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”:http://www.reconstruction.ws/) 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.