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THE

V AUGHAN I DENTITY F E BRUARY — MARCH 2 0 1 5 I SS U E F I V E

of

MICE and

MEN

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


THE

V AUGHAN I DENTITY F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 5

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION 3 EDITORIAL REPORTAGE 4-6 TOM McGRATH - OUR DEAR LEADERS SAM LEAHY - AN ALTERNATE HISTORY HUGO ALLAIN - TfL THE CRITICS: CULTURE & ARTS 7-9 JOSEPH STEWART - A NOTE ON ALLEN GINSBERG BEPPE LORENZO - “THE INTERVIEW” BEDE JOLY - “COFFEE AND CIGARETTES” THE CRITICS: ON THE SCREEN(S) 10-12 TOM COUFFON - KINGSMAN: SECRET SERVICE JEAN FRANCO - “HOUSE OF CARDS” JOSEPH MELLY - BETTER CALL SAUL THE CRITICS: GAMES 13-15 HENRY MATTAR - TRANSISTOR GEORGE WHEAR - IS eSPORTS VIABLE? FRANKIE DE SOUZA - WHY C.o.D IS A PITTANCE TECH TALK 16-17 MARK SIMONS - VIRTUAL REALITY SPORT 19 ROWAN CALDWELL - ENGLAND CRICKET TEAM FEBRUARY BIOGRAPHIES 19 FEBRUARY BIRTHS AND DEATHS COMIC 20-21 PETER STRZALEK-STANECKI - WORLD’S EGDE COVER DORY GHANEM (Issue 5 Creative Editor)

The Vaughan Identity : THE FINEST MAGAZINE YOUR FORM TUTOR WILL EVER GIVE YOU. 2

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JEAN FRANCO 4SS is the co editor at The Vaughan Identity . Jean has contributed to “CVMS Today” and “The Vaughan Identity” since 2011. 11francoje@cvms.co.uk JACK FRANCO 4NC is the co editor of the newspaper. Jack has been writing for Lower School newspapers as the Politics writer for 3 years. 11francoja@cvms.co.uk TOM McGRATH 4NC is a sub editor at the Lower School newspaper. Having joined this year, he is now a mainstay feature as The Vaughan Identity’s politics writer. GEORGE WHEAR 4NC is a sub editor. A specialist in independent articles and sport, he too is a regular writer this year. FILIPPO GALDIOLO 4NC is the Chief Technology writer. He has often written about upcoming new technologies, from cars to drones. JOSEPH STEWART 4SS is the Politics correspondent for the newspaper. Joe has also previously contributed as a sub editor. BEDE JOLY 4SS is a sub editor. Bede is also the main Culture & Arts correspondent for The Vaughan Identity. SAM LEAHY 4NC is the cover artist for The Vaughan Identity. He started in the September 2014 Issue, designing the Scottish Referendum front page.

With special thanks to Joseph Lorenzo, Tom Couffon, Joseph Melly, Henry Mattar, Mark Simons, Frankie de Souza, Rowan Caldwell, and Dory Ghanem. TheVaughanIdentityOfficial@gmail.com

Send all submissions to the above email. Word Limit: 700 words.

EDITORIAL

cally speaking, should be more important than a ‘mentally deficient’ **DISCLAIMER** rugby player breaking his knee) THIS IS NOT “THE MET- and your ever-so exciting school RO” AND NEITHER IS IT lives. As a result we’ve commissioned a A SPORTS REVIEW. DO higher amount of culture and arts NOT EXPECT THE based articles, just so that this ABOVE. doesn't become a staple read for For a change, we’ve decided to ECO-CLUB bin men. dedicate this issue more to culture So, what’s in the latest issue of and arts, meaning that now we have more reviews and commen- TVI? To begin, we’ve got an overtary. However, this doesn't mean view of the coming general elecwe’ll stop being a bridge between tion, soon followed by a diatribe international affairs (which logi- on the TfL: delivered actually ON TIME without delays. Next, our 3

review section has really gone to town for this issue; we have eight reviews ranging from indie game ‘Transistor’, to tech new-comers VR and AR. On the last page, we have included a few short biographies of some greats born in February, including Rosa Parks, at the painful expense of Harry Styles. Well, we hope you enjoy this issue, and please, if you have any problems with it, tell US and don't give it back to the teacher (*cough* 3SO *cough*).

- JEAN & JACK FRANCO FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


In the ‘Unreichly’ Situation... SAM LEAHY The 70th anniversary of the Second World War is coming up, so I decided to recreate (in more of a discourse than an article) an alternate history scenario in which the Nazis won the war. Many military strategists will argue that if Hitler hadn’t fought his racial war and allowed the German generals to fight unimpeded, the world would be a very different place. Most historians agree that the turning point of World War Two was the Battle of Britain (1940). Before commencing Operation “Sea Lion” (the invasion of Britain), Hitler had to remove the threat from the RAF. It was the decisive British decision to bomb Berlin that prompted Hitler to switch from bombing airfields to razing London to the ground. Now suppose that order from the Fuhrer was never given; the RAF would have eventually been outnumbered, and Hitler could have begun a long, high casualty campaign that would end in victory for the Germans. What would Britain be like under Nazi rule? Hitler typically and ironically had his eyes on Blenheim Palace (Sir Winston Churchill’s Ancestral Home) as the nerve centre for the German Occupation. The SS would establish the New Nazi Order by arresting 2820 people, in a list known as “The Black Book”. 300,000 British Jews were to be killed and the ‘able bodied male population between the ages of 17 and 45… [were to] be interned and dispatched to the continent’ to be used for slave labour. And worst of all, Nelson’s Column would have been moved to Berlin! The German forces would have eventually occupied the whole of the British Isles (including Ireland – to control all the Atlantic ports). The Royal Navy – or what was left of it - would have retreated to Canada. So by, say, the spring of 1941, The Nazis would rule over the whole of Europe – except for Sweden and Switzerland (Spain and some Italians – despite Partisan Dominance would certainly join up with their fellow fascists). Gibraltar, Egypt, Malta and the vital Suez Canal would have fallen sometime in 1941. The Germans would have gone ahead 4 with the planned invasion of

