on gamers under 18 

The movie’s co-director Anton Enrst told The Hollywood Reporter he and the team “never intended for this to be a marketing gimmick” and pointed to de-aging technology used in Scorsese’s new mob flick The Irishman, and the use of technology to bring Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing to life in the latest Star Wars trilogy. Those airing grievances remain unconvinced.

China has imposed strict limits on the amount of time children can play video games in an attempt to address what it sees as a nationwide mental health problem.

Video game players under the age of 18 will be restricted to 90 minutes per day and are banned from playing after 10pm at night and before 8am in the morning. The rules are, however, relaxed at the weekends and during public holidays, doubling the amount of time kids can play on their mobiles, PCs and consoles.

Strict rules on the amount under-18s can spend on in-game goods and microtransactions will also be imposed, with gamers under 16 limited to 200 yuan (around £22) a month, and 17 and 18-year-olds able to spend double that.

The new code of conduct has been brought in to protect the “physical and mental health of minors”, a spokesperson for the Chinese government told a state-run agency. Researchers in the country have also blamed a slew of widespread health issues on gaming, including bisual issues and overall lower physical well-being.


Facebook gets a face lift 

Facebook, under fire from all angles for inconsistent advertising rules, the launch of a controversial new cryptocurrency, and fears over the influence its content-serving algorithm holds over users, this week unveiled a new lick of paint.

The social media giant rebranded from Facebook to FACEBOOK – distinct from its central app – capitalising its brand name and opting for a new sanserif typeface with subtly rounded corners. 

The visual overhaul will also see Facebook branding more prominently associated with Instagram and Whatsapp, the other two major social platforms it owns – and which are largely unassociated with the company’s larger political and sociological stains. 

Forbidden Planet opens biggest pop-culture emporium in UK

UK retailer Forbidden Planet International will this weekend open one of the largest pop culture emporiums in Europe.

Moving from its home in Glasgow after 30 years, the store will now be located in a three-storey property around seven times the size – and, on its Facebook page, promises "seven times the fun".

It will be the biggest comic shop in the UK and one of the largest and most comprehensive stores in Europe offering licensed toys, collectables and pop culture ephemera from comics, sci-fi, fantasy, movies and more. Funko is supporting the launch and features a giant Funko Pop Chewbacca statue in the entryway.

Take a trip down memory lane via Argos

Part of Argos’ Christmas campaign, argosbookofdreams.co.uk is a fun trip down memory lane for UK shoppers. The online archive of every edition of the retailer’s famous catalogue stretches back to the mid-70s.

Flick back 30 years to 1989 when engraved cigarette lighters were de rigeur and commanded their own page. Or step back in time further still to 1987 for what looks like a Garfield annual, such is the comic cat’s dominance in everything from clocks and phones to drinking glasses and even a stylish ceramic lamp. Plus ca change.


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