Inspired to become a better person, creator and artist thanks to video games

How did I choose my major? Simple. The Last of Us. The Last of Us in just its first few hours of play showcased what you could do with a video game as a storytelling medium, integrating aspects of film and gameplay to tell a passionate story, ultimately, of the love between a father and daughter. Despite our two protagonists not being related. It has the players not only experience the development of character not just through cut-scenes but also displays character through subtle lines through gameplay.
Watch his full video essay below:

We are proud to announce Preston Lingle is one of the current JustJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for his essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘heart’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.



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  • Just looking at how you edited the
    video, it’s obvious you have the attention to detail that it takes to be a part of making a good game. I hope you stick with it, we need more games like TLOU.

    • He just recently made a video on his YouTube channel about a game called Overwatch and the editing actually impressed me. It was cool to think my brother actually made something that was of quality of some bigger YouTubers. Reminded me a lot of a JonTron style of editing.

    • DUDE I JUST LOVE EVERYTHING NEIL DRUCKMANN CREATES AND I KINDA WANT TO JUST DO EVERYTHING HE DOES. (No but seriously TLOU is great and I seriously want to work on a game that good and as dedicated as Naughty Dog was when making that masterpiece.)

  • Preston is one of the most intelligent and passionate persons that I have ever met. I know that he can do great things with this degree and definitely deserves this scholarship.

    • Oh, stop it you. Thanks Jenna! I’ve fallen out of writing as of recently, but really want to get back into it. Just haven’t had the time to do it, due to work and internship. I haven’t even had much time to talk with you via Skype at all this summer! Goes to show how little time I’ve had.

  • Preston is one of the most creative people I know, so I have no doubt that he would excel in the video game industry.

  • A lot of people seem to doubt the power behind storytelling, and video games tend to be a medium that can really help a story make an impact. Preston has a wide range of ideas (creative, political, and otherwise) that will help him not only excel in his major but also tell great stories through gameplay. This scholarship can help him go far and focus less on finances and more on his skills. (:

    • Right, I also feel as if people brush off the idea of being a writer/creator/artist because it doesn’t seem as helpful as, say, a doctor or researcher. At least, on paper it doesn’t seem as helpful. Being able to tell a story that changes somebody or gives them a different perspective on life is a talent in and of itself, and being able to channel that talent is sometimes needed through education to achieve that goal. Games like Pokemon Go are currently taking the nation by storm. Plays like Hamilton are revolutionizing people’s perception on not only the culture of musicals, but also giving us more insight of history and inspiring a whole new generation. It may not be as much instant gratification as being a doctor or something would be (not saying there’s anything wrong with that profession), but the perception that art isn’t as important is a stigma we shouldn’t have as a society.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Catherine! The whole idea of me going into Game Design is to tell stories through the lens of video games, as I feel it is an unexplored sanction for storytelling. Hey, and you too! Never stop writing, girl! I wanna see more of those stories you got cooking up in your head–your One Act was brilliant and I, too, want to see what else you come up with in the future.

  • Preston is not just a fan of playing video games, he wants to take part in making them. Luckily, Webster University offers a degree in this field. Preston is a serious & dedicated student and has a ton of creativity running through his brain constantly. He was lucky enough to be asked to be an intern (unpaid, of course) at a local board game business. Even though this place is nowhere near his home, he drives it just to gain the experience and utilize his ideas in a creative way. He works a part time job, goes to college & is involved in the unpaid internship because he is a dedicated young man. Receiving any scholarships at all would help him immensely.

    • Thanks! I kinda fell into the Internship this summer didn’t I? He approached me because of my work and wanted me to work for his company on writing and play testing to help refine game mechanics. I love my internship and it’s easily the best part of my week! Still kinda wish it paid though, for the drive…

  • I went to high school with Preston, he’s a smart guy. After watching his video, I’d agree he makes a very persuasive case and could certainly put this scholarship to good use.

    • Thanks, Jack! Hey, you helped me out on more than one occasion, especially in AP Lit. Never forget. So many Acres. Perhaps maybe even A Thousand Acres. Whyyyy is that book soooo bad.

