3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Should I mention gaming in the additional section of the Common App?

I used to play a game that is wildly popular (1+ billion installs and 100+ million active users till now). I ended up spending at least 1500 hours in it.

To give you some context, It's a game similar to League of Legends where you chose different heroes.

I was one of the top 10 players of a hero from my Nation(they release lists monthly) and was at one point in time, the top 1000 in the world (overall performance) i.e in the top 0.001%tile of players. I was almost always in the top 10 positions of my state.

Should I mention it or is it too silly/insignificant?

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

I think that videogames are a risky topic to include in your college application, because there is some stigma around it. Colleges might get the impression that you will spend your time on campus engaging with the online community (in your dorm room gaming) more than your college community, and that is unlikely to be a quality they are excited about.

That said, true excellence in anything is impressive! I might include it in a supplemental essay instead of the additional info section. There, you could unpack what skills and mindsets you developed through your pursuit of excellence in this game, AND you could get ahead of their concern by saying something along the lines of, "although online communities are meaningful to me, I am also excited to be a part of [name of college's] thriving community." You could also name some specific campus groups or communities you would be a part of!

3 years ago[edited]

@unior This sounds really impressive! I think you can mention gaming in the additional information section if there is no other place for you to include it in the application, but like @gribletnblode said, it might fit in better in the supplemental essays. Only include it in the additional information section if you feel like it is an integral part of who you are and you wouldn’t be who you are without it. Here’s some info from one of our blog posts on what you should include in the additional information section: https://blog.collegevine.com/additional-information-about-commonapps-additional-information-section/.

Regardless of where you choose to mention it, I encourage you to focus on how gaming and video games helped you develop certain characteristics (i.e. communicate with others, come up with a game plan to tackle challenges, think critically on the spot, etc). Provide some brief context about the game and your accomplishments, but the rest of the essay should be about how you have grown as a person. If you can, possibly also include how these skills have been transferred to other aspects of your life (your leadership positions, extracurriculars, academics, etc).

2 years ago

I believe video games are a potentially stigmatizing subject to bring up in a college application. You may give the appearance to colleges that you plan to spend more time interacting with people outside of your institution (via online communities and dorm room gaming) than with your actual college community.

To be sure, it is stunning to see real greatness in any endeavor. Instead of putting it in the "More Information" area, I may write a short article on the topic. There, you'd be in a great position to discuss the ways in which your dedication to gaming has shaped who you are as a person and how you approach challenges, as well as to allay any fears they might have by preemptively stating something like, "although online communities are meaningful to me, I am also excited to be a part of [name of college's] thriving community." Feel free to specify the student organizations or residential communities you wish join.

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