Skip to main content

Arts & Entertainment

Senior student shines in the Youtube spotlight

 

By April Woo

 


Youtuber Vivian Nguyen holds up a bread squishy.

 

Photo taken by : April Woo

 

            From the humble beginnings of creating blurry videos on a hand-me down camera, Lincoln High School senior, Vivian Nguyen, is amassing fame on YouTube with her channel, Cyndercake415.

 

            The quirky alias, created by combining a made up word, Nguyen’s favorite food; and the Bay Area code, is now visited regularly by a loyal following of 20,000 subscribers who view her weekly videos.

 

            In 2013, at 13 years old, Nguyen created her channel with little knowledge that she soon would be a Youtube sensation for the kawaii squishy toy community. Kawaii squishies are foam-like toys that are modeled after popular food items and cartoon characters. Many of them have additional scents added to them such as chocolate, strawberry and mint.

 

            They first originated in Japan, and their popularity crossed the seas and became a trend in the United States by the means of Youtube. Individuals like Nguyen review new additions of their toy collection to show others around the world since, like trading cards, squishies can be rare and hard to get.

 

            As a student athlete, general manager for the class of 2017, and a high achieving student, Nguyen strategizes how she will be able to create new weekly videos since finding time in her busy schedule is tricky. The time put into a video varies, but most of the work goes into editing and figuring out the content.

 

            In the end, she says, “I enjoy making people happy, and with Youtube I can reach a lot of people that I otherwise would have never gotten the chance to meet and share my interests with.”  

After three years, Vivian has garnered 1.4 million views thus far with her most popular video being “My Biggest Squishy Collection Ever.”

 

            Not only has Nguyen’s dedication played a critical role in her success, but also the support from her fans, which makes her feel happy to have a hobby and passion that brightens the lives of others. The targeted demographic of her videos is towards the younger side of the age spectrum.  

“It’s crucial for people to have a safe space where their favorite hobbies are celebrated and not mocked or ridiculed, and my channel is that space for many of my viewers. They are the fuel that keep me going,” Nguyen states.

 

            After high school the continuation of her candid vlogs, squishy toy reviews, and fan-mail package openings she gets from subscribers and sponsers such as HP Pavillion and game apps is unknown. Ageing and the introduction of a new chapter of her life, college, will be obstacles in the near future that may prevent her from being able to post videos and be relatable to her subscribers.

 

            Her love for helping others will be channeled through a different medium, as she pursues a career in the medical field to eventually become a pediatrician.

 

            “Be a helper,” is Nguyen’s motto for every video she posts and as a human being.

“Pokemon Go!” drains students

By Melody Li

 


High school student playing ‘Pokemon Go’ during class time.

 

Photo taken by : Melody Li

 

    It’s all the rage among high school students, but is “Pokemon Go!” a positive influence?

 

   “Pokemon Go!” is the game that allows people to catch pokemon, but people have been catching digital pokemon for two decades.  What’s radically new about this game is that it combines fantasy with reality as players walk outside and catch pokemon that are “present” in the real world.  In less than two months after its  July 7 release, 100 million people downloaded this game.

 

    “ Pokemon Go” has caused a massive observable effect on people, especially on high school students, who are the most likely to play this game.  It has become a major fad among students and has come to occupy much of their time and attention on social media and in the real world as well.

 

    On the one hand, the publisher’s (Niantic) intention in creating the game was to allow people to become more outgoing and persuade citizens to walk around their city and learn more about it.   By playing this game, people can exercise more and can improve their social skills in important way by going out and meeting or chatting with new people.  This may seem like a good thing, much needed among American who are generally not healthy or sociable enough, because many people need more exercise and work on social skills.

 

    However, it seems the disadvantages overpower the advantages.  For example, some students believe the game to be more important than other activities, such as school, and their grades can suffer as a result.  All games can do this, but “Pokemon Go” is worst because it is not limited to a TV or computer,but threatens to consume all of the players’ time.

 

    The most important element in the news concerning  “Pokemon Go” is the fact that it brings dangers to players every day.

For example, people have fallen off the cliffs when they play this game because they’re so focused. For example, two young men fell off a cliff in Encinitas, California. Robbers steal phones from the inattentive.  Someone can make a hotspot and lure kids in, only to rob them.  For instance, a group of teenagers were lured in in this way in O’Fallon, Missouri.