Russia (Summer 1941) – but, crucially, a month earlier because there would have been no distracting Operation “Barbarossa” for the battle for Greece and Crete. There would be an opportunity now for the Germans to strike through Persia. Japan might have brought forward the attack on Pearl Harbour because there would be a lack of British opposition in the Pacific. Japan could have joined up with German forces in the Middle East, near Sri Lanka, where the allied naval base was – Churchill described the risk of it being destroyed as the “most dangerous moment”. Because of the earlier start of the invasion of Russia, the German Army would have reached Moscow before the onset of the dreaded Russian winter – and so captured the city. The Russians would not have dared (as they did in the actual war) move their strong forces in Siberia to Moscow – because of the threat of an invasion by the Japanese from Manchuria (in the “real war” this was beyond Japan at the time). Following this scenario, the Nazis would have had access to all of Britain’s colonies - especially the oilfields in Africa and the Middle East, meaning they no longer would have had to rely on Russia’s cheap oil. (Not to mention the technology stolen and there being nobody to stop the Nazi’s Heavy Water Nuclear Program.) Furthermore, these territories (Africa and the Middle East) would open a third front to fight the Nazis. Assuming the Japanese do not attack Pearl Harbour, they too could open a fourth front. With the Russians surrounded by offensives from Iran, Poland and Japan, it is likely that Stalin’s ‘government’ would have had to relocate to Siberia. As discussed earlier, the Nazis would test the first atomic bomb, with the Americans following. This mutually assured destruction would essentially cause the Cold War to happen between Germany and The U.S.A. The Germans would use their V1 rocket technology to be the first in space. We can be sure that the Nazis would use new technology to form a big brother police state. This technology could also expose the Final Solution, potentially causing distrust among the population,

although this would have no effect, as the German Empire would have no room for uprising - precisely like Orwell’s “1984”. Another scenario is if Hitler had mass produced the first Jet Powered aircraft the Messerschmitt - for use in the D-Day Landings, to easily remove the air protection of the invaders before destroying the invading land forces. Having delayed any further attacks, the Nazis would join the nuclear arms race; their ruthlessness would mean the Atomic Warhead “V2” (perhaps placed on a Toad Platform by a U-Boat) would destroy targets New York City and Boston. Unless the Russians had a successful victory in Finland, proving to the Germans that they were able to defend themselves, the Nazis would have almost complete control of western, central and eastern Europe. The Third Reich’s downfall would have been triggered by the death of Hitler. A civil war could ensue, as Herman Goering (Hitler’s named successor) would take power – who might now ‘find out’ about the final solution (Goering claimed not to know about them in the Nuremberg Trials) – only to be deposed by Heinrich Himmler and his loyal SS - creating a similar situation as in 1934 with the Sturm Abteilung (SA) and the German Armed Forces. The Wehrmacht, a coup d'état to reinstate a by-then morphine-addicted Goering, until an eventual and most probable democratic election – forced by continued uprisings, due to discontent with weak leadership following Hitler's death - would take place. If Goering were elected he might conceivably have stopped slave labour, causing Germany’s economy to be unable to compete with the USA (although he likely would not have!). And the worst legacy that we would have been left with is that no one would have coined the phrase: “never invade Russia”.

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


Who will be the Unloser? Our Dear Leaders explained TOM McGRATH Unfortunately for you, the voting age isn’t going to be lowered to fifteen or below any time soon. But if it were, who would you be voting for this May? Just take a look some of the fine specimens you could choose from:

David Cameron - Incumbent - Conservative Dave is smooth and silky, and a perfect statesman for Britain. Despite going to Eton and being worth millions of pounds, Dave knows exactly what it’s like being you. That’s why he’s slowly but surely selling off the NHS, relaxing tax on the rich and generally cutting back on the police, civil service and anything that might benefit you in your life. But it’s OK, because we’re all in this together, right?

Nigel Farage – UKIP This beer-drinking nice guy has, as you’ve probably heard, become scarily popular in the last year or so. His anti-Europe policy and striking speeches in the EU Parliament have won him support among those looking for something to blame the county’s problems on. He’s certainly competent, but the almost routine explosions of racism in the party he leads create serious question marks over where his political motives actually lie. The other parties are afraid of him; should we be too?

Nick Clegg – Lib Dems Nick has been Cameron’s poodle for the last four years, after a good showing for the Lib Dems in the 2010 elections. Sadly, this wasn’t to last and, partly due to their hilarious U-turn on tuition fees, the Lib Dems have since lost all credibility. Nick was recently saying how he wouldn’t mind a coalition with either Labour or the Conservatives i.e. he has no backbone whatsoever. Rather than putting pressure on the bigger parties, the Lib Dems are just making up the numbers. Ed Miliband - Labour “Ed Miliband looks like a schoolboy who’s had his satchel thrown on the roof” – Charlie Brooker. By sticking with Ed, Labour is throwing away what should be a fairly comfortable election win. Since Blair was pushed, Labour has suffered from intensely poor leadership and, while Ed’s heart is in the right place, he has the charisma of a plastic spoon and the appearance of someone from Microsoft’s ‘I’m a PC’ advert. He’s as far from a statesman as is humanly possible and, if he were to become PM, would be savaged by quite literally everyone.

So there’s your choice, and what a choice it is! Remember: no one actually wins in politics, so who would you vote for to be your Unloser?

