“EarthBound Essay Seventeen: Conversation with Alexander Schmid”

Serialized specially for The Well-Red Mage, based on the podcast by Wesley Schantz



bookwarm “The following is a contributor post by the Bookwarm Mage.”

This dialogue is a transcription, lightly edited, of my conversation with Alexander Schmid. My friend from our time together at the Graduate Institute of St John’s College, Alex teaches at a charter school near San Diego. He regularly updates his podcast, published on Anchor and YouTube, with discussions of classical literature, myth and psychology, as well as video games and pop culture.

BWM: It’s taken me a while, maybe too long, to have you on the show! I’ve been on yours at least as many times as I have Bookwarm episodes by now. Are you looking forward to this? Feeling ready to play some EarthBound?


AS: Yeah, I’ve thought about this a lot. I’m very honored to be on your show and I’m very happy to be in this metaphorical seat.

It’s funny that I’ve been preparing for the show–it’s funny that I prepare for shows now, because I didn’t used to. I’d just try and rely on sprezzatura. Now it’s like I’ve expanded my game and now part of the game is the preparation, sort of like dressing up as part of going out, putting on your costume to enact a richer sense of the ritual.


I’m very glad you could be on, and thanks again for getting me started in podcasting! I wanted to start by talking about some of the things you do besides podcasting. You’re a teacher and a student; you read a lot of books, especially on your breaks, or audiobooks on your commute; and I know that you’re also a big Frisbee player these days. Am I leaving things out? What else are you up to?


I exercise some, too. I’ve recently been a spin class person, or just using exercise bikes. I usually log something like 15 to 20 miles on there just to keep my aerobic capacity up.


Do you have somebody training you during that, or is it just open: you show up and ride the bike?


It depends. Most of the time I do it by myself though it is a lot more fun when there’s a trainer in a class going on.


So this thing you’re talking about, where you’re preparing for versus just playing, it’s sort of like that, too, with training, right? You’re training for something when you’re playing alone, you’re competing against yourself in a way. When you’re in the class or in the discussion or whatever then you’re playing and competing with other people to an extent. That’s kind of where I wanted to start: that distinction between (and the connection between) those two realms of play and competition. What are your general thoughts on how they relate, and how they’re different?


I think competition is an essential element of sophisticated play, and even unsophisticated play. As Peterson says, on the research of Jaak Panksepp, even rats have a play circuit. The most basic way that rats play with each other is a larger male rat with a smaller male rat, they wrestle and the larger one will establish dominance. But then after the smaller one comes back and cues to play again using lordosis, what the females use as an indication of desire to mate, if the bigger one does not allow the smaller one to win at least 33% of the time, they will abolish the relationship, they will stop playing. So it seems as if competition is a necessary part of play, that there has to be a winner and there has to be a loser if you look at just the single instance of play, but if you look at play spread out across time both of you are winners and losers, but even greater winners because you get to play with each other and develop a relationship. Like we were talking about yesterday! That’s more like the equilibrated state. That seems to be why you want to be a good sport. I would say that something about competition– I was reading Homo Ludens on your recommendation, just the first few pages right before we came on, and it seems like what Huizinga defines play as is having fun, and that having fun is activity infused with meaning in and for itself.


I just love his definitions. He’s so provocative and insightful but also rooted in a lot of philological work and a lot of study of medieval society. Actually, at some point, he explains that his work The Waning of the Middle Ages, his big book on the high medieval cultures going into the late decline, is kind of where he got this whole fascination with play and fun and games and their connection to culture as a whole. So the paideia and agon he talks about, in those two words the Greeks distinguish within language between two kinds of play: paideia, related to the word for child, of course, and to education; and then agon which is the agonistic, the thing that you see in the tragedies and the plays where the characters have a verbal contest or that you’ll see of course in Homer, the great set battles between heroic Trojans and archaic Greeks, and whatnot. So these distinctions seem over time to blend together. We in English often use play to cover that whole broad stretch of meanings. We use it to talk about music as well. So his insight seems to be correct, that play infuses itself with all aspects of a culture, from the use of language to the way that the winner and the loser have to respect one another. That seems to be borne out as well because play fighting is one of the ways that we play, just like animals, but there’s so many more among humans. We certainly learn so much from losing. We get the sense that it isn’t the be-all end-all to win, but that a game which you can keep playing is really the goal, as you said. Is that from Panksepp, or is that one of Peterson’s interpretations?