 

    Haomin Liang, a Lincoln senior, discontinued playing this game because not only does it waste his time, but it also became boring.  He says,” Stupid guys know nothing about safety.”  He has little sympathy for these victims, blaming them for being irresponsible.   He also believes this game is harmful because it wastes a lot of time.

 

    I have also played this game before.  My aunt introduced this phenomenon to me in last summer.  Since “Pokemon” is my favorite cartoon, I thought it would be fun to have a pokemon in real life.  When I played this game, I put all my attention on it and in turn didn’t care about the statistics class I was taking in City College this summer.  I wasn’t the only victim of the game. My aunt once stopped her car in the middle of the street to catch a Pokemon.  My uncle felt mad about our carelessness and reminded us that robbers are always around the city and advised us to stop playing  this game.  Now, I don’t play this game because it is boring when you play it too long, wastes a lot of time, and is potentially dangerous.

 

    “Pokemon Go” is not available in China yet.  This is because “Pokemon Go” is linked with Google, a website that has been banned by China’s government, which fears the open expression new areas where they haven't been before and brings them outside.  The bad thing is that some of the areas are in places where people should not be, like in the middle of streets and inside closed buildings. If they pay attention to their surroundings, I actually think tand free speech that Google brings.  A lot of Chinese feel disappointed about this, and want access to the game.

 

   As  Haien Xu, who is my best friend in China, says, ”I am very disappointed about ‘Pokemon Go’ not being available in China.  When I saw my friends in the United States can play this game, I admire them.  However, when I hear the disadvantages, I feel people who play this game should control themselves, and they can’t put all their attention on this game.”

 

    Eric Mosheim, the son of Mark Mosheim, a Math teacher at Lincoln High School says, ”I started playing the game because I really enjoyed the previous pokemon games and wanted to see how different this game would be from the originals. I stopped playing the game because I found it was very repetitive and not entertaining anymore. I have heard that people have had some problems while playing the game, and I feel that the people who have those accidents are most of the time not playing the game safely and aren't being very smart. Since I have stopped playing the game, I care about school more. When I was playing the game, I only played it after school when I was able to walk around the city, and it did not affect my schoolwork.”

 

    Mark Mosheim says,”I think ‘Pokemon Go’ is a unique and inviting game that mixes virtual reality with the real world.  I generally like it. My son started playing ‘Pokemon Go’ even before the US version was available.  He downloaded an Australian version at the beginning of July to start playing.  He played it daily for the first couple of weeks and then got tired of it.”

Mark recognizes both the positives and negatives of the game: “It did get him outside and away from his desktop computer!  I did hear about players having accidents when they were chasing a Pokemon into traffic and things like that.  I don't worry about such accidents, though, as they rarely occur.  I think warning players about the potential for such accidents should be enough to stop most of them from happening. The best thing about the game is that it brings people to he advantages outweigh the disadvantages.  I recommend people play PG together with others, so that they are in less danger of being robbed, etc.”

 

    Millions of gamers, from me,  to my aunt, to Haomin Liang and so many others like us, have had experiences that seem to support Mark advice, but whether or not more people will come to follow it is an open question.

We’re yelling in court once again in “Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice”

By Ben Sheh and Cameron Takashima

 

Characters from the game pose in promotional art.

 

Photo courtesy of : Capcom Co., Ltd., or Capcom.

---

 

 

 

   We’re yelling in court once again in “Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice”

The “Ace Attorney” series has been quite long-running now, with five main games and plenty of spin-offs in the past few years. If you don’t know what this franchise is, it can be summed as “running around as a lawyer solving murder cases in court as a video game.”

 

   The newest release, “Spirit of Justice,” manages to keep things interesting and continue the story. Note that this review doesn’t cover much of the plot itself to avoid spoilers. Instead, we’ll cover topics such as how the game plays and what it does well.

 

   One must first know that this game is a more of a sequel than it is a stand-alone title, so it’s not a good entry point for those looking to play their first game in this series. Most of the characters were introduced in previous games, and “Spirit of Justice” references quite often to them. However, it manages to deliver what the previous games do best; tell an extravagant story with plenty of twists and turns. The plot is split into five chapters, each with its own case and significance to a greater overarching plot. Each chapter is written well and contains plenty of interesting dialogue between characters.