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Would you use TfL? HUGO ALLAIN

Being Londoners, you will all have had some experience with the London Transport system at some point in your life; most of you will utilise it regularly in order to travel to school — unless you have the privilege of living close enough to school that you can walk, or that of having a parent who droves you. If you travel the system on a regular basis then its blatantly obvious flaws will have made themselves manifest to you. From the contempt with which some of its members treat the paying public, to the tardiness of its vehicles, to the ever-ramping prices, Transport for London needs to get its act together quickly to stop the service going to the dogs.

ticeably absent. There is a mind-set that they must get into wherein they feel they can address us all like naughty schoolchildren, as if we are being wilfully disobedient. One cannot help wondering why we are being addressed as such. This is a paid service; have we dug out of our coffers to be disregarded and yelled at? On the subject of pay, fares have constantly being increasing on London Transport, with the latest rise up 2.5%. On its own, it seems little, but when you consider that this is just the latest in their long line of fare hikes, and that we can expect more coming our way in the not-too-distant future, it highlights the greedy money-grabbing underlying TFL. Sure, they have to pay for the refurbishment works, but with the amount of people using London Transport and paying their extortionate fees, you would assume they had already received far more than they needed.

Buses, tubes, and many other branches of Transport for London are constantly running late and making expectant passengers hang around on the platforms for ages. Transport delays are very frequent, and have caused frustrations for many, and incidents of individuals being late for school or work are often transport-related. I realise that they are undergoing works to improve the service, and there is the building of Crossrail to be taken into consideration, but it is incredibly frustrating. There are numerous incidences of far longer waits than necessary, causing huge overcrowding on platforms and in tube trains, especially close to the centre. Buses are particularly bad, often taking 15 to 20 minutes to arrive. During my experience of using London Transport, I have compiled a mental list of comi- Transport for London is based on a flawed ideology, which cally late buses, at the head of which is the C1, which is is why it works so badly. When the healthcare and schoolironic, because you hardly ever see one! ing industries were nationalised, they became free. Now, I am not necessarily suggesting that London Transport beReturning from school one day, I had an unpleasant experi- comes free, but a small drop in price would be a good start, ence with London Buses, whereby I was forced to wait over especially while refurbishments are causing huge delays. ten minutes for a 148 bus slated to arrive in two minutes. Yeah, no, dot-matrix board. The problem with these troublesome pieces of equipment is that they do not display the time until the bus will arrive, but the average time it ought to arrive, if traffic lights and other cars were non existent and buses were constantly reliable. As all of these contingencies are unequivocally not true, such apparatus will never display the right time, and will be particularly infuriating in such situations as the one I have just described. They are also flawed at a much deeper level, with displays not just displaying inaccurate but actually false information. I have seen instances where buses, for which I have been waiting for a long time, vanish from the face of the board. If you stop and listen closely to what many TFL guards are saying, you will notice an underlying contempt in their choice of words and tone, especially at busy times. There is often a lack of politeness, with ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ no6

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


CULTURAL POLEMICS

“Freedom” of Speech? Western propaganda film “The Interview” went too far, explains Joseph Lorenzo JOSEPH LORENZO

A tense battle between two completely opposite ideals has finally finished as ‘The Interview’, directed by Seth Rogen (who also stars in it) and Evan Goldberg, is aired here in Britain. The controversial run of events commenced back in June of last year with North Korea condemning the movie as an “act of terrorism and war”. They also threatened to destroy America and any other country that showed the movie.

I say this subject is getting out of control partly because of what happened in Paris just a few months ago. Again, even though I completely disagree with the actions of Islamic State, people are being killed because of some ignorant, immature and disrespectful posts. Whilst there are extremist groups and regimes out there like ISIS and North Korea, surely countries like Britain, France, Germany and America need to tone down their attitudes? These places are contradicting each other by increasing homeland security but then tempting these extremists to come out and do these terrible acts by showing this controversial propaganda.

This prompted Rogen and Goldberg to cut certain parts of - SPOILERS, although you could have probably guessed - Kim Jong Un’s death. However, the so-called “Democratic People’s Republic” of Korea responded by hacking Sony, the company who paid for the film. All this led to a bitter dispute, bringing President Obama into the debate. If you hadn’t already heard enough of the endless chronicle of controversy surrounding ‘The Interview’, the hacker group threatened America, again asking if they “remembered the 11th September 2001”. Quite ironic considering the hacker group was called “Guardians of Peace”. North Korea really do live up to their “Democratic” name.

The leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett, has spoken out in recent weeks saying that she would make it legal to be a member of ISIS. As mad as this may seem, it has some logic to it. She says that, as long as they don’t break the law, their membership should not be disallowed. So we come back to the freedom of speech issue again. If countries like America and France are allowed to mock these groups defending themselves through the means of Freedom of Speech, then logically you come to the conclusion that these people are able to practise their beliefs under the defence of Freedom of Speech as well.

As much as I completely disagree with the country whose Now all that’s done and you’re still with me, we can get previous leader was inspired by Adolf Hitler, this so down to reviewing the actual film!... Oh wait. called ‘Freedom of Speech’ issue seems to be getting out of control. Imagine what America and Britain would do if North Korea showed images of Barack Obama and David Cameron being blown up by a massive tank. There would be outrage. 7

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


CULTURE & ARTS

A note on Allen Ginsberg Joseph Stewart explains the life of Beat Movement icon Allen Ginsberg JOSEPH STEWART Allen Ginsberg was one of the “best minds of his generation”, the poster boy for the Beat Movement. Ginsberg was born in Newark, New Jersey on the 3rd June 1926, into a Jewish family, to Naomi and Louis Ginsberg. His mother, Naomi, suffered from a psychological illness that was never diagnosed (as seen in Ginsberg’s poem “Kaddish”). She was also a prominent member of the American Communist Party; Allen and his brother Eugene often attending the meetings alongside her. Her mental illness used to make her extremely paranoid, harbouring beliefs that the Government had wire-tapped her house (it was common that the Government would do this, under America’s communist ‘containment’ policy, started by Diplomat George Kennan); and that her husband’s mother was trying to kill her. One of Allen Ginsberg’s most famous and celebrated poems “Kaddish” chronicles his experiences with his mother, while growing up.

led to Ginsberg being put on trial, for the 1950s were a very conservative era. The Judge considered it to be ‘obscene’, even making it illegal for it to be sold. For me, “Howl” defines Beat poetry. Within it, Ginsberg challenges a wide range of taboo subjects during the 1950s era, and did not care for the opinion of the government; rather choosing to think independently about unjust (in his view) social norms. Within his lifetime, he won a range of literary prizes, including the National Arts Club Gold in 1979, as well as being inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and letters. His last prize was won in 1995, two years before his death, winning the Pulitzer Prize for his book “Cosmopolitan Greetings: Poems 19861992”. Sadly, aged 70, Ginsberg died of liver cancer on the 5th April 1997 - although his spirit will always live on in political activism and in poetry.

