You Can Hire These People To Write Term-Papers About Anything, Even Video Games

If you want, you can buy your university term papers. This has been true for as long as there have been academic institutions -- some students just don't want to deal with the agony and all-nighters required to pull together a massive paper. They'd rather be socializing than sitting in front of a computer, bleary-eyed, cranking out half-coherent paragraphs about a topic they barely understand.

Fortunately for them there is A Website For That. A whole cottage industry, in fact, made up of unscrupulous academics and grad students who are willing to anonymously write papers for anyone willing to pay. These mercenaries will write about anything: maths, science, humanities, and even, as it turns out, video games.

After learning about a particularly brazen "buy your college papers" website called "Unemployed Professors", the jokers over at the video game site Unwinnable decided it would be fun to see if they could actually hire someone from the site to write then a paper about video games.

They sent in Brian Daly's comic "A Brief history of Storytelling in Videogames" with the request that someone write a paper about it. Soon enough, they had a bid, from one anonymous "Professor Rogue."

The paper he came up with is… not terrible, actually! Though it does call Police Quest an "RPG." You can read the whole thing if you want to; it contains such gem as:

"Subsequent to this chronological tracing of the evolution of narrative in video games, the essay concludes by examining psychological literature demonstrating humanity's preference to think and act through narratives."

and

"In Oblivion, the user controls the narrative, inasmuch as initial choices, made when constructing the player's character, and then at salient plot points throughout the game, actually change the story line, and thus the narrative itself."

I dunno, that actually does read like a college term paper to me. Not a particularly interesting one, but hey, it's a college term-paper! It's not supposed to be interesting!

Professor Rogue really brings it home in the conclusion:

Moving to clinical psychology, Murray thus proposes that the narrative approach to psychology, at base, flows from the premise that "human beings are natural storytellers and that the exchange of stories permeates our everyday social interaction."3 On the basis of this then, it is logical to conclude that the increasing sophistication of narratives is likely to increase videogames' market share, popularity and reach. If human beings are indeed natural storytellers, and if the stories that govern our games continue to evolve, new individuals might be drawn into the realm of gaming, and with this, the industry is likely to expand.

Preach it! Heh.

Just goes to show, you really can hire someone to write about just about anything. Maybe the next time the illustrious Professor Bogost is behind on an essay or book, he can just get in touch with the folks at this website.

An Academic History of Storytelling in Videogames [Unwinnable]


Comments

    As a university lecturer I feel its my duty to explain to any readers of this site that I, and most of my colleagues, can spot this kind of thing a mile off. We know that these things exist, we've known for a long time. We also know who you are--if you are the kind of student who is more likely to pay for an essay to be written, you are likely unable to write the kind of (over-wrought) academic prose in the essay in this example. So when I bring you into my office to chat about it, and you can't explain anything written in "your" essay, you're done.

    We're not idiots.

    Obviously I am opening myself up here to hordes of "Hurr Durr I did it and didn't get caught" comments here. Firstly, I pick up plagiarism personally at least once a semester, and my senior colleagues many more times. Secondly, if you did succeed in this manner, congratulations you're a cheat and you don't know anything you paid to learn.

      Macdaddy Macquarie University uses Turnitin, right? I always found that program to be hit and miss. It would pick up random single words in my paper and link them to other books or sometimes even my past papers.

    590 words and 3 references counts as a University paper? I would have been laughed out of the room had a turned that it.

      Bloody hell, i can't type anything correctly today.

        Yeah we use TurnItIn, but that really just takes some of the legwork out of it for us. It's pretty easy to distinguish between an undergrad's writing and a post-grad or whatever, when you read a couple hundred examples a year. Technically you shouldn't copy anything from your own previous work anyway, as you can't submit the same assignment (or parts thereof) twice. But single words etc we just ignore :P

        Also, no that example wouldn't pass as any assignment I set, just on word-count alone. But I don't know what Unwinnable actually asked for. So who knows.

          Lazy undergrads can be funny though. When I was marking assignments for one of my lecturers last year I had a few where the student was vague about most of the questions they answered and then went into major detail with one. It was a really obvious cut & paste job, right down to the way they forgot to remove the reference links from the wikipedia article they copied.

    You know someone is plagiarising when you can simply type the topic sentence in google and you get 100 hits.

    Speaking as a university tutor and an examiner, it's dissapointing to see students not put in the effort for a 1000 word essay which anyone can write in one day if they just put their mind into it and do the hard work.

      Its weird how people seem to think 1000 words is a lot, I barely get enough detail into a 2500 word one

        Sometimes leaving a paper to the last minute was a tactic.In my second semester i had a friend who wrote every single one of his essays, regardless of the word count the night before or sometimes even the morning it was due. He said the rush would switch his brain into ultra student mode. I can personally say that he got HDs for the essays he did my my class.

    I graduated with a BSc in Games Development and never had to write a single paper, but 500 words is quite hilarious.

    As for TurnItIn, that software is junk. I can't believe the number of times I've been called in because my code was flagged as suspicious as a number of other students submitted the same thing and it turns out to be an example piece of code given to us in lectures.

    Never the less, plagerism is rife, and 9 times out of 10 it will be the international students who pay to get their work done for them. I once had a group project and the work that was being handed in from an international student was not only extremely intelligent, but completely off topic for the assignment at hand.
    I'm pretty sure my lecturer cottoned on when the student couldn't even speak English but was writing like a boss.

      TurnItIn is much more reliable in the humanities. I'm surprised they even run it across code-based assignments! Far, far more likely to have similar/same code than sentences in an essay.

      Also, not very many BSc programs would require essays :P Our new one does though mwah ahahah.

        ive always hated how they try and claim copy right over code. code is code should be open to everyone. only the architecture aka python, c++ etc should be copyrightable.

    Ah in my past life as a uni student, I did come into a couple of situations where I worked on essays or assignments with other students. We thoroughly checked our course documentation to ensure that there were no restrictions placed on assignment work.
    Consequently we were called in to review of one said assignment because we had all marked very highly and the arguments were extremely similar. Our teacher accused us of plagiarism but we successfully argued to the review panel of the loophole.

    End result - every single paper that each of us handed in for 2 years was reviewed and marked by at least 2 lecturers and they tried to fuck us over in giving extremely harsh marks.

    Not one of us cared due to the fact we had to perform better to receive even satisfactory results.

    None of us graduated with either second or first class honours, but we all found high profile jobs within our sector.

      you should have proceeded to threaten to sue if they continued to discriminate against you.

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