Well, Panksepp did the research on the rats and Peterson presents the general context, comparing it also with well-socialized chimpanzees, suggesting that what makes the most dominant human the best human is being the one who plays the best, not necessarily the most brutal one. Because what is play but, like any maze, through trial and error seeking the way forward towards one’s goals and getting through whatever necessary obstacles? Like in the RPGs we both love, you have to level up. You’ve got to grind, and get stronger, which seems to be what you and I are sort of doing right now. We’re trying to up our podcast game. We’re podcasting more and spending more time on the air, and I think we’re both pretty diligently studying. So rather than playing in the CrossFit sort of way that I used to… You’d asked early on when we started doing these, what did I sacrifice to podcast? So something really interesting here–I think I can nail a major concept of Western Civilization right now–I realized that the phoenix imagery in relation to the alchemical idea of disintegrating and then being dissolved into something greater, something renewed, from being the old blind king to becoming the new renewed hero Marduk king with eyes all around their head who can speak magic words–what that is, is dissolving your former role in reality and then being born into a new one. So you were student, now you’re teacher; you were son, now you’re father. We all have to do that symbolically in our existence.

Which is what I thought was so interesting about the point you made about losing and winning. When you lose, now, you put on the loser’s cap for a moment, you don’t die or commit seppuku. It’s as if we realized that we could not have to die after each loss, to sacrifice ourselves after each loss; we could sacrifice our ideas or our strategies instead. That seems to be like the inversion of the Christian way of looking at things from the Pagan: instead of sacrificing ourselves for our ideas, we learn to sacrifice our ideas themselves, which is what makes it interesting when you go from physical war to physical play, like football, to more abstract play, like video game football, where you can play out even more scenarios. And we’re here now talking about play.

So just to go all the way back to the original point, about Panksepp and rats and what play seems to be: it seems to be creating artificial limits. I can play anything, what Bogost says (I’m not trying to act as if I’ve read all that, but based on your representation of him). It’s creating artificial, arbitrary in terms of getting-to-the-goal restrictions upon yourself in order to sharpen your ability to work towards goals that are set by you or for you. That is what sharpens the logos which makes the most socialized ruler, would have been Peterson’s point.


It’s interesting to get the images of mythology and be able to pretty convincingly (or at least provocatively) map onto them a lot of discoveries of psychology or neuroscience. I think that in so doing it seems that you, as the person articulating those ideas and how they connect, are doing a really important thing in revitalizing–to use the Phoenix image again–revitalizing the study of humanities. You reconnect the oldest manifestations of myth to the newest and most necessary sort of discoveries statistically grounded in psychological research. So you ground it in a way that makes it convincing, and infuses it with meaning. There’s more to this great book that I’m reading than just trying to figure out a display of authorial brilliance or contextualizing it within a historical framework or something like that–it just opens up whatever you read in so many new ways. The way that this can happen with texts seems to be emerging out of people observing that it happens with games and I wonder what you think about a text as a game and that activity of interpretation as a game.


First and foremost, something you said was so interesting: just the idea of re-embodying the myths and seeing what they actually say. Something fascinating about that is that when Peterson and Jung say that we basically exist with the veil of ignorance like Maya around us, we’re constantly skating on thin ice and falling through, and it’s ignorance which keeps us from seeing that. But the second that you re-embody these myths or these stories using the logos, once you understand them and start infusing them with that which we know now, you reinvigorate them. You bring them back into existence, like bringing the old king back into existence. The rising phoenix. Why can you do that? Why can that infinitely be done? Because we always know so little and have such a simplistic view of how things are, but there’s so much more, infinite complexity, especially to these myths which express something that is functionally eternal for us. There’s so much more that we don’t know about them than what we do, that the appropriate way to meet them is like on your knees with awe. Not with your head turned and snidely looking down at it as if it’s the product of… well what are you snidely looking down on for the product of your own imagination… your own projection? So I think that’s what is most appropriate about studying that which has value and going back into the mines and looking for the gold, as it were. Going to Laputa and looking for the crystal. Just as our lives seem to have actual stages that we will go through, regardless of how individual we are, so has culture had such stages as well. In learning that, we learn to accept what is true and inevitable and objective and must exist–the sort of tyranny of existence, both socially and naturally. Within that, I think you learn, like when you learn the rules of the game, how to play and what sort of player you would like to be, what sort of outcome you would actually like to pursue. That also takes a ton of pressure off, because instead of being the game developer who’s just sitting around thinking about how the game’s not so good all the time, you can actually do the most fun thing in the world, which is play it.