Ginsberg took part in a range of peaceful protests throughout his life, due to his opposition to products of the capitalist system. He played a key role in protests against Eisenhower’s (and then Kennedy’s) intervention in Vietnam, as well as the war on drugs. Ginsberg, throughout his lifetime, did not share the ultra— conservatism that was commonplace amongst Americans at the time. Ginsberg’s political activism extended also to broader social issues. Ginsberg in fact took part in the Stonewall riots in New York City during the 70s. During this period, Ginsberg wrote his well known Epic Poem “Howl” in protest. “Howl”, due to its explicit nature, 8

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


OLD, BUT GOLD

Coffee and Cigarettes Strange humour, black and white, coffee, and cigarettes. BEDE JOLY de LOTBINIERE Are you looking for a decently funny film to watch that you have probably never heard of before, but which still manages to have a vast number of cameos providing some true comedy gold? Well, look no further. I have provided you with one of the best in indie comedy: Coffee and Cigarettes. This is essentially a series of vignettes that all have coffee and cigarettes in common. The characters include the likes of Bill Murray, Iggy Pop (yes I did just say Iggy Pop, this film does include many music superstars - but they’re just not your ordinary Alex Turner or Taylor Swift-types), both of the “White Stripes”, Tom Waits and Cate Blanchett (playing herself and her slightly odd cousin) - as well as Steve Coogan and Alfred Molina in their own British twist to the ‘coffee and cigarettes’ theme (I’ll give you a clue: it’s not coffee). Overall, this film will give you a good laugh if you understand the jokes (mind you, they are a specific kind of humour) and an interesting perspective into the world of indie film, through the odd camera angles, and the fact it’s filmed in black and white to bring out the theme of the title. The director and writer is Jim Jarmusch, who is widely respected but is not famous with the youth of today (but is defi-

said that, if you have gotten this far into this article, it may be a good film for you. The main thing to keep in mind for this film is that there is no plot, no protagonist, no antagonist (although Coogan gives it a good go)

and no real beginning or end apart from them all (spoiler alert) finishing the cigarette and coffee that they started at the beginning of the film. So, quite literally, it is them sitting around talking - but because this mundane activity has been made so amusing and interesting, it deserves my seal of approval, at a film score of 8/10.

nitely on the list of people, like Wes Anderson, that Bill Murray will do films for at the drop of a hat). As it is written in decently sized sketches, if there is a segment that doesn’t really appeal to you, can skip forward. However, as I said, the humour may not be for you - the reader of this tiny school magazine. Having

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FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


THE FILM CRITICS

‘Sharp suits, posh accents and fancy gadgets’ “Kingsman: Secret Service” TOM COUFFON In today’s modern society, when the success of a spy Essentially this film is not to be taken seriously; please film is compared to the once great “James Bond” fran- do not expect a “Boyhood” experience or to leave the chise then you know that you are in for a treat. cinema with tears cascading from your eyes. Despite this, the film does have heart, with Harry Hart It has been a while since a ‘successful’ spy film has appeared on the silver screen nationwide. Although it is no Bourne or Bond thriller, I believe that Matthew Vaughn’s (“Kickass”, “X-men: First Class”) “Kingsman” has had a pretty good go. Containing an all star cast of our favourite men in suits: academy award-winner Colin Firth, the coolest man in cinema—Samuel L Jackson—and no less than Sir Michael Caine, you almost feel sorry for our young protagonist. providing a fatherly role for the young Eggsy. Taron Egerton plays the role of Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin: a young scruff from the hard south London streets, who is dragged into the well-healed world of British espionage by Harry Hart (Firth). This is an adventurous action comedy with all the tongue-in-cheek glory we have come to expect from Vaughn.

There are a couple of nicely crafted nods to the godfathers of spy franchises, such as a smartly taken scene with a martini and one of our chief antagonist’s Valentine (Jackson) - weapons. All these show the skill of Michael Vaughn’s secret weapon: the screenwriter, Jane Goldman. The Guardian has said this film is a ‘Thrilling adolescent 007 pastiche’ and have described Colin Firth to be ‘both ludicrously British and modern-day Hollywood’. I would give it a rating of 8.5/10 and recommend it hugely.

Egerton’s character is spotted by Harry Hart, an experienced member of the Kingsman secret service. ‘Eggsy’ is not the usual soft kid, and is immediately put through a series of gruelling challenges designed to prove his courage. This is a high-octane action film, and fails to disappoint from the moment the curtain rises. Amongst the sharp suits, posh accents and fancy gadgets, there are moments of sincerity and developed storytelling and some extremely well filmed fight scenes. 10

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ON THE SMALL SCREEN

At the foot of the House of Cards Political drama “House of Cards” returns for its third season. JEAN FRANCO The third instalment of Kevin Spacey’s award winning drama “House of Cards” returns to the small screen, with Francis J. Underwood the President of the United States, having risen surreptitiously through the ranks of the White House - The House of Cards. Spacey’s partner in crime Robin Wright continues in her role as Claire Underwood, an opportunist, like her president in every way. Now vying to become United Nations ambassador for the United States, she’s shadier than Fox News.