  • I wholeheartedly agree with those that came before, and I’m certain those that will come after, this post! Preston has a powerful combination in his natural inclination for storytelling and writing, his fervor to explore new ideas and profess his personal philosophies, and his remarkable intellect that has allowed him to reign-in and support that fervor so that it may skillfully manifest by means of that inclination.

    Along with this, one of the things I’ve come to know Preston best for is his dedication to making sure whatever task he takes on is seen through to the end, and is done so to highest degree of quality he can provide. It’s especially because of this that I’m confident Preston would be an excellent recipient for this scholarship, as I know that he would take full advantage of the opportunity it would provide!

    • I also believe Preston would be great in creating stories through games because of how much he cares about things like the environment, recycling, etc and would make games centered around those concepts in order to raise awareness. With the release of Pokemon Go, he’s been obsessed with the idea of being in the seat of the developers and how it would feel to create something that’s become a nationwide phenomenon.

    • Thanks, Nick! Your comment almost went over my head from the diction alone–almost. Haha
      I would defiantly put this scholarship to good use, hopefully to allow me to take some days off of work in order to just write from sun-up to sun-down without the lurking feeling of missing out on precious work hours.

  • Preston has been obsessed with video games since we got him his first Gameboy when he was about seven years old. Preston has always been a great student in school and even published a book when he was sixteen years old (get your copy on Amazon). Preston has a great creative mind and pours his heart and soul into every project he get his hands on. He not only works 20+ hours a week at his job with Arnold Parks and Recreation but also spends time working his internship at a local game company (Genius Games) and still finds time to maintain a 3.6 GPA at his college (Webster University). This scholarship would not only
    help financially but would serve to validate all the hard work he has put into schooling.

    • Thanks! See, I saw the Gameboy comment and immediately went, “Wow. I’ve been playing Pokemon for 12 years…” I know the real reason I wanted that Gameboy. I wanted to be a Pokemon Master. Still do. But eh.

  • Preston is a very creative and hard woking young man. He is passionate about his career goals and his life .He is very deserving this scholarship.

    • Thanks! I still have a long way to go, though. Just the first year of college and I still have a lot to learn about Game Design…and writing, too. But I’m looking forward to it! I finally get to take classes in subjects I’m interested in at Webster, so it makes the whole process of learning and retaining the information that much easier.

  • I have the privilege of working with Preston at his part time job on weekends as his supervisor,. He is always willing to go the extra mile and when asked to do more than his job, he does so willingly and effectively. Preston knows where his path will lead and isn’t afraid to do what is required to walk that path. It is my hope that a scholarship may be awarded to this deserving and forward thinking man.

    • Thanks, Pat! I hope to follow in the footsteps of those I admire and create something better than them…then help to create a new generation to build off of what I was inspired by, and hopefully inspire others to be better than me, keeping the whole cycle going.

  • I have known Preston since 6th grade, which as of now was almost 7 years ago. We first talked at a lunch table about Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and soon began to connect over other video games as well. We became fast friends. He wanted to be an architect. He was fascinated with buildings and their designs, so much so that one year he went to tour Kansas University, which is highly acclaimed for their architecture program. This all changed, however, when he played The Last of Us for the first time. He wouldn’t shut up about it ever since its initial debut trailer in 2012, and followed it to release in 2013. It completely changed his world view and altered his entire lifestyle, or, in my opinion, released what was already inside him all along. Preston and I were bullied quite harshly throughout our middle school years, mainly due to the fact that we were very big nerds, specifically in the video game niche, and were proud and outspoken about that. We soon began to cower in fear among our classmates, and whispered our nerdy conversations to one another, in fear of being made fun of or bullied or pushed around. This in turn made both of us very apprehensive towards being outspoken about our thoughts and ideas, as every time we did it seemed as if it were being punished. When The Last of Us came out, however, it awoke something in Preston and made him realize that video games were his passion and he didn’t care who knew it. He would talk about the themes certain games had, analyze level design and world building aspects of games, getting completely involved in the story of game development and learning about all the parts that made a game possible. Video games are synonymous with Preston, as the two are very well connected with one another.

