Who are you talking to?

Entering the neighbor’s home with both of the children with me. They get punished by their Dad and then the Dad starts to complain about loans that he lent Ness’ father. Apparently, they live in poverty, but the two-story house says otherwise. A small correction, the boys were not punished physically, they are simply not […]

Entering the neighbor’s home with both of the children with me. They get punished by their Dad and then the Dad starts to complain about loans that he lent Ness’ father. Apparently, they live in poverty, but the two-story house says otherwise. A small correction, the boys were not punished physically, they are simply not allowed to eat desserts for a week.

Ness has a treasure hunter friend named Lier X. Agerate, who built tunnels underneath his own home. His discovery thus far is “The Golden Statue.” Taming wild animals with a baseball bat is a great way to acquire goods and gain experience points to level up. NPCs really need to take better care of their dogs because there are definitely way too many wild dogs running around: “Is the mayor going to let them just run around…I’m here to protest!” The town of Onett is currently under attack from sharks.

Onett

Onett

When exploring the world of Eagleland questions regarding realism and realisticness in Earthbound arise. In Gaming by Alexander R. Galloway the amount of representation present within a game divides both social realism and realisticness: “Realisticness is important, to be sure, but the more realisticness takes hold in gaming, the more removed from gaming it actually becomes, relegated instead to simulation or modeling” [1] There are various moments where Earthbound could have been a real world simulator of suburban life with a touch of sci-fi action. So far, in the gameplay that is not the case. Interacting with the citizens of Onett is definitely what really pushes this role-playing game (RPG) further away from realisticness and into social realism. In Eagleland, realism’s “phenomenological qualities,” the “desires…details…defeats,” are present through Ness’ trials of tribulations that came with title of hero. [2]   

There is much to learn about Ness and his neighborhood. Two gameplays have yielded minimal understanding of this environment, but it is definitely not a simulator of the player’s world. Eagleland has buildings and humans that look similar but this world is definitely hiding so much more.  

1. Alexander R. Galloway, Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 73.

2. Ibid., 74.