Excellently written and produced by scriptwriter extraordinaire Beau Willimon, the plot develops at ranging paces, often allowing the viewers to feel like brothers and sisters to our picaresque hero—or villain, according to a viewer’s opinion. The plot is far from linear, fathering multiple second-

Unlike dramas of the same genre, “House of Cards” offers a unique perspective into the day-to-day happenings of the White House, capable of gripping even the youngest of audiences. Viewers are personally guided through the lives of the Underwood Administration. Spacey’s world famous asides are commonplace. ary storylines—most notably that of dark, troubled and leery Douglas Stamper, Underwood’s former chief of staff: struggling to return to his job, indeed his life, following a life-threatening injury. I’ll stop here before I go into too much detail. All I have to say is that when even President Barack Obama hails this as one of American TV’s greatest successes, then this final (?) chapter of “House of Cards” is set to amaze, disgust and shock.

All the above might seem boring to you. ‘Politics’ is the first word you think of, soon followed by ‘drama’, which to this generation seems nothing more than tedious. But let me assure you that “House of Cards” is not just politics, it’s not just drama—it’s a mixture of suspense, thriller, action, and satire (even President Putin - stereotypically renamed Viktor Petrov- makes a cameo appearance.) The first two seasons certainly confirmed this. With characters liquidated by Underwood at a rate George R.R. Martin might envy, it would be no surprise to see half the cast disappear within a few episodes. 11

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


ON THE SMALL SCREEN

JOSEPH MELLY

Better Call Saul is an AMC-produced spin-off show of Breaking Bad. The four episodes we have been given so far have been about Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), or his apparent birth name James McGill, and his dwindling career as a lawyer. So far, the show seems to be holding up and is certainly worth a watch. Having said this it could be argued that, coming off the back of arguably the most successful show ever, it is not unreasonable to expect something more. Vince Gilligan has, so far, shown us how this man wasn't always Saul Goodman, ace attorney for our beloved chemist-turned-meth dealer Walter White. Six years beforehand, he begins to represent a most notorious criminal; Goodman is Jimmy McGill, a small-time attorney struggling to make a name for himself. He's a force-

We have been introduced to characters such as ‘Tuco’ and ‘Mike’, and it seems that we have been given pieces of a puzzle that we are, so far, unable to piece together. Gilligan clearly requires his viewers to be ever-patient, which will not come as much of a difficulty to me as Goodman was virtually my favourite character in Breaking Bad, and I am willing to watch on to rediscover the wit and charm of the lovable character. IMDB: 9.3 Me: 8.7 “Better Call Saul” is a Netflix Original series, showing only on Netflix, with new episodes coming out every Tuesday.

ful hero for his low-income clients, an underdog whose morals and ambitions often clash. The show certainly has a similar feel to Breaking Bad, with a warm, comedic layer, and also in regards to the fact that we have not thus far been held in too much suspense – Gilligan’s style seems to imply that only once a show is in full swing can it withhold a thoroughly dramatic and addictively gripping plot. Not to say that I am not already hooked on the way things are going for McGill. 12

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


THE GAME CRITICS

To be, or not to be? ‘Should eSports be taken seriously?’ asks George Whear GEORGE WHEAR “Esports” - or electronic sports - may sound very alien to you, but for over 70 million people it is their main source of entertainment. Although the thought of playing computer games as a job may sound horrifying to your parents and very enticing to you, the issue of professional gaming has thrust itself into the public domain. Most notably at the recent X-Games in Aspen, where Major League Gaming (or MLG) hosted a “Counter Strike: Global Offensive” tournament with a $50,000 prize pool. This inclusion of a video game at an event which is renowned for its physicality and 'extreme' sports (hence the “X” in “X-games”) has sparked a series of debates titled: are eSports actually sports? The debate whether eSports are actually sports is very controversial, and I feel to start this debate, we must review the definition of sport. The Oxford Dictionary defines sports as “An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.”. In this regard, I would have to say that eSports qualifies as a sport, due to the precise clicking and strategy needed to outsmart and outperform your opponent. Also, lightning fast reflexes as well as a few hundred actions per minute (a/pm) are mandatory if you want to compete at the highest level with games such as “StarCraft2” and “Counter Strike:

over a mic. However, if I told you that prize pool for the “Dota 2” Invitational last year was over $10 million, I’m pretty sure you would reconsider your perception of 'pro-gamers'. For some professionals, money is not a problem, as top players earn up to £1 million salaries from competition winnings and sponsorships, as well as a large stream of income flowing from the live streaming website “Twitch” .”Twitch” has in fact kick-started and funded many professionals careers. Additionally, if the physical ability and prowess of professional athletes defines whether a sport is a sport, why is darts a sport? Moreover, if fishing and poker are classified as sports, what stops people from accepting eSports; which argua-

bly take more skill, more determination and in my opinion is more exciting, than watching a man/woman holding a fishing rod in a lake for 3 hours. However, I do not really think that whether eSports are deemed as actual sports is essential for its survival. I feel eSports thrive off the competition and skill of its players, as well as the large supportive growing community which is the engine behind the rapid increase in popularity, recognition, and events.

