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…Later That Night… - by F. Jammes

…Later That Night…

Good morning, everyone. Let’s make sure we’re all in the right place: Fourside West, room 203 – Earthbound…good, good. I’m your professor, of course; you can call me Francis, or Professor Jammes, ‘Jammies’, whatever. Yes, there’s two ‘m’s, that’s not a typo on your schedules; don’t worry about it, long story.

I saw you the other day, I believe, moving in? Dropped your Super Nintendo from the old barn roof, not quite sure how you managed that. I hope it still works? Yeah, they’re sturdy little things. Please, would you introduce yourself, then we’ll go around the room. Not a big class, which is fine.

Well, now for a few words about this class. As we saw in our introductions, you’re here for very different reasons. Tom, was it? Tom’s majoring in Japanese; we have a few art majors—Millicent, yellow backpack, nice touch—and several of you mentioned you write—John-Paul McManus? ah, mixed you two up, whoops; then there are several going into videogames—you in the orange, you were quite insistent about that, your name again? (Sorry, I’m trying to practice but it will take me awhile to remember everyone. Don’t take it personally if I forget your name). And some of you have not played Earthbound, is that right?

That’s very exciting. I hope that those of you who have will be supportive—but not overbearing, that’s very unbecoming—and we’ll have some lively discussions that will only be enriched by the diversity of your experiences and interests.

The only resources you will need are these: wisdom, courage, and friendship…I see a few of you are smiling. If it’s because that sounds familiar to you, by all means, relish it—but I warn you, the one rule I have in this class that I will not abide your breaking is this: keep an open mind. So if any of you are smirking because what I’ve said sounds stupid, I’m sorry, but I request that we part ways now. If you aren’t good-humored, or if you’re too cool for us, then you ruin the sanctuary of this class for everyone...

I’m glad you can all appreciate those words, “wisdom, courage, and friendship”. Know that you have my respect. I’d like to go around again, then, and hear what they mean to you. Let’s start with you in the pink…don’t worry, just a few words is fine, and the rest of us will respond.

All right, all right, many interesting and important points. And I feel like I’m getting to know you all a little better already. Well, our time’s up for today. Has everyone got their game in order?—You haven’t? If you could stay after a moment, I’ll explain. It’s very simple. The bookstore should have several box sets and systems in stock, and it’s easy to set up…—Don’t leave just yet: here’s our syllabus, look it over; and in addition to playing from “New Game” to Giant Step, which is your assignment for Thursday, be sure to have done the corresponding essay. Seriously, or you won’t be prepared for our discussion.

Okay, have a good day.


Earthbound and the Neighborhood
A game and its relations

Prof. F. Jammes, Eb., Phd. [email protected]
Academic People Enclosure 115
Office Hours…

This class has become a great favorite and something of a tradition here at the University of Hallowed Arts, Luxembourg. It is very hard to gain admission as I offer only two sessions a semester. The application process is rigorous and utterly capricious. Congratulations – You Won!

Earthbound is not offered for credit for several reasons. At first it was because neither the English, nor the Art, nor the Engineering, nor any other department would have anything to do with such a shambling assemblage of disciplines linked, what on earth?, by the earnest study of a toy made for the mindless amusement of children, a videogame, and an old, rather rudimentary one at that. Now they would all be only too happy to claim us as their own, as this pioneering seminar has been lauded (with varying degrees of accuracy) and imitated (with varying degrees of success) at institutions of higher learning the world over. The critical study of videogames has followed in the footsteps of film and popular culture; many had predicted this, and as many have decried it, but there it is. My goal when I first framed this course has not changed: I only try to do my part to ensure that a good game is taught in a way that does not betray its goodness, but that places it in its proper context, in the company of other beloved and better-acknowledged works, that it might be seen to belong. An aesthetic cue has served for the selection of these coequal works: it is the significance of ‘home’ to life and art that resonates in them all. But let us not overreach ourselves.

What this policy means for you is very simple: no grades. So, yes, if you choose not to do any of the work or reading, there will be no consequences for your transcript. And, of course, if any of you choose this route, it will mean your are devoid of those qualities I supposed were in you when I picked your for this class. My mistake.

I have since requested, you see, despite all the bandwagoneering, that this course remain non-credit. It is an idealistic sort of failing of mine, but I hope for the best to emerge from this all-natural approach. Luckily, college students are still idealistic themselves. I have rarely been let down.

Course Materials, available in the bookstore but perhaps you can find them cheaper online, or already have them:
1. Earthbound box set (game and player’s guide) – Itoi, et. al
2. Super Nintendo System, connections, TV – NoA, et al.
And excerpts from supplementary media; I will e-mail these to you:
3. Under Milk Wood – Dylan Thomas
4. The Funeral – The Arcade Fire
5. Essays - Montaigne
6. The Power of Myth – Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers
7. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
8. Dubliners – James Joyce
9. Remembrance of Times Past – Marcel Proust
10. Odyssey – Homer
11. – an online community (more on this later)

Note: I’ll have the copyrights all in order. Unless you can say the same, do not let me catch you with an emulator. Please use a genuine cartridge. Playing from a controller, on a TV—this is all part of the experience.

Tentative Schedule - Tuesday Thursday

Week 1 Welcome; Due Today: Through Giant
Buzz-Buzz's words Step; essay 1- hometown

2 Police Rumble-Meeting Carpainter- Threed
Paula; UMW selections Sunset Hotel; Montaigne

15 Magicant-Giygas, essay 8- letting go/
homecoming; Odyssey remembering; register at

All assignments will be clarified in discussion and via weekly e-mail contact. Please, if you have any further comments or questions, let me know.

Other Submissions by F. Jammes

Author Sort Ascending Sort Descending Title Sort Ascending Sort Descending Description Sort Ascending Sort Descending Date Sort Ascending Sort Descending Rank Sort Ascending Sort Descending
F. Jammes 8-13 (Threed)
7/31/06 0.00
F. Jammes A Nativity Scene
Cameos but no camels.
1/9/07 0.00
F. Jammes Because College > High School
7/31/06 0.00
F. Jammes Cocoons
an idyll; just for fun
9/4/05 0.00
F. Jammes EB houses 11/7/05 0.00


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