Image result for laputa castle in the sky

To me reading has always been fun; playing these games has always been fun; and as a teacher now my main goal, I think, and what I’m doing here, what I’m trying to do with you and on these podcasts, is to make an avenue for sharing that delight in the things that I’ve learned from these books and these games. Making that open to as many people as possible. And not only that, but also, as your podcasts and your discussions of the Iliad did for me, to inspire other people to sort of jump on board and participate. To share their insights about the kinds of works and games and things that they’re really interested in, and have this kind of larger conversation grow out of it.


I was thinking about that today, that part of the fun of the game is getting more of your friends to play it. So what was it we were working on this morning? We were trying to innovate with our friend Sarah Miller to make a new segment, and we’re moving forward on that. She’s already agreed, already excited about that. We started the process of having a shared document so we can start putting something together. So that seems to be part of the goal of, say, to have a new golden age which would of course be supremely possible these days given our economic situation, our health, our electronic connectivity, the whole idea would be that if we’re showing what we have learned and have delight in, I think this is exactly what you were saying, and get our friends to do that and then at some point iterative growth turns into exponential growth and instead of just one person having a time, there’s been an age. An age has been born!


And it’s not that we’re giving birth to this thing but we’re sort of jumping on, and launching–


Latching onto it.


It’s already going and it’s just a matter of how far does this growth go? How do you channel that growth in the most productive way to the best things and the best ideas? Which will sort of inspire people to look again at some things that they might have dismissed before, or to think in a new way about some ideas which might otherwise seem either passe or dangerous or whatever.

This is where I wanted to get into Earthbound a little bit. One of these things which is so interesting is the role of IQ. This is a topic that I don’t know a whole lot about, but from playing Earthbound I know that it’s a thing because if you look in your status you can check the IQ of each of the party members at any time. As you go on your adventure your IQ goes up each time you gain a level (or not necessarily each level, but it’s one of the stats that can rise). The characters’ IQs are a little bit different. They all do have what seems like a high IQ. The main character Ness–this is going to be a guess, but as a kind of baseline let’s say his IQ is around a hundred or so by the end of the game. Paula, the main psychic attack user, her IQ is going to be higher than his generally. Then you can choose whether you want to skew hers even higher, because here IQ points determine how much damage her psychic attacks will deal. Or when you find IQ pills (like you do from time to time), you can choose to give those over to the third character in the game, whose default name is Jeff. His IQ does something different. He has no psychic power, he has no psychic points. Instead what he does with IQ is he can fix broken objects that you find on your adventure. So the higher his IQ is, the better chance you have of fixing this object. Once it’s at a certain threshold he can fix ones that otherwise you couldn’t have had any chance of fixing. And there’s also Prince Poo from the East, but by the time he joins your party you’ve probably already sort of made up your mind between either Paula or Jeff, which one you’re going to try to increase the IQ of the most. Or I suppose you can always just hand out IQ points liberally if you’d like and try to balance out your party… Does that make sense? There are two main things that I’m getting from this, which IQ is correlated with–it’s sort of this myth-science dichotomy again. Either it increases your psychic (essentially magic) ability, or it increases your technological prowess.


That’s very interesting because that would map onto Jordan Peterson’s–he didn’t come up with the Big Five, but he did help with the research necessary to produce it. There’s a dimension called openness and within that dimension there are two aspects. One is intellect and the other is, I think, openness to experience. Intellect is the biggest predictor of whether you’re going to go into the sciences, whereas openness to experience is the biggest predictor of whether you go into the humanities. In the statistics, a higher percentage of men have higher intellect– and it doesn’t correlate perfectly with IQ. It’s interesting ideas, rather than what would be represented by the G Factor on an IQ test. And there are more women who have the higher openness to experience. You might even say that this suggests that openness to experience correlates highly to fluency with language, verbal fluency. Whereas intellect is the better ability to manipulate abstractions, like spatial objects, in one’s mind. So that would map onto Jeff very well. What can he do? Well, he can fix objects, which means that he can see in his mind how the objects should be and then take the map from his mind and apply that to reality. He figures out what is necessary to add to this not-working thing to make it work.