Personally, I believe that electronic sports should be classified as a professional sport due to the abundance of skill needed to play and win at the highest level – whether it be reaction times or strategy. This, thereGlobal Offensive” competitions. For example, the most fore, defines eSports as a unique breed of sport for the notable a/pm performers are Jaedong and July, (he rec- select few who are talented enough to succeed at it. orded an apm of 818, that is over 13 actions a second). However, I do realise and understand the argument that However, I know that many will disagree with this and some raise over its legitimacy, and the problem people will presume that professional gaming consists of a have with accepting eSports as sports; but to them I say bunch of fat, socially awkward men shouting at each “gg”. 13

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


THE GAME CRITICS

Transistor 9/10 HENRY MATTAR Jean Franco, co-editor of ‘the Vaughan Identity’ is always very busy with this, that or the other, with limited free time. So when I saw him playing Transistor quite often, and when he told me to buy the game multiple times each day, I knew that it was a big deal. Transistor is not a very new publication, having been released in May 2014. It does, however, deserve much more publicity than it already has. It is, unfortunately, not very widely known, having sold only 600,000 copies. This shouldn’t divert your attention from this game, however, as it was nominated for best PS4 Game in IGN’s Best Games of 2014 awards, alongside Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and winner The Last of Us. It was also nominated for best PC game, alongside Dark Souls 2, and winner, Dragon Age: Inquisition.

are not good in the sense of realism, but rather in a really well done artsy style, for which it won the award for the best art graphics in the IGN’s Best Games of 2014 awards. The combat is also an intriguing factor of Transistor. Whereas most games have very simple combat, which mainly consists of you constantly pressing one button to achieve one attack, in Transistor, you can customise attacks, each of which you can use separately. You unlock moves to use from dead bodies you find who were killed by the Camerata, and absorbing their conscience. You have four move slots, which you can assign any move to. These in themselves have two subsidiary slots each, which unlock as you level up, and you can assign moves here which will enhance the attack it is allocated to. When you start a fight, you are confined to a certain area, so you need to be aware of your surroundings, as you can’t take lots of damage.

There are two options when it comes to combat. You can either stay in ordinary time and use the attacks, which leaves you vulnerable to attacks but means that you can attack as often as you like, or use a device called Turn(). Turn() stops time and allows you to plan out your moves which will happen quickly, within about Transistor follows a character called Red who was a very four seconds - and you can’t take damage in these four famous singer from the city Cloudbank. An evil group seconds. However, there is a catch. There is only a cercalled The Camerata sent a powerful sword with untain amount space you have to plan out moves, and more known abilities to assassinate her. However, a mysteri- powerful attacks take up more of this space. Also, walkous man saves her by stepping the way of the sword’s ing takes up some of this space too. Turn() also takes a blow, being killed instantly. The sword, being revealed while to recharge, and whilst it does, you cannot attack, as Transistor, absorbs the man’s conscience, meaning leaving you susceptible to attack. If you lose all of your that because the man must have known Red, the sword health, you temporarily lose one of your moves, until now helps her. The story then follows Red and Transis- you win another fight. tor on their journey to destroy the Camerata and save the world, which is being slowly deconstructed by the Transistor is available for PS4, PC, Mac and Linux. Camerata. “Transistor” is free for all PlayStation Plus users. Transistor is an excellently made game, with fantastic art Transistor, in my opinion, is an expertly made game, and an ingenious soundtrack, which it is possible to with a deeply immersive soundtrack and original art make Red hum along to. The soundtrack alone is so well style, alongside a great story and game-play. composed that it would be possible to sit in front of the screen for hours listening to Red hum along. Its graphics 14

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


THE GAME CRITICS

Call of the Noobs: Un-Advanced Warfare Gaming mega franchise is a disappointment, explains Frankie de Souza FRANKIE DE SOUZA So, you’ve just bought your new “Call of Duty” game Advanced Warfare - you’re looking to level up on the multiplayer system, and complete the new campaign; well, here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t waste the money or the time. It’s fair to say that the Call of Duty franchise did not exactly enter the gaming world with a bang, in fact, when the first ever game was released in 2003, it only sold 1,750,000 copies. However, this soon changed, as more

and more of the games were released; by 2009, Modern Warfare 3 (the 7th game in the franchise) sold an amazing 26,500,000 copies. This may have been the greatest selling Call of Duty game at the time, but sadly, it also marked the beginning of its downfall. After MW3, Treyarch and Activision, both developed and published

two million copies less than MW3, despite its larger development and promoting budget. This was the last CoD game I ever bought, and ever will buy, unless the franchise takes a leaf out of a proper FPS (first person shooter) games book. There are many alternatives out there. Recently, the ‘Tactical Shooter’ genre has been growing in popularity - games such as Counter Strike Global Offensive and Rainbow Six fall under this category. Unlike your regular Call of Duty games, these FPS’s actually require intelligence and skill to play; players will always have to work as a team to win, making sure they plan their attacks and coordinate their defences wisely. As the name suggests, tactics is your main weapon of the game. So why buy a Call of Duty game, and play alongside sixyear-olds, who rush into the heart of battle and die within six seconds of the game, screaming and crying on their microphone in the process, when you can play alongside serious, professional gamers, who give support to you when you ask for it, or cover your back when you’re actually focused on the objective of the game?

the new Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, unlike the previous Call of Dutys, this was set in the future, meaning players could use new types of weapons and technology; however, it also sadly crushed the futures of many players of the franchise, including myself. The game sold around 15

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


TECH TALK

A Second Reality What is virtual reality? MARK SIMONS Virtual Reality (VR) is a growing area in the technology world. With more and more companies trying to join the club of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (AR) it is becoming a survival of the fittest. Firstly, what is Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality? Which is better and what will you be using? The chances are that you will find yourself using augmented reality (AR) for on-the-go activities. Instead of using a smart phone, you will have a pair of glasses—Google Glass or Microsoft HoloLenses, for example. Virtual reality (VR) is slightly different. Whereas AR takes your location and puts a HUD (heads up display) over it—like when you play Call of Duty and you see a mini-map and a bullet count and a health display—AR projects into your current reality, augmenting stuff into reality. Virtual Reality works off different principles. It works to move the user from one place to another. It simulates another reality, a reality that is different from where you are. This may be used to play a racing game or play a shooter game with you seeing nothing of your actual reality but instead a 100% virtual simulation of another reality. Demos of this technology have been used to play board games and last year there was a successful Kickstarter that

However, recently at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2015, the technology went mainstream, after the controversial release of Google Glass. Everyone wanted their bit of AR, with Microsoft’s announcement of an AR platform that could transform your house into a “Minecraft” landscape, have your coffee table warp into a virtual mountain, or have a virtual television that hovers three feet in front of you and follows you wherever you go—or even have a pop up weather forecast that open itself every time you get out of bed. The possibilities are endless and the need for bulky displays would be over, replaced by a bulky pair of glasses.

