Articles, Essays & Such

The Infected — An article for The Escapist on Left 4 Dead and my parents’ cancer.

A God Among Insects — An article for The Escapist on Sim Ant and “god” games in general.

Senior Thesis — My senior seminar was about travel literature, and my thesis was on Eric Newby’s A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush.

Internet, Writing, and Society Final

Oxford English Dictionary Essay — Lit Meth.

Poetry Essay — Lit Meth.

Fiction Essay — Lit Meth.

Hemingway Essay — Lit Meth.

Tolkien Essay
— This was my final paper for a superb class I got to take at Camden
County College called “The Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien.” It was taught
by Dave Daniels, as good of a professor as you could hope for at any
college, community or otherwise. I would love to go back to this
someday and expand on things.

  1. Hi John,
    I just read your article for the Escapist ‘The Infected’ and found it quite bizarre in that you seemed to be describing my own life back to me as I am going through roughly the same circumstances (minus the imminent marriage). My mum (yes mUm, I’m an Aussie) is currently undergoing chemotherapy for incurable Pancreatic Cancer and while she is still going fairly strongly, having reached 8 months after diagnosis as opposed to the 3-4 that she was given initially, due to the cancer having spread to her bladder and liver the inevitable is going to catch up with us sooner rather than later. My parents are actually going to Germany tomorrow for the the month trial period she’s having off chemo to see how she reacts and we’re all well aware of the possibility that she may not return but I’m not going to keep heaping this at you, I’m sure you know the drill well enough.
    Point being, I’ve also found myself drawn into L4D, though its the sequel version which has rather blandly been censored by my super-nanny country (God smite the Michael Atkinsons of the world *shakes fist*) and since having read your article I’ve become rather aware of the ideas you discussed through playing the game at this time. Now I’m wondering whether my subconscious is more active in my choice of games than I was aware.
    It’s interesting how we use games, film and books etc as forms of escapism but I find myself unable to escape from my own life wherever I go. I play L4D2 and have underlying metaphors of battling disease, or I’m made to sit down and watch Adam Sandler’s Funny People which actually turns out to be a movie about a young person coping with a supposed death-sentence from Leukemia. It’s why I love these media forms, the mix of not only escape but self-reflection that is caused when experiencing them.
    I’m just waffling my thoughts out now (I do that) but I just wanted to thank you for giving some perspective on things.
    Thanks again,

  2. Marcus, if by chance you come back by to read this, I’d just like to apologize for taking so long to reply. I sincerely hope you had a chance to spend one more New Year with your mother, but I also hope she is not in pain and that you have not had to see her enduring any great pain. I know the torture of that. I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel when the article touches someone. My thoughts were with you through the holidays even though I hadn’t replied yet; I wish you and your family all the best. Life is what it is, and all you can do is try and get through it.

    And honestly, thank you.

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