Review: Fake Philip Schofield

Pictured, the Fake Schofield connecting to the internet via WiFi

What’s being tested?

Philip Schofield’s nigh-on identical and practically undetectable body-double stand in, and the ramifications of using that body double stand in to stand in for Philip Schofield.

What we found

Pros: Our testers found it almost impossible to ascertain which Schofield was Copy Schofield, and it was subsequently established that the stand-in successfully replicated the Philip Schofield experience for a markdown in costs of at least 45%. Fake Schofield is apparently easy to store, and won’t cause the same problems in application as a similar Schofield stand-in brought from the past, future or alternate timeline would cause.

Cons: Fake Schofield must hunt geese in 7 hour rotation windows or suffer catastrophic internal lockdown – additionally, the geese must be wild, and as such given a suitable amount of time to acclimatise to wherever Fake Schofield has been deployed. The use of the Simulcrum Schofield has often caused problems when True Schofield has been sighted in a civilian environment at the same time, with many of our testers, despite knowing of the existence of the Schofield copy, calling into question the authenticity and integrity of live television itself. A small minority of our testers conveyed feelings of anxiety when confronted with the idea that the real Philip Schofield was ‘about’, and not safely on television. Finally, it was posited that if True Schofield saw ‘himself’ on television, it would trigger a titanic existential crisis, and any realities brought into being and subsequently supported by the sheer force of Schofield’s will would be in jeopardy.

Verdict

Our testers found that, while Fake Philip Schofield was a cheap and efficient alternative to using Actual Philip Schofield in a light entertainment context, he remained a high risk proposition, and the ramifications of both Schofields crossing (and the resultant instability) could not be ignored. It is therefore our recommendation that the Doppelganger Schofield be placed in storage, or returned to his family.

Review: The Left Hand Side of the Street

The left hand side of the road, as seen from the right hand side of the road.

What’s being tested?

The decision to walk upon or occupy a part of the left hand pedestrianised area bordering any high street or road, as opposed to walking upon or occupying a relatively similar space on the opposite pedestrianised area of the same high street or road.

What we found

Pros: Our testers found that by walking on the left hand side of the road, they were more able to exploit opportunities or things specific to that side than if they had been walking on the right hand side. They also found that they were afforded a more comprehensive view of the right hand side than they would have enjoyed had they been situated on the right hand side itself. Finally, it was noted that the right hand side of the road was easily accessible by turning and walking in the opposite direction.

Cons: Many of those who tested the left hand side of the road found themselves to be at a distinct disadvantage, compared to if they had been on the right hand side, when it came to accessing facilities and amenities on the latter pedestrianised area. Many also noted that, while their understanding of the left hand side of the road had become much more specific and detailed due to the close proximity of the tester to this side, they were afforded a much more limited overall picture of the side they occupied than they would have had had they switched to the right hand side. A few of our testers even noted how easy it was to find oneself instantly on the wrong side of the road by changing one’s direction by 180 degrees.

Verdict

Our testers found that, while the disadvantages of occupying the left hand pedestrianised area were almost exactly equal to the advantages of the aforementioned predilection, personal preference was overwhelmingly in favour of the walking on the side on test. It’s worth noting that most of the left hand sides we tested provided fairly regular and convenient access to the right hand side, albeit without the promise of a similar experience to the left hand side upon joining the right hand side.

Review: The Inability to Delete That ‘Crystal Maze’ Application From Your Phone

Not in game footage.

What’s being tested?

The apparent difficulty in removing from your phone a poorly and some would say cynically developed and produced game application based on the popular 80’s adventure game show ‘The Crystal Maze’.