So Paula, what can she do? Well, a psychic attack is an attack of ideas. And what can you do with ideas? You can upset somebody’s emotional system! This is something I’m reading in Joseph LeDoux, a neuroscientist. There’s a close connection between emotional reaction and emotional action. Both are regulated by the amygdala; there are two different subsystems which govern them. So there’s a difference between what governs your reaction and your action. When Atlanta was bombed in the 1996 Olympics people just froze, but then they ran after several seconds. Oriented research with rats and basically you can put them in a box with a white side and a black side and you make a sound go off and then they get shocked on the white side, so over time they get faster and faster just running over to the black side once they hear the sound. So we figured out that reaction and action are actually governed by slightly different things. That’s something that you would try to get under control during first-responder training or trauma training. So how you attack somebody’s emotional systems and potentially change how they react to the situation in which they’re living is to attack their ideas of reality. Your idea of reality or your map of reality that governs that is the thin ice over which you are always skating. If somebody pokes holes in that with new thoughts or new ideas, that will upset your sense of stability. Because you are a psychic creature. You don’t simply have a territory which is physical space, you have a home, and part of that home is that there are certain governing beliefs on which several action patterns or subroutines that you live out daily or however often are contingent upon. So psychic attacks hurt people through causing suffering by poking holes in their maps.


Which is incredibly painful! You know Socrates’ Athenian friends would describe it as being stung by the stingray, or this feeling that you thought you knew where you stood and now suddenly the ground under you has dropped away and you have no idea what’s going on. So the other opportunity though with psychic powers is to heal, of course. It’s not only–well, with Paula it is mainly attacks and some status effects that she can do, but she can also restore her own psychic points by drawing them with a Magnet attack from the enemy, if the enemy has any, she can steal those and regenerate her own. Ness and Prince Poo both have the power of Life-up. They can heal members of the party; they can heal status effects with their Healing PSI. It’s interesting to me that those can be separate, right? Can I have someone who is just attack PSI or who is just healing? I suppose some enemies have just one or the other, but Ness and Prince Poo both also have really powerful psychic attacks, as well.

I’m wondering, going back to the idea of IQ, is this a thing that you can measure? Is it one thing that has all these different manifestations? How refined is the measure that we have of IQ, and how does that–does anyone really know how that correlates to the different things that your brain or your mind actually does? Creativity, attention, memory, associations, consciousness as a whole, any kind of reflective activity… just how much can IQ tell us about judgement? What is it actually measuring when we have a number that measures IQ?


Well, let’s look at it like this. In The Neuroscience of Intelligence by Dr. Richard Haier, who’s now an emeritus professor at UC Irvine, he lays out that IQ is sort of a less sophisticated concept of what is called the g factor. g stands for general intelligence. In humans, you might say there’s a psychological distinction between fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. When you’re young you have more fluid intelligence but less crystallized intelligence. Crystallized intelligence might be, say, like your map of reality or your knowledge. When you’re older you have larger crystal intelligence but lower fluid intelligence. Dr. Jordan Peterson adds, and Haier agrees, that physical exercise can actually keep your IQ or g factor from dropping precipitously. As you get older the fluid intelligence declines.

The g factor is a measure of 14 different sub-tests. They fall broadly along the two dimensions of mathematical spatial reasoning and verbal fluency. The tests that go into measuring it are highly sophisticated and they correlate highly with each other. So the interesting thing that shows the power of g is that g is the only thing that ensures how well you will do across these tasks, the sole factor that is derived from these 14 different sub-tests. g is what arises out from them as that which enables you to successfully progress through. So if you look at g as a general capacity to problem-solve, then you think about what a positive feedback loop looks like, and then add to that the idea that humans are almost completely the same in almost every respect, thus it is the small differences between us that make the maximal difference, rather than minimal… I could justify this by saying a 9.58-second 100m dash I believe is the world record held by Usain Bolt. A 10-second hundred-meter dash would make you a state champion in the US. That’s a .42 difference of a second but a totally different reality you would live in.