    One thing I admire about Preston’s essay is how he doesn’t just talk-the-talk, he actively walks-the-walk and proves himself with the format of the essay itself. He says he wants to be a director for a game company…he literally made his essay a video! He didn’t have to do that! It goes to show how dedicated he is to video production that he spent more time than probably necessary to create a video centered around his essay than just writing it and posting it online. In the almost 7 years I’ve known him, he has always been making videos, both for class projects (when he didn’t need to; he did so because it expressed his thoughts better than writing an essay would) and for personal reasons as well. I would very frequently help him in his videos, filming, “acting”, and just being an all-around supporter of his artistic endeavors. Another moment in the video which stood out to me was the part, albeit subtle, of Preston’s demeanor when talking about what he specifically wants to be in the gaming industry. He mentions how he wants to be Director (more specifically Creative Director), but then goes on to say basically, “Yeah, I’m going to be director. And you know what? When I get there, I’m going to do THIS with that position.” He isn’t in it just for himself, although he obviously has to be to a certain extent, I assume. But it’s more about his ideas that drive him to video games—he wants to tell stories and entertain people so much that he needs to direct video games in order to get his visions out there. He wants to alter people’s lives and wants to use video games to do just that. No other essay, from what I can tell, has that sort of tone; that tone of “Why did you specifically choose this major to accomplish your goal, instead of another one?”

    Preston wants to work on video games, not just because he’d think it’d be cool—it’s because it’s his passion.

    • After reading that novel, I would have to say I agree; we did in fact suffer through thick-and-thin through middle school. I never really realized that our middle school experience actually hardened our love for video games, and in your case comic books as well. That’s why I keep you around: To keep reminding me of things I should remember years down the line.
      Here’s the seven more years, buddy!

  • The day I met Preston he amazed me with who intellectual and ambitious he is and continues to to this very day. His outlook on his essay is something I could fall in line with and I could wholeheartedly agree with it. I know very few people who can inspire so much like Preston does and even fewer who can step forward a make a change like he does. He’ll go far with the scholarship, farther than anyone else. His capability in life is beyond imagining and I know he’ll be one of the people to bring about a great change with his work.

    • Thanks, Alex! You approached me, don’t forget! We talked about Smash Brothers; like how all good friendships start. I wish you the best in your future endeavors as well, and hope you aspire to make a name for yourself as well! Let’s change the word together, in our own way.

  • Having lived with this guy for the past 16 years, I can say that when I accidentally ask him about a video game, he won’t stop talking. He will go on for an hour if you let him about how well designed the characters, the setting, the plot, the (insert game style), etc. If I even mention “Last”, “of”, or “us”, he will lecture about the amazing story and the use of the environment to tell and story of the characters in the game. It’s impressive to say the least. If he ever gets a chance to help craft or create a games plot/lore, I guarentee you it will be in-depth, fascinating, and inspiring. I read his book, “Remember” which he published back in 2013, and that is just a small glimpse of a story that his mind couldn’t even fit into a single novel. He plans on creating a trilogy to fully tell his story.
    I believe giving him this scholarship would be a wise choice, as he is constantly distraught by being constantly at work or his internship just to pay for basic amenities that he never has much time to write anymore. Receiving this scholarship would mean he could ease off his workload just a bit and focus more on his writings again, which would be nice because I’m interested in what he has to say.

    • (Literally last night when you just said “Last of Us” and I went on for 20 minutes about environmental design in the game. Or today when Hunter texted me a picture of the Last of Us comic and I talked forever about how much I love Neil Druckmann as an artist.)
      Thanks, bro! And well kinda. I’m more thinking of just rewriting Remember (because my god the spelling errors) and making the whole story one book. I don’t like the idea of splitting it into multiple sections because then I’m making people wait for more of the story, when I’d rather just have my idea be one complete package, regardless the amount of time it takes to do it that way.

  • Preston is so clearly passionate about making this a career, and passion is so important for anything! He is clearly very skilled in a lot of difficult areas when it comes to filmmaking and creating.
    I have the privilege to work with Preston, and he is a great and hardworking person! He is always up for any challenge and I have never heard him complain about anything. He just always does his job, and does it to the fullest way he can.
    That speaks a lot to his character, and I can only imagine how far above and beyond he will go when he is doing what he loves! His creativeness and other skills definitely shouldn’t go to waste. If he received this scholarship, it would help him better his future and begin a life-changing career.

