where the writers are
Nigerian Email 102:
college profits.jpg

Here's my next spoof on scams - they don't just come from Nigeria anymore! (This is based on actual reports of for-profit college fraud which runs rampant in the U.S. Check out Senator Harkin's report.)

June 1st:

Dear Applicant:
You clicked on that link like an expert! Sounds like you want to get a degree in video game design. Our program will make you EMPLOYABLE in 16 months. And you'll get a college degree from an accredited university; no waiting in lines at those slowpoke schools run by big government.

June 3rd:

Dear Scott,
Your parents want you to be an engineer? Tell them you'll get a degree they can be proud of. Your games will touch the lives of millions all over the world. We're talking the next Angry Birds. Think Hungry Birds with the world of online gaming. You'll have your users begging for more. Do these people know they've turned into pigs...or zombies (ha ha)? Seriously, we're accredited and your G.I. bill benefits will cover every cent.

June 5th:

Scott, hey,
You're not a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces? How about the Republic of Zynga Masked Defenders? If you've gamed for 3 years, you're battle scarred, you're a vet. NO problem, our financial aid counselors can help you fill out forms to get you the loans you need, at .0005% interest, no repayment for as long as you'd like. Are you 18? Sure you are! Got dependents? Fido counts. And the hamsters.

June 8th -- 11:03am:

My dear Scott,
Still wondering if this program is right for you? I know that you want to get a job right away and move out of your parents' basement. We have graduates excelling in every part of the industry. One works for Toys 'R Us in the video game department; that's a blue chip company. He's also putting his marketing skills to use. Another is a video game tester. He gets awesome coupons for buying the latest games.

-- 3:59pm:
Salaries? Some companies have Christmas bonuses. And even if it's just coupons, that's a great thing to put on your resume, plus you get to play video games with purpose! If they hold on to their room at the old man's house, it's not so bad.

August 15th

Hi there Scott,
Great to see you've enrolled. Sorry, I don't know anything about textbooks for Game Design: Killing Your Enemy, Levels 1-3. Find your instruction booklet for Nintendo. Oh...they don't play that anymore? Ask your instructor, why don't you...

August 16th

Your instructor's just trying to get the high score in class? That's great! He's the kind of gamer you'd want to design your games for.

October 1st

Dear Student,
We regret to inform you that you will no longer be enrolled at UGameIt University. Your financial aid package has been rescinded due to structural changes in the student loans criteria...Why hamsters don't count as dependents, I have no idea. They're not like rats; they die if nobody takes care of them.

October 28th

Um...You say your courses won't transfer to the local community college? And they never heard of a 5-week semester? Well, they're small minded types who don't see the power of video games to change the way the world plays. Don't worry, Joe. It's their loss.

October 30th

Joe--Scott--whatever your name is,
I'm afraid you cannot get a refund for your classes last semester. No, it's your responsibility, even though the financial aid didn't come through. How hard is it to pay off $18,000? You're young, right? Let's say you live until 80; you've got 60 years to do it. And no, you can't file chapter 11 -- that's for other losers.

October 31st

Didn't they teach you about responsibility in grade school? Hey, name calling won't get you anywhere, Mr. Sucka. Welcome to the real world -- when you can't pay your mortgage the bank repos your house. Same here. That's why they hired me; I sold all these schmucks on taking out five, six-hundred grand loans when they're only working at Wal-Mart.

November 1st

Oh, you'll report me to the president of the university, will you? Listen, Scotty, I'm just taking my direction from my bosses. Don't shoot the messenger! Plus you won't even reach the real boss -- that's the CEO of ForProfit U, Mr. Daniels. He just retired, by the way. You won't catch him playing golf. He's back on Wall Street, generating jobs for all Americans. And why don't you just get a job instead of making mine harder? Good-bye and good luck.