Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Starmen.Net is a large fansite for the game EarthBound, celebrating the RPG games Mother (unofficial name: EarthBound 0), EarthBound, the yet to be released Mother 3 (unofficial name: EarthBound 2), and the fighting games Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Starmen.Net began as the personal website of Reid Young (reidman). His site was started in 1998, three years after the United States release of EarthBound, and was originally known as "You Are Now EarthBound". The site began to grow when Clyde Mandelin (a.k.a. Tomato) contacted Reid, then 16, about expanding his site. With the help of "Buzz Buzz," the site became EarthBound.Net.
EarthBound.Net added a forum, and also began to cover Super Smash Brothers, because Ness, the main character of EarthBound, appears in it. As the site grew, reidman and Tomato brought on a staff of volunteers to create content and maintain the site. In 2001, there was a dispute over the domain name, in which Buzz Buzz claimed that reidman and Tomato had turned EarthBound.Net into their own "personal glorification site" and seized the domain name to build his own site. The previous EarthBound.Net was remodeled and reestablished as Starmen.Net.
As Starmen.Net, the site has gone through a few facelifts, and the forums are home to thousands of members. The devotion of Starmen.Net EarthBound fans has been astounding. A petition hosted by Starmen.Net asking Nintendo to revive the game Mother 3 (EarthBound 2) and develop it for the Nintendo GameCube received over 30,000 signatures from fans in America and Japan, over the Internet and in handwritten form. Four copies of the 600-page petition were bound and set to Nintendo of America, Nintendo of Japan, gaming magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly, and Shigesato Itoi, along with an art album of fan art and music. Starmen.Net fans have also attracted notice for writing letters to Nintendo, sending an abundance of letters in EarthBound themed envelopes to Nintendo Power, and calling Nintendo of America by telephone to express their sincere interest in the EarthBound series.
The site is currently divided into various sections, which cover topics such as the individual EarthBound games, the Super Smash Brothers games, creative works by fans, articles, a community mailbag, and the forums.
The website has been criticized by some fans of the game for being too community-driven, and not an accurate resource for actual information on the games it purports to cover. While the site has a vast array of fan art, fan fiction and other fan-created work, actual strategy and information on the games takes up significantly less space. For example, instead of featuring original FAQs or strategy guides, the site simply links to text walkthroughs created largely by individuals not affiliated with Starmen.net. The site similarly lacks basic data on the games such as release dates and producer credits. This has been acknowledged by the site's administrators, and explains the site's present slogan, "Get Back in the Game," a plea for the site's community to return the focus of Starmen.Net to the EarthBound games themselves.
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