The Everlasting Controversy

This assignment was written for a Feature Writing class about a socially relevant issue that could be discussed through people affected by the problem and explained by an expert source.

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“The only real world violence that you’ll find from video games is if you hit me hard enough over the head with an Xbox or Playstation.” John Waldman, an avid gamer who has already burned through twelve hours of Halo: The Master Chief Collection despite being released just two days ago, says in response to the everlasting controversy concerning his favorite hobby.

Waldman was introduced to his favorite pastime at the age of four with Pokemon Blue by his older brother Adam who already owned the franchise’s trading cards and action figures. As a twenty-two year old Biology student at Millersville University who is graduating at the end of 2019, he frequently plays to de-stress from his intensive exams and three-hour labs.

“The appealing part of video games is how they make you feel so powerful while gaining instantaneous feedback.” Waldman explains in comparison to other types of work where he fails to see results after a short period of time. He doesn’t see his part-time job earnings until payday and doesn’t receive the grades on his projects for weeks. Role-playing games allow him to experiment with multiple personalities too, embodying a type of confidence that he might naturally lack, while not facing any consequences if he chooses to be mean to other characters.

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Margins of the Academy

This assignment was written for a Feature Writing class to specifically focus on an important story within an interesting person’s life.

“You’ve had eight abortions? Are you sure?”

Dr. Debra Curtis cringes when remembering this response, which has since been immortalized on a tape recorder. Anthropology field work require neutrality in order to establish rapport between the researcher and the subject. If somebody feels judged, he or she is less likely to provide honest answers.

She was interviewing Aniela, a woman from Guyana who moved to Nevis and lived there with her husband for most of her life. Aniela talked about her lack of educational opportunities and poverty, residing in a house without running water and cared for her dying father in the black of night. 

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The Creative History of Pre-Internet Music Piracy

This assignment was written for a Feature Writing class to model “The Explainer” type of magazine articles.

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In the current age of internet streaming, which has killed pure album sales and underpaid musicians due to accessibility and low-cost, music piracy almost feels obsolete. Yet, according to Rolling Stone, about thirty-eight percent of internet users still pirate their music. Despite the high-profile shutdown of websites such as Limewire and Napster in the early twenty-first century, the vastness of the internet allows for bootlegging to thrive since websites can easily switch their domains while servers reroute their locations. Although the internet allows for file-to-file sharing to be easy and anonymous, the realms of cyberspace didn’t mark the beginning to this crime. So how was music privacy able to thrive in a world before the Internet?

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