Law School Discussion

Magic the Gathering PS - Good Idea?

Quis Custodiet

  • ***
  • 57
  • Omar Khayyam
    • AOL Instant Messenger - blcenturion
    • View Profile
Re: Magic the Gathering PS - Good Idea?
« Reply #50 on: December 11, 2007, 06:33:09 PM »

Remember who you are writing for. There are a handful of students who may get to participate, but your average admissions committee consists of professors. Academics. Wrte for your audience. Those professors probably remember some of the D&D drama in the early 80's.  Gamers were blurring the line between reality and fantasy. Some people got hurt. I would feel the same about a topic like this if someone told me they planned to write about how much they love playing video games. What does that tell me about the person when everyone else is writing about community service, being a political refugee, growing up on the Reservation, helping pass legislation or a university policy, or contrasting their life growing up in a small town in Alaska and then spending their college years in the hub  of NYC? I appreciate trying to get away from the same old topics, but the person writing this PS would have to literally blow me away with their insight, maturity and likability to get around the common view perception that people who play games like these are normal integrated members of society. I have yet to read a PS on LSD, or in any book that truly does that for me, and even the OP has realized that the idea won't work.

That's fair.  I've seen some stigma with D&D et al, but never a large amount about it.  Granted everyone makes fun of the guy who never bathes, can't say three words to a woman, and begins most conversations with, "Oh yeah, well last night my 3rd level elf..."  But I've never found the stereotype to include anyone who mentions playing WoW, et c--just the persons who can't live outside of it.

But looking at the OP he--to me at least--seemed to want to use Magic more as a setting than a theme.  Using your video game anology, would you consider the following two essays to be the same:

1: "I want to be a lawyer because I used to play a lot of Halo.  Halo is about shooting bad guys and making things--mostly grenades--stick.  Since I spend too much time playing Halo to workout I can't shoot bad guys, but I want to make the charges stick.  I remember one game I played..."

2: "My friends and I stood up after the Halo session.  It was late, time to go and sleep before the fast approaching Monday morning.  As I said goodbye to my friends and returned to an apartment full of empty beer cans, I knew I would miss these years of carefree undergrad.  I knew that these easy nights would soon be replaced with exams, papers... and then finally a degree, a job, and a life of productivity.  I reflected on what my friends had taught me..."

Both, to me, use Halo as an integral part of the setting--please ignore the tendency towards a straw man on the first essay--yet one shows someone who wants to highlight his experience with video games, and the other tries to use Halo to create the setting.  Would the fact that the second one said Halo, instead of say DVD, or football game, or hooker, create an image of a slacker that couldn't be undone?

I know that there are some negative stereotypes of Fantasy RPG/CCG players out there (see for example http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.asp -- probably the funniest "gamers are evil" idea out there, at least to me).  I also know that if the only thing you chose to a highlight to a school in your PS is that "I love Magic" then it's a bad idea. I suppose that I disagree that the gamer=social reject stigma is as prevalent as is assumed.  I mean, assuming that your PS isn't carved on a polyhedral die, and your resume is more than the tournaments to which you went  (I'll also assume the OP isn't applying to Regent/Liberty/et c).

I will agree with you though that if you do mention playing Magic, you should make certain your entire application answers the question, "Does this guy have sufficient social skills so as to ensure the school is not embarrassed?  Is there more to his life than a fantasy world?"

Re: Magic the Gathering PS - Good Idea?
« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2007, 08:28:55 AM »
i think the very fact that this thread now spans six full pages indicates that it is interesting and attention-grabbing enough to be successful as a personal statement, if written well.

BearlyLegal

  • *****
  • 6170
  • And the greatest threat to America is... Bears!!!
    • AOL Instant Messenger - Newjoetm
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Magic the Gathering PS - Good Idea?
« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2007, 08:30:51 AM »
i think the very fact that this thread now spans six full pages indicates that it is interesting and attention-grabbing enough to be successful as a personal statement, if written well.
It's 6 pages of people appealing for the OP not to do this.

That tells me that the subject evokes a visceral and negative reaction - something you don't want to evoke in a law school adcomm.

Re: Magic the Gathering PS - Good Idea?
« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2007, 10:18:11 AM »
i think the very fact that this thread now spans six full pages indicates that it is interesting and attention-grabbing enough to be successful as a personal statement, if written well.
It's 6 pages of people appealing for the OP not to do this.

That tells me that the subject evokes a visceral and negative reaction - something you don't want to evoke in a law school adcomm.

Not ALL six pages.  I guess it's about 3 pages of people who are really intrigued, no?  And many of the people who are saying no hold that opinion because they don't think it can be written well.

BearlyLegal

  • *****
  • 6170
  • And the greatest threat to America is... Bears!!!
    • AOL Instant Messenger - Newjoetm
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Magic the Gathering PS - Good Idea?
« Reply #54 on: December 12, 2007, 10:25:59 AM »
i think the very fact that this thread now spans six full pages indicates that it is interesting and attention-grabbing enough to be successful as a personal statement, if written well.
It's 6 pages of people appealing for the OP not to do this.

That tells me that the subject evokes a visceral and negative reaction - something you don't want to evoke in a law school adcomm.

Not ALL six pages.  I guess it's about 3 pages of people who are really intrigued, no?  And many of the people who are saying no hold that opinion because they don't think it can be written well.
Risky. Really risky is all I am saying.

What's the point of taking a risk like this when there are so many ways of writing a great PS without talking about MTG?

bloomlaw

  • ****
  • 723
  • Welcome to the Monkey House
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Magic the Gathering PS - Good Idea?
« Reply #55 on: December 13, 2007, 10:15:52 AM »
Risky. Really risky is all I am saying.

What's the point of taking a risk like this when there are so many ways of writing a great PS without talking about MTG?

cuz its magic.. obvious

Re: Magic the Gathering PS - Good Idea?
« Reply #56 on: January 15, 2008, 07:36:26 PM »
I have a PS written about a past video game addiction (competitive counter-strike...heh), how it was basically my life during high school and the changes I made entering undergrad to drop it all. 

I am worried it may not be a good PS for law school at all... I could really use some input, please PM me if you are willing to read it.

Thanks!

$Bill

  • ****
  • 991
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Magic the Gathering PS - Good Idea?
« Reply #57 on: January 16, 2008, 06:09:20 AM »
The last thing I want an adcomm to know is my 8 hr a weekend day compulsion to buy and play xbox.

XxWaitlistedxX

  • ***
  • 68
  • LSD's newest Wisconsin troll...
    • View Profile
    • LSN - Who can predict?
Re: Magic the Gathering PS - Good Idea?
« Reply #58 on: January 26, 2008, 06:41:00 AM »
I don't think there's any way this could help you.  Then again, I accidentally sent a "...and that's why I want to go to school X" essay to school Y.  I panicked but they still let me in.