What we found

Pros: Many of our testers cited a subconscious desire for value for money as their primary deletion deterrent, and, what with the inevitably dreadful puzzle logic and the frustrating failure of the basic control mechanism, this end goal had yet to be realised. A minority claimed that, upon deletion, they would only end up buying the game again anyway, either as a result of convincing themselves, over time, that the application wasn’t riddled with problems, was actually quite fun, represented a serious challenge, and perhaps contained a skill benchmark that had to be worked towards, or alternatively because the theme tune was fun. Either way, it was felt that the game’s terrible enduring  presence would guard against any misguided sympathetic revisionism, and act as a warning against purchasing other novelty nostalgia based acquisitions in the future. A small minority of those who tested the game stated that they disliked admitting to having been so easily and comprehensively hoodwinked by a picture of Richard O’Brian, and were actively pretending to like the game to spite the developers.

Cons: The refusal to remove the application means the permanent loss of the amount of drive space that it requires to run on your phone. Some of our testers suggested acquiring a handset with a larger storage capacity when upgrading, to cope with any such instances of misguided nostalgia based application purchase in the future. It was felt that said solution was a terrifying reflection of the mindset of those who pay for 80’s game show-themed games, and that the refusal to give up on £2.45, for whatever reason, could have some frightening consequences. Also not deleting the offending application may ultimately result in the user, over time, coming to associate their phone with that application. This association may spread even further, until the purchaser him/herself is ultimately associated with the ‘Crystal Maze’ application.

Verdict

On balance, we found that life, being as it is, is only ever as good as we want it to be when the positive experiences are tempered by the melancholy. Admitting that the £2.45 spent on an opportunistic and even potentially spiteful ‘Crystal Maze’ game is a dead loss is a difficult thing to do, but the general opinion of our testers was that, sooner or later, an application would come along that would erase all the bad memories and feelings of guilt and betrayal, and reward those who refused to dwell on the past and continued to look to the horizons for adventure.

Review: The Prospective and Subsequent Purchase of a 2” PVC movie tie-in Gashapon Figurine of the Character Roronoa Zoro.

Please note that we are aware that this constitutes a 'subjective purchase'.

What’s being tested?

The act of buying a small plastic toy replica of an animated swordsman from a popular comic book, cartoon and movie franchise.

What we found

Pros:  In relative good taste – given that the majority of plastic figurines based on animation characters that currently exist have a strong bias towards poorly clothed ladies of exaggerated proportions (with an occasional medieval theme).  The small size assures that the toy is not misconstrued as a centrepiece, and as such avoids the allusion that the recipient is ‘all about’ this particular character, his parent title, or plastic figurines / anime in general.  Equally, the low price point was hailed by many of our testers as a positive, as it was generally agreed that the model would probably appease the implicit desire to own a plastic figurine without spending an unusual and potentially embarrassing amount of money on it, unless the act in question happens to be of interest to the buyer.

The figurine was not found to be “cast off-able”.

Cons:  despite the relatively low cost of such a figurine, it still represented, to the majority of our testers, a non-essential purchase, and as such it was felt that the resources used to acquire this item could be more constructively deployed elsewhere (i.e. buying washing up liquid, renting a book etc.).

It was also felt that this would not be an isolated purchase; the market that brought the figurine, and others like it, into being, encourages and even incentivises continued collection, and many of our testers mentioned that the day-glo jaunt of the world they were effectively buying into was a difficult one to walk away from.

In addition to this, a minority were of the opinion that such a small purchase could still act as an enabler to more expensive, cleavage orientated acquisitions. Some testers even felt that it could be the first step for many towards a novelty-orientated existence.

Verdict

It was found that, while many would purchase the figurine in question out of a singular admiration for the design or a larger appreciation of the character it represents, others would potentially buy the toy out of a desire to either physically manifest the character (perhaps out of need for idealised companionship), or alternatively as a subconscious projection of their desire to possess the qualities associated with that character, and to justify and make real the perceived personal parallels between purchaser and 2 dimensional animation hero.

In either case, our testers agreed that it was a cheap way of appeasing the desire to ‘own’ such an object. There was also existed the general consensus that purchasing  the model in question over a poorly made, disproportioned plastic woman whose clothes came off which you would have to hide whenever you had company represented sound judgement, and at least a temporarily stable degree of taste.