Virtual Reality is a whole lot more made up. Unlike AR, VR completely changes what you see, and its main intention is to fully immerse and transport the user to another location. A month ago I had the chance to use the Oculus Rift DK (Development Kit) 1 on the recent ICT trip. They ran a demo where you were on a roller coaster. When I put the head set on I was transported out of the space that I was in, into a roller-coaster. I was impressed with the head tracking of the device, and its ability to track all of my movements; however, the sensors in the headset did not track depth, so leaning around corners was not a problem. There were some drawbacks. For instance, turning was (excuse the pun) a real eye-opener for a VR and AR 360 degrees is not possible, as the device can’t track you; head set; it used special reflective material to bounce light however, for the average user who has the time to sit back into your eyes to allow you to see the projected im- down, it would be fine—there would be none of these age. The project is called Cast AR and they raised problems. For example, you could watch a football game $1,052,110 in the initial Kickstarter. The interesting thing on your computer sitting on your sofa at home but have about this technology is that it becomes not only an AR the best seats in the stadium. Instead of letting the cameras headset but an actual VR, by simply clipping on a reflecdecide where you look, it gives you the option to look tive piece of material. It widened people’s thoughts as it were you want to. The best bit is that it is all in 3D. Tom showed the possibility of groups of people playing enCouffon described this well when he said: “You could hanced card and board games with a shared physical space watch Arsenal beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and not to play on. Imagine a game of Dungeons and Dragons have to face the shameful walk home wearing your blue where the story that is being read out comes to life in AR strip.” in front of the people playing it. 16

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


TECH TALK The Oculus Rift is one of the first devices to have a true 3D experience. The 3D Effect on the device is amazing, as, unlike 3D TVs, the device simultaneously displays two images to both eyes instead of displaying ever other frame from one eye to the other. This is called active 3D. This gives the Oculus the edge, delivering a truly authentic immersive 3D experience with no visual screen tearing or latency, as well as limiting the sickness that some people can get from active 3D technology. There were many problems with the DK1 but they have apparently been fixed with the DK2. For example, due to limitations of the graphic card performance, it is hard for a computer to produce a 120fps video stream that a 120hz display would need to truly stop the unwanted motion blur that is produced when running at a lower FPS (and thus lower refresh rates). However, Oculus have a solution in the DK2: they are using a low persistence 1080p display, with a 75hz refresh. The display turns off when not needed, so the image is not seen statically—thus the computer is only needed to produce 75 Frames Per Second, making up the magic 120 frames by turning the display off instead of leaving the same image on display twice. The idea of a complete simulator using VR is becoming reality in homes as well. Virtuix has started to produce a rig called the Omni. It is comprised of a harness that the user wears that semi-suspends them on top of a low friction base that allows them to walk freely. The system allows the game to register the person moving their legs and the game can use this as an input. If the user rotated around, then the game would reregister it and would move the virtual player accordingly. This enables your ‘real life’ to be movements which are mimicked in the game. The Omni could be used in tandem with an accurately weighed gun. The Omni is designed to be a living room experience. To achieve this it has to be cheap. It achieves this with no moving parts and can be used with any game that uses keyboard inputs. It also will undermine the cliché of a fat gamer, as to make your player run around, you would have to run too. Sim-racer and Virtual Pilots are the biggest adopters of this technology, as the static playing positions with only head movements are ideal for the current generation of the technology. When playing a racing game or a flight Sim, you need to be able to freely look around your environment. In a racing game, to line up with the apex of the corner, and with a flight Sim, to see all the gauges across the whole cockpit. Technology such as track IR tried to fix this via registering the head’s location and using it as an input in the simulation to look around. However, it has limitations, as when you 17

move your head left to look left, you are no longer looking at the screen, so you have to look left with your head and then right with your eye so that you are still looking at the original spot, where your screen is. However, VR is the solution; for instance, when driving in “Assetto Corsa” a glance towards the speedometer in the car will be simulated via the head tracking in the Rift, and the head-mounted display will still be in front of your eyes. Due to the Oculus Rift being 3D, it means that judging distance to other drivers is a lot easier, making the experience 100% authentic. Oculus Rift is primarily a technology for PCs. With integration now being planned with consoles, it is looking like the nerds will get to use it a lot sooner then the console fanboys. However, project Morpheus from Sony is playing catch-up, and so are Microsoft, with their AR headset likely to have VR capability. Razer has announced a rivalling product to Oculus Rift called OSVR (Open Source Virtual Reality). Due to its open source background, it will presumably have upgrade ability in mind. It is likely to be a more popular option in the gaming world, as, with Facebook’s recent purchase of Oculus, people are wary of using this technology— as Facebook predominantly make their money by gathering data on their users, a rather scary prospect. Another company trying to get into VR is “Avegant”, with the Glyph, an all-in-one mobile cinema unit. It is apparently a hip and trendy alternative to the bulky headsets that are becoming the staple piece of VR and head-mounted displays. The technology is said to be less harsh on the eyes, by removing the pixel grid that has been a problem in many other alternatives, and is a staple feature of any LCD/LED screen. Using a technology called micro mirror technology, they project the image into the mirror, and the mirror reflects the image into the user’s eyes. The technology allows the pixels of light to blend together to produce a better image. It is said to be intended for on-the-go use, hence the small form factor and the in-built high quality headphones. One clever design feature is that a simple rotation of 90 degrees makes it look like any other pair of earphones. However, it does not seem likely that the technology will be used for long periods playing games, and will more likely find its home in your travel bag, for watching a film on the train or plane without any other visual distractions. So where will VR and AR fit into your life? Will you find yourself playing your favourite FPS (First-Person Shooter) with it, or will you use it simply to check the news? It will be interesting to see how society reacts to this technology becoming mainstream. FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


SPORT

England & Cricket What is going on with England’s cricket team? ROWAN CALDWELL For those reading sports news beyond the football, you may have read about a crisis occurring in the national cricket team. However, the reasons for this may be difficult to understand.

