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Can I write an essay on video games (or their history) for the new Common App essay prompt #7?

metapolymathmetapolymath Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
NOW, BEFORE you straight-off reject the idea, calling it childish, I don't want to write about my game collection or online streaks, I want to write either about the history of video games or how games got me interested in coding/computer science for the new any-topic-of-your-choice prompt on Common App. I am an international student taking a gap year and I am going to apply to some selective colleges, for undergrad in C.Sc. So I am wondering whether I could use video games and concepts/technologies that go into making them to show how it made me interested in this major/career, since I think that such an essay could stand out from those of other C.Sc. applicants. I am interested in writing on other topics like mythology, too, but would be happier if I can write on games. Can any of you advise me on this, please?

P. S. : Could this type of essay be suitable for other Common App (or non-Common App) essay prompts?

Replies to: Can I write an essay on video games (or their history) for the new Common App essay prompt #7?

  • me29034me29034 Registered User Posts: 1,206 Senior Member
    The essay is supposed to be about you. It is supposed to highlight something in your personality that makes a college want to accept you. If you can do that by writing about your relationship with video games then that is OK, but don't make video games be the main topic of the essay. After reading it the person should think that they now understand you better, not that they understand video games better.
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 4,561 Senior Member
    I think I would reconsider.

    The point of this essay is NOT to educate-- on computer game history or mythology. It's to show the reader a little about YOU, to give them a reason to say yes to your application.

    You have a mere 600 words to show them that you would be a great addition to their campus. I'm not sure that a history of video games is making the best of those 600 words.
  • metapolymathmetapolymath Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    You didn't read what I wrote :( . In shorter words, my question was whether I could use video games to explain how I got interested in Computer science... and would selective colleges mock it when they read it?
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 4,561 Senior Member
    edited August 9
    No, my reading comprehension is good thanks. No need to shorten your sentences. We simply disagree.

    It's your essay, write it as you choose.
  • soontobecollegersoontobecolleger Registered User Posts: 364 Member
    If you want to stand out from the other CS applicants, wouldn't it make sense to write about something other than CS? (assuming that your interest in CS is clear from other parts of the application)

    I don't think it's a bad idea, but I just don't see the idea itself as unique for someone wanting to study computer science.
  • incompletenamincompletenam Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Don't write about a history paper on video games for a college admissions essay! They should be learning about you, not the video game. I know plenty of gamers majoring in computer science, electrical engineering, software engineering, and the other related majors. In fact, it's hard to name a male engineering major who doesn't have games on their laptops. Being a gamer won't make you unique, especially in computer science. Do you build your own pc gaming rigs? That could be a more personal topic. Talking about your experience building a custom RGB water cooler to maximize performance by eliminating thermal throttling, only to have it leak and turn your system into a brick is an interesting read. The history of Call of Duty and how it made you love computer science? No. But it's your essay, do what you want.
  • apraxiamomapraxiamom Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    Don't be condescending to someone whose advice you want.
  • metapolymathmetapolymath Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Thanks a lot everyone! I am sorry to be a bit rude @bjkmom. Forgive me, I was just confused about what I should do. Btw most of my activities are related to art, so I guess should write an essay on that. @soontobecolleger I was just considering video games because I have hardly any ECs related to comp. sc., except the Google Code Jam (in which I didn't go quite further).
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