So humans are psychic creatures, intelligent, conscious creatures that have a general capacity to problem-solve that goes beyond simply behavior. We can abstract and we can start to work on problems and implement them in the world. If you’re a little bit faster than somebody else in terms of IQ, and you’re working on say 50 to 200 problems a day, perhaps even that’s a difference, too. You’re figuring out 200 solutions a day where somebody else is figuring out say 80. Over 50 years, how much more could you have mapped? How much more crystal intelligence might you have? How much more sophisticated might your approach to a problem be than somebody else who either hasn’t used their IQ or doesn’t have the same level? I think there’s quite a bit of difference between humans that goes unexplained by IQ. I think IQ only explains a very small part of us, but also a very small part of us that can lead to an extraordinary difference between us. The major difference between an astrophysicist and a window cleaner is not that they’re not both interested in things rather than people, because obviously they both like the heights and are both willing to work with equipment, but rather probably IQ. The one deals with information that would probably bore and could not be interpreted by the other–well, you could probably say that in both cases.


It’s interesting that IQ is a kind of abstraction of different problem-solving abilities that emerges out of abstraction from a series of tests and it reflects abstraction from the abilities measured by this test.


In fact, the graph that shows it in The Neuroscience of Intelligence is like a little pyramid with rays coming up from the sub-tests, which all have correlation values between them appoint for .4 to .7. That’s huge for social science. Peterson has related that a .5 correlation you go dancing in the streets naked for, and all of these are like .7. So that’s another thing to add, the correlations between the existence of a g factor proved by these different cognitive tasks that in conjunction show the g factor have numbers that are mind-bogglingly high for any psychic phenomenon. They’re much higher than anything else that exists, and they also have greater predictive value than any other psychic phenomena. In second place, Peterson presents conscientiousness, which is also much lower in terms of–almost impossible to measure. So the second most predictive factor of human success is impossible to measure, making IQ even more important to know because you can actually measure it fairly accurately in 20 minutes. It’s easy to measure, tells you a tremendous amount about the differences in people, and it comes about with the images of all these rays going up in a pyramid-like way with the letter g at the top of it. So it looks like a pyramid with a g for god above it.

Image result for g factor pyramid

That’s great! So then the question becomes: is there this IQ pill that you find by going out on your adventure? In Earthbound, exploring every step of the way and finding gift boxes, sometimes you’ll find an IQ pill inside. Is there something that corresponds to that in reality? In what way does one gain IQ, or that g Factor, rather, to reflect or measure it? Is there a method to get better at this sort of thing or is it just a gift?


That’s a tough one. Arthur Jensen, a Harvard psychologist who wrote The g Factor, sort of lost his good name for coming out and saying that it’s essentially genetic. You can easily–Peterson and Haier have recently agreed with and reviewed this literature–but essentially IQ, like height, like many aspects (hair color, eye color, symmetry of face, skin tone, curly or straight hair) is genetic in the same way that all that which is human about you is genetic. Because although it is represented as an abstraction, and is your capacity for abstraction, IQ is rooted in the fact that you are human, the fact that you can think and use that IQ. So the research has come out that even with Jump Start programs you cannot increase people’s IQ.

You have to continually have good, humane conditions that are salubrious, that allow for human flourishing to occur, so that all things in one’s life improve. So that as the generations go down your children are healthier, they live longer, have more access to health care, good food and exercise, lack of warfare, plague, and disease–all that will enable the slow increase of IQ. So whether there’s a pill or not… if I were just trying to understand what that pill means, it might mean something like the rare candy from Pokémon that would just increase your level but the thing is your stats wouldn’t go up as high (which I liked, I thought it was the appropriate way to think about using something like Adderall, which I connect with a slight bit, something that enhances your focus but the research suggests that it doesn’t have any long-term positive effect).

The thing about using this is–Carl Jung says “be wary of unearned wisdom,” so those pills might be the realization of an IQ if you properly direct it towards that which you give your greatest attention to and build the greatest possible map of some subject-specific domain, then you can be a great version of the person who enacts that subject. So if you give Jeff all the IQ pills, all the attention, you see that is a metaphor for giving him all the educational opportunities possible in order to become the best possible smith. Then he will have the knowledge people have built, and skills necessary through the appropriate use of his IQ in order to be a master smith. It could be the same way with Paula. I’m very much divided on how to understand that. But just to answer your question, there does not seem to be an actual IQ pill, so that would be like the Fountain of Youth in terms of scientific breakthroughs.


