You Need Love and Friendship For This Mission!

It’s time to make this site serve one of the purposes it was designed for: to host my academic papers on videogames. The first release is a paper that’s been in the works for a long time. It’s based on the thesis I wrote for my Honours year in Asian Studies in 2001. Back then it was called “Representations of Social Disintegration and Reintegration in _Final Fantasy 6, 7_ & _8_.”

Today’s version is called “You Need Love and Friendship For This Mission!: Final Fantasy VI, VII and VIII in social and generic context.” The snappy part of the title is a quote from _Final Fantasy VIII_.

Explained simply, the paper hypothesises that the stories those videogames tell about troubled youth finding their place in the world in the course of saving it from destruction are constructed to, in a very Japanese way, socialise Japanese youth who were, in the mid-1990s, felt by their elders to be running off the rails. On the way to that point, the paper does some very academic conceptualisation that I probably wouldn’t have gone into if it weren’t, currently, my profession.

I originally submitted a revised version of it to Matthew-Joseph Wolf-Meyer and Davin Heckman (of the online journal “Reconstruction”: for inclusion in a book back in September 2002, and after passing through the hands of many publishers, the collection still hasn’t made it into print. The last changes were made to this version in September 2004, but Matt and Davin wanted a Word document, so I had to spend a few hours tonight turning it into beautiful LaTeX.

I hope you enjoy the paper, and I look forward to (maybe) receiving some comments. Later on, I’ll be posting the rougher but more detailed thesis that it was based on.

Author: Ben Hourigan

Ben Hourigan is a novelist from Melbourne, Australia. His books Kiss Me, Genius Boy and My Generation’s Lament are Amazon category bestsellers, and are available wherever good books are sold online. Ben also works as an editor, copywriter, and self-publishing consultant at his own firm, Hourigan & Co. For news and book release updates, sign up to his email newsletter.

  • We’ll, you have me interested. Being a fan of the FF series and interested in its significance in Japanese culture ill give your paper a read and get back to you. (Dont expect too much of a response, im an engineering student after all…)

  • Wow! Somebody I don’t personally know read my blog!

    As a matter of fact, I’m actually _more_ interested in your response, because you’re an engineering student, than I would be if you were just another humanities academic. I’d like to think that I can address my work to gamers (fellow _FF_ fans like yourself, for instance) who want to find out more about the games they love, than to scholars whose experience of videogames stops at playing Windows Solitaire, and who are looking for a confirmation of some theory they have about race, class, gender or sexuality (the main obsessions of the department I study in, which irritates me no end).

    The only question I’d ask of you is this: does my analysis tally at all with your experience of being an _FF_ player? If not, what’s your interpretation of what goes on in the games?

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