    • Thanks, Paige! Any day we’re working together is a fun day!…except when the building is falling apart on us. Then it’s not so fun.
      I write a lot at work, too. Mostly just little jots and inklings, but my mind just wonders and comes up with ideas while walking around. Even when I’m at work, I’m still multi-tasking with other things on my mind. So when you see me walking around not talking to anyone…it’s probably because I’m thinking through an idea I had. It happens more often than you’d think.

  • Preston is an all around amazing human being. I am so proud of everything he has already accomplished and would love to see earning this scholarship added to that list!

    • Thanks! There’s still a million things I haven’t done, so stay tuned for what’s to come…later. It’s been a busy summer.

  • I would spend any amount of money to play a game made by Preston. With his mindset and creativity, I hope he’ll go far in this industry and this opportunity will help him grow as an artist and a designer.

    • Any amount of money you say, hmmmm? 😛
      Thanks, Andre! I also wish you the best of luck in the theatre department! You’re a great actor, and already have a professionally paid gig under your belt, so I have faith that you can make it a profession some day, sir!

  • Preston is by far one of the hardest working people I know; he definitely deserves this scholarship because he knows what he’s talking about and he has a vision many others don’t.

    • Thanks Marissa for the kind words! Hopefully I can make my vision a reality, and turn a obsession into my profession.

  • Preston is very imaginative and has been that way is entire life. It always amazes us that such creativity can come from a young man. The stories he writes draw the reader in and captures your interest to the point of wanting more. This talent for writing is crucial for game development, as the gaming industry draws fans in by telling a “story”. Preston’s talents need to be shaped further through continuing his education, and internships. This scholarship could be crucial in furthering the abilities of our next great Speilberg, Preston Lingle!

    • Thank you…uh…Jennifer? Kenny? Other Kenny? One of you, I’m sure. I’m learning a lot through my internship now; how to do press releases, create sell sheets, format rules, write rules, packaging, etc. It’s always interesting, walking in every day, curious to see what I will learn next!

  • Preston is a man whose love and dedication for video games knows no bounds. When I had heard that he was attending Webster as a part of their gaming program, I was happy for him and happy for the contribution he can make to the games industry in the future. I will always support Preston in his endeavors, as he accomplishes greatness in a way many will never know.

    • Thanks, Dan! I hope I can make some impact in the gaming industry and help it move towards another platform to communicate ideas and stories, as well as just being fun for people to play. That balance is a hard line to hit sometimes, but the struggle is always the most interesting part.

  • Incredible story! I think this shows Preston’s progressive thinking. It seems most people nowadays disregard video games as a storytelling medium, when they have the power to reach a whole new demographic. Video games aren’t just for gamers anymore; they’re for families, children, and adults-adventurers. In other words, those who enjoy gripping stories and amazing cinematography. That’s why we are seeing the era of interactive and immersive virtual reality gaming. Many people have been impacted by video games of all manners, and I think it will be great to see video games have the same place in a household as movies or books. I think Preston realizes this, and has clear cut goals to accomplish this. He has always been an incredible writer and storyteller, so to see Preston use this medium to reach audiences en masse using an underrepresented media will be a sight to behold. He has clear cut aspirations, he only needs the means to achieve them.

    We as a people flock around great storytellers-Mark Twain, George R. R. Martin, even the seers and oracles of ancient times-because we want to be transported to another time and place. We flock to them because they are special in that they make us feel like the “chosen adventure destined for greatness.” We flock to them because not everyone has the capacity to tell great stories. Preston does, and I cannot wait to see what epic saga he will come up with.

    • Thank you, Zach! The support from you is always noted, sir! I wouldn’t call myself the next Mark Twain or George R. R. Martin or anything, but I agree that storytelling in games hasn’t really been touched on as a major platform for voicing opinions or compelling and changing people. That’s probably why TLOU sticks out so much from the rest of the crowd, now that I think about it.