Again in the ODIs, England failed to win series against Sri Lanka and India.

In the current season (2014/15), England have had a mixed bag of ODI results in the build up to the World Cup. They lost a seven match series 5-2 to Sri Lanka. They then played a tri-series in Australia against the hosts and India. They beat India twice, but lost to Australia three times, including the final. At the time of writing, England are having a fairly poor campaign in the World Cup. In the first match they lost to the old foe Australia by 111 runs, with Australia scoring 342/9 and bowling England out for 231. The second match, however, was even worse. New Zealand bowled them out for 123 and then won by eight wickets. They did We have to go back to 2012 to find the origins of this win a match, but that was against Scotland, who aren’t disruption. Kevin Pietersen, an England player, was re- that good, by 119 runs. The most recent match was ported to have sent a text to the touring South African against Sri Lanka, where they lost by nine wickets. Engteam explaining England’s tactics for the series. A 2-0 land scored 309/6, but faced an unbelievable partnerseries win for South Africa and the resignation of Anship between Lahiru Thirimanne (139) and Kumar Sandrew Strauss as test captain would ensue. The two gakkara (117), with Tillakratne Dilshan giving a helpful teams would go on to draw the ODI series 2-2. Eng44 runs. land, with their new test captain Alistair Cook, would go to India in November 2012 and win 2-1. Kevin Pie- Another problem is the form of the England captain, tersen would never play test matches again for England. Eoin Morgan, in the one-day matches. Since taking over However, on the Twenty20 front, Kevin Pietersen was as captain from Alistair Cook, he has scored just one not finished. But after being dropped from the England century in eight matches, scoring double figures on four occasions. His scores have been as follows; 121, 0, 2, 0, squad for the World Twenty20 championship, he re0, 17, 46 and 27. This is not good enough form for an tired from all forms of international cricket. England would go out in the second group phase. However, Pie- England captain, especially considering his previous form and how his average is only 26.25 runs per match. tersen would not be missed that much in 2013. Alistair Cook suffers the same kind of problem in test England played two test series: one against New Zeamatches. land and one against Australia. In both, England triumphed. England beat New Zealand in two out of two At the time of writing, England could still make the tests. In the Ashes, England beat Australia 3-0. Howev- quarter finals, but it is highly unlikely. This would be a er, their ODI form did not improve, losing both series disaster for a team like England, whose high profile on paper should really be showing on the pitch. However, against the aforementioned 2-1. The 2013/14 season was disastrous. In another ashes series, Australia won 5- it is seemingly not that straightforward. I feel that the problems have come from the selectors picking based on 0. England played in five series and won four out of nineteen matches played. In 2014, the form slightly im- names, not numbers. That is why underperformers are proved. Admittedly, they lost the first match against Sri still in the England team, rather than picking in-form county championship players. This may result in a better Lanka by 100 runs, but they won the following series against India 3-1. The third test match in Southampton all-round team, even if they are not that well known. was the first England victory for eleven matches, when England beat Australia at Chester-Le-Street by 74 runs. 18

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


FEBRUARY BIOs

BORIS NEMTSOV -28th FEBRUARY 2015: DEATH Russian Opposition Leader and Former Deputy Prime Minister was shot dead in mysterious circumstances after making a call for ‘honest elections’ in Russia. Investigations are still ongoing, with President Putin “leading” the investigation. LEONARD NIMOY - 27th FEBRUARY 2015: DEATH The Sci-Fi icon Leonard Nimoy died of a pulmonary disease. The actor was renowned for playing the role of Human-Vulcan hybrid Spock, in the “Star Trek” series. He leaves behind his children. Nimoy passed away at 83. JOHNNY CASH - 26th FEBRUARY 1932—BIRTH Musician Johnny Cash seemed to transcend any definition of genre, and was in a class of his own. He was born in 1932, and died in 2003. Married with June Carter, his classics ‘Ring of Fire’, ‘Hurt’ (cover), ‘Hot Rod Lincoln’ and ‘Jackson’ (with Carter), were milestones for 20th Century music. ROSA PARKS - 4th FEBRUARY 1913 - BIRTH America’s ‘First Lady of Civil Rights’ was one of the most important catalysts in ending Racial segregation in America. She is known for refusing to step aside for a white man on the bus, preferring to hold her seat, sparking the Montgomery Boycotts. She lives on, not in this world, but as an inspiration for all. THELONIOUS MONK- 17TH FEBRUARY 1982— DEATH Jazz pioneer Thelonious Sphere Monk was one of the leading figures of his genre from the very start of his career to his final breath 37 years ago. Along with Brubeck, Mingus and Ellington, Monk will always be remembered as the legend he truly was. GEORGES SIMENON—13th FEBRUARY— BIRTH For the world crime fiction scene, Simenon is no less than a god. The creator of Commissaire Maigret was known for his prolific writing skills, publishing over 75 novellas based around Jules Maigret, and more than 300 separate projects. Starting out as a journalist in Liège, he was a feature writer. During the war years, he was suspected to have collaborated wit the Germans, yet this allegation was never proven. He is someone who all aspiring writers should look up to for inspiration, technique and creativity. 19

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


Hi ! A massive apology to all the people who got confused about how the order of the panel and pages went. So, henceforth, everything will progress like a normal comic book or comic strip. - The Illustrator

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FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


PETER STRZALEK-STANECKI 21

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,


THE

V AUGHAN I DENTITY FEBRUARY 2015, ISSUE FIVE CARDINAL VAUGHAN MEMORIAL SCHOOL 22

FEBRUARY—MARCH 2015,

The Vaughan Identity  

February/March 2015

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