 

   The game-play of the “Ace Attorney” games has not changed much since its first release many years ago. It is a visual novel, meaning it is much like reading a “choose your adventure” book. The setting takes place in a courtroom where the player takes control of a lawyer, cross examining witnesses or pressing them to tell you more details. This may give you more evidence, furthering your progress in the trial. The game centralizes around the idea of pressing and presenting evidence that contradicts the witness’ testimony to prove your client’s innocence in each case.

 

   There are also investigation sections, which may remind many of “escape the room” puzzles. Here, you control the lawyers as they search the surroundings to gather evidence and deduce how the crime took place. Essentially, they’re doing what the detectives do; right down to fingerprinting and luminol testing.

 

   If you’re wondering why this is, here’s a bit of trivia: the “Ace Attorney” games are loosely based off the Japanese court system, where the prosecution is closely related to the police. The defense lawyers are left to do their own investigations and rarely have outside support, making Japan’s guilty verdict rate extremely high.

 

   Besides the returning court and investigation segments, “Spirit of Justice” introduces a new feature called the “Divination Séance.” This is a ritual where a priestess causes a holy pool of water to display a vision of the victim's last memory before his or her death. A new addition to the trial adds a whole new layer to the game, making it that much more difficult to prove the real culprit's innocence or guilt when the vision displayed incriminates the defendant. Unlike testimony, this is a piece of evidence that cannot be ignored or proved irrelevant. If you aren't paying attention, you might miss the smallest flaws in the vision that can change the situation incredibly.

 

   In terms of how the game looks, the visual style is the same as the one used in the previous game “Dual Destinies.” However, new characters and backgrounds have their own designs which are all vibrant and colorful. The game also includes more 3D animations than its predecessor, which is especially apparent in the second chapter.

 

   The models are detailed and their movement is fluid. Overall, the game improves from the previous games’ designs, but it won’t win any awards because of the hardware’s limitations.

 

   In conclusion, the game is fun, challenging, and presents the player with an engaging and captivating experience--making it all the more fun and satisfying when you present the final, decisive piece of evidence blowing the prosecution’s case wide open. Just keep in mind that this is a visual novel, meaning it has plenty of reading. Compared to the other games, the ending doesn’t impress quite as much but is still solid in terms of story flow and twists.

 

   Also, newcomers to this series may want to begin with “Dual Destinies,” this game’s predecessor for more background. But veterans and newcomers alike can enjoy “Spirit of Justice” for the intriguing stories it tells.

 

Shakespeare is back: a peek behind the curtain of the fall play

By Charlotte Hamm

 


Elias Rose and Alec Baud rehearse lines before play practice begins.

 

Photo taken by : Charlotte Hamm

 

        After four years, the drama club is back with a Shakespearean play entitled “As You Like It.”

Although  many seniors from last year’s drama club were lost, returning members have had no complaints on the freshman newcomers.

 

        The performance, which begins October 27 and ends November 10, has a cast who has become very close, which makes preparing and performing for the play much easier.

 

        When interviewing Elias Rose, one of the main characters of the play, I asked how he thought the play would go as opposed to other Lincoln performances he has been involved in previous years.

Rose answered,“I do expect the play to turn out pretty well in the sense that the commitment should be good because a lot of them are very serious about this, and are very involved and actually want to be in the play.” He continued, “there are those who will have commitment issues, but we’ll get over that.”

 

        The most interesting aspect to this play is the fact that it is performed completely in original Shakespearean language. However, this does prove a challenge to actors involved in the play.

As Alec Baud, Orlando in this play, said, “I think the most challenging aspect of this play would have to be the long and plentiful amount of lines imbedded within the play.”

 

        Both Rose and Baud have had the passion to pursue school plays for four years now. When asked why they chose to participate, on top of academic stress, their answers varied.

Rose’s honest answer was, “Because it lets me hide behind my insecurities and become someone else.”

Seeing as this was the first question I had asked Rose, I admired his confidence when telling the answer.

Baud’s answer was sort of the contrary to Rose’s.

His response was, “I love acting because it is my passion and I feel free and myself when I’m on stage.”

 

        Many actors take their roles very seriously, even if their part might not have the most stage nor dialogue opportunity.

Although Rose is not the official main character, he does play an important part in the play, explaining, “Not going on stage too much adds a lot to the story.”

 

 

While these last several weeks before the opening of the play will be spent by cast members rehearsing, memorizing, and repeating, those not involved will have to contain their anticipation.