The other way that you do this, then, is to put people into a party together where somebody in the party has the IQ, somebody else in the party is well-rounded, maybe a conscientious person, that hard thing to define which makes them just as able to help on the adventure… So the psychic nature of people, you brought up how that relates to the difference between a terrain and a home, and that’s such a huge theme in this game. I know you picked up on this because we did talk about it the other day, too. Maybe just to connect with all that a little further: the huge leap that takes place in the game towards the end (so getting ahead of ourselves a bit) but towards the end Ness goes into his own unconscious. He has to battle the reflection of himself, his Nightmare it’s called. It takes the form of the Mani Mani statue that you’ve already fought in Moonside earlier, so this is a recapitulation of that idea. You go into this strange place, you face this terrifying thing, and only by doing so can you then emerge back into the world. You emerge much stronger: in this case, after Ness’ Nightmare in Magicant, the world of his mind, his memory or whatever, he emerges and he gains a huge amount of levels. His stats are increased enormously and he’s sort of OP for the rest of the game, he’s overpowered compared to the rest of the team. And it has to do with the melodies: so you going to that world of his mind after you’ve gotten all these melodies, which of course are reflective of Your Sanctuary locations. The idea being that these belong to you, that they’re waiting for you. They correspond to you in some deep way. I wonder how that connects with the idea of an increase in IQ corresponding with humans’ ability to see space and know it as their home, or something like that.


You just sparked off a million ideas. My, we truly are in the Cave of Wonders! So I see it as representative of something of infinite value, but not exactly the same as IQ. If I think of video games and comics, just a few very quickly where you have to go down into the unconscious, down into yourself, and to learn something about yourself which you didn’t have to struggle with, and then come back and you’re stronger–it happens in Final Fantasy VII, not once but twice with Cloud Strife. In the final battle, he completely self-actualizes and defeats Sephiroth, who was invincible as far as he was concerned, because he was the ideal towards what he strove. But also in Xenogears, which makes it explicitly when you fight Id. There’s the super-ego, who’s like the tyrannical structure of society; the ego, which is your conscious mind; and the id, which is sort of subconscious instincts like sexuality and hunger which plague upon you. Subliminal systems, we would call them nowadays in neuroscience. And I think of Scott Pilgrim, one of his last tasks is that he has to fight his own dark side.

I’d describe that as a descent into the underworld to face that which you hate about yourself, like the alchemists would say putting your hands into the feces, the place you don’t want to put your hands, that’s your own feces, that’s your own dark side, your own aggression, your instincts, understanding yourself as an animal. You harness the animal within, which makes you capable of doing conscious violence, which makes you capable of fighting and defending that which you love. Which is interesting, because I read A Billion Wicked Thoughts… Peterson tells you the five most frequent romance novel heroes are: billionaire, werewolf, vampire, pirate, and surgeon, which are all powerful, alpha male, dominant figures who possess the capacity to harm, but also are highly sophisticated. These are men who have harnessed the animal, the chimpanzee-like thing within themselves, but now use it like a human in the service of something of great value. It strikes me that that’s what happens with Ness, that’s something that’s even more important perhaps than having a high IQ.

The Jungians would call that individuation, at least the very first step alongside it, with that increase in your personality. Because you understand not only yourself far better by understanding your sort of animal aspect, but you also understand and can forgive those around you. You see their sort of territoriality, their hunger, their lustful selves. You see that not as morally indemnifying, like we’re all these animals that have these forces working on us at all times and so it just helps you to understand what’s actually happening in a real way, rather than just an ideal way. In Maslow’s terms, you drop down from the B world, the Being world, seeing anything in its ideal aspect like an anime or something like that, into the D world, the Deficient world. In that Deficient world, you find the gold the Jungians would say, the information. It allows you to see the dynamism between the deficient material real world and the world of being or your ideal world from which you first came and fell, towards which you strive. So now that you see these two aspects of existence together, you are forever empowered. You’ve integrated whole another aspect of yourself. You see it represented as another figure, like the shadow. It’s like you become as strong as two people.


The image of Sephiroth, of Id–those are both from games which are high on my list to go back and talk about and think through further. I know you mentioned our project for the summer is Harry Potter with Sarah Miller. That’ll be really cool. I hope that we can also carve out some time to keep watching and discussing the rest of the Studio Ghibli movies. You think we’ll have that time? For now I’m going to let you go. Thanks again for coming on.


It’s over all too soon!


You know, I try to keep my Bookwarm Games episodes to a compartmentalized little segment. Although perhaps like IQ they could in some future time reach out and expand in ways unforeseen. I look forward to talking to you again soon!


Can’t wait! Thanks for having me on.


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