Classes, teachers, homework, grades; it can seem like you’ll be in school forever. Yet all things come to an end and before you know it, it’s out into the big scary world you go with some book learning under your belt and that degree in hand. What would getting that rolled up piece of paper be without some words of wisdom?

All too many of us would rather just pick ‘em up and be on our merry, uncertain way, but there’s nothing that screams ceremony like a proper commencement speech to the future of tomorrow. For most students, the standard rhetoric is quite unremarkable and many of us struggle to even recall who spoke–yet alone what they said. What if colleges finally gave heed to its students’ hopes and dreams? By that, we mean video-games.

We’ve assigned each of the best video game characters to each of the best schools to give what would undoubtedly be the best graduation speeches ever. As the classes of 2014 bid farewell to their days of academia, let’s have a look at who could be guiding them towards a brighter future.

Andrew Ryan: Stanford Business

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“Tell us: is the student not entitled to the sweat of their brow? The cram sessions, the sleepless nights, those piles of papers, you and you alone have earned something from these four, hard years. Such is the world of the individual, the artist, the visionary. It’s this world that Stanford will forge a new path ahead. We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us. You are who you shape the world around you to be.”

 

 

Alan Wake: Emory University

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“My name is Alan Wake. I’m a wrier. Stephen King once said the unanswered mystery is what stays with us the longest, and it’s what we’ll remember in the end. There’s nothing worse than uncertainty; it can be downright terrifying for the best of us. Emory’s most creative minds need know nothing more than this: the dawn always rises against the night. Who better to be that light than a writer?”

 

 

Phoenix Wright: Yale Law

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“What are rules? What are people? What makes us human is that we fight for others. But who do you fight for? Lawyers always claim they’ll fight for you. I fight for all of you. We have at our disposal the long arm of the law. But when to strike and when to stay our hand? I trust Yale’s best and brightest to make the right choice in pursuit of the public good, in pursuit of the truth.”

 

Cave Johnson: MIT (Massachusetts Institute for Technology)

Cave Johnson Aperture

“Someone probably told you insanity was failing over and over and expecting a different result. Wrong. That’s called dedication. That’s progress! When life gave you crap, you forwarded crap back to it, mail-order! And where did that get you? Here! This is America’s number one polytechnical institute and you’re too damn good to listen to a counselor. You’ve crunched the numbers and it makes one big Smiley Face. Always listen to the Smiley Face.” *dodges lemon*

 

 

Cole Phelps: University of Maryland, College Park

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“It’s not enough to make a quick buck anymore. Or plug your head in the sand and pretend nothing’s wrong. It’s a big, goddamned scary world out there, and sometimes. . . sometimes you just have to. . . try and make the world a better place. I haven’t been around long enough to figure out more than that, but I know from two front-lines that than the University of Maryland’s top cops. Be prepared for the worst and look for the best in people, but it’s just about making the latter a little brighter.”

 

 

Commander Shepard: United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland

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“Graduation means freedom for some of us, but for others it’s just the beginning. Some fight not for their own liberty, but for our family’s, our neighbors’, our world’s. I know the nation’s finest will have their stories to tell, and I know that Annapolis’s finest will be there to tell the best of them. I fight for freedom. Mine, and everyone’s. I fight for the right to choose our own fate. I hope you fight for the same.”

 

 

Lara Croft: Harvard

Tomb-Raider

“Fear can bring out the worst in us, and it can bring out the best in us. It is in these darkest moments, that we find something, something that keeps us going. It’s all our duty to leap forward into the unknown for our explorers of tomorrow at this finest institute for archeology. I trust Harvard’s alumni to find this honor for themselves, for courage is a gift that can be found deep inside all of us.”

 

Ezio de Auditore de Firenze: University of Iowa

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“You will be young forever, this you believe. Yet somewhere in between the wine, the parties (according to the Princeton Review), the dalliances, something in your heart tells you this is not so. When I was a young man, I had liberty, I had time, I had love. Many years would pass before I understood the meaning of all three. It is to you that I impart these words of wisdom. Do not grow so old in your thinking, or so naive in your judgment. Embrace the best of both worlds, for time is so short.”

 

No Shortcut to Success

Video Game Graduation

Who would you want to speak at your own graduation? Anyone inspiring, comical, or just downright awesome? Tell us in the comments!

About The Author

Senior Editor of Features
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From the time he sat down to play the likes of Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. on his sisters' dusty NES one afternoon, video-games would entice Tim's mind like the One Ring to Gollum. Before he knew it, his obsession with all things virtual was spilling over into the written word. He believes video games are art and that Okami and Shadow of the Colossus are among them, if not equal to Poets of the Fall. He's pursuing a communications major at the University of Washington until the hopeful day he lands a gig where he can rave about games full-time.

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