Project Marblearth: Building a community-authored narrative for the world of Jelle’s Marble Runs.

What is Jelle’s Marble Runs?

Jelle’s Marble Runs is a YouTube channel that leads in creating and innovating marble sports. Having built projects all over the world, Jelle knows absolutely everything about making marbles roll. After being advised to include the element of racing in runs, a new form of unique and strangely addictive entertainment was born. Their videos have been covered and featured by ESPN, HBO, BBC, CNN, New York Times, Associated Press, and many more. As their biggest milestone to this date, JMR’s Marble League 2020 gained sponsorship by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, helping the channel to break the 1 million subscribers mark.

What is the JMR Expanded Universe?

The stories of the JMR Expanded Universe constitute a fictional narrative that ties into the events of Jelle’s Marble Runs. The world of Marblearth, where the events of the expanded universe occur is set in a separate universe: a universe sans the existence of humans. This universe, the “marbleverse”, is a reality where readers can draw connections to the world we live in, with the understanding that the events of human history never occurred.

The true focus of the JMR Expanded Universe is to bring stories to life about how marble athletes get into sports and become the best versions of themselves through their training. That story has the strongest implication for our human world: if you’re passionate about something and give it your all, you will achieve your goals and be the best that you can possibly be.

Who works on the JMR Expanded Universe?

The JMR Expanded Universe is the culmination of the marble sports community’s suggestions and support. Project Marblearth is a team effort within the community to adapt meaningful stories written by the community and is inspired by precedent: fan team contest winners who saw their teams debut in the Marble League Showdown and stories incorporated with other teams’; authors working on The Rollout who created narratives that could have fit into the canon at the time; fans who joked about friendships, rivalries, and memes to the point where they became reasons to root for a team; social media managers who began running fan accounts to promote their favorite athletes and engage with fans outside of the hardcore community; and the former Jelle’s Marble Runs Committee’s Project Canon initiative, spearheaded by users Mellacus, Novawolf, and Stynth, that gave every Marble League team the same attention to detail in telling their stories.

The stories of the JMR Expanded Universe are the stories of the JMR community. The overall goal of Project Marblearth is to build the JMR Expanded Universe through a series of interconnected narratives as a community, creating a story that complements the events of Jelle’s Marble Runs as they continue to progress.

Contributors who create, design for, and support Project Marblearth are a part of the team effort that helps build the community-authored narratives that expand the universe of Marblearth. Our Editorial Team oversees the work that our contributors collaborate on and manages the vision of the project going forward.

What is the current goal of Project Marblearth?

Project Marblearth operates under a system of “phases”, which focus on developing specific areas of lore at a time.

The goal of Phase 1 was to update every existing RetRollSpective, articles that reflect on the history of JMR teams, up to the 2021 Marble League Qualifiers. For each team, a RetRollSpective includes their origin story, history of competing in JMR tournaments, and activity during the offseason: providing world-building, performance analysis, and characterization in a long-form prose feature article. This goal was achieved on 21 December 2021 with the help of 16 writers, 7 editors, 14 designers, and you, the amazing fans that you are.

The goal of Phase 2 is to introduce the stories of the Marble Rally athletes to the JMR Expanded Universe through a new series of blogs. The purpose of the “Choose Your Marble” series is to document and represent the stories of the individual athletes that participate in Jelle’s Marble Runs, within a defined word limit for every article written. Although the primary focus of these articles and this phase is on the athletes competing in the Marble Rally, other narratives will be introduced during Phase 2 as well, including the stories of teams that formerly competed in Jelle’s Marble Runs, the new teams introduced in MarbleManiaX, and other feature articles.

Is Project Marblearth officially associated with JMR?

Project Marblearth is officially associated with Jelle’s Marble Runs. The narratives of the JMR Expanded Universe are designed to complement the events of JMR videos and may appear within JMR videos. All creative and visual contributions from Project Marblearth that are represented in official association with JMR belong to the contributors of Project Marblearth, and Project Marblearth remains operationally independent of JMR.

Any questions about Project Marblearth should be directed to Stynth by email at stynthforsure@gmail.com, on Discord at Stynth#0231, or on Reddit at u/Skystrykr.

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