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Are "Ironic" Western Visual Novels hurting the VN Genre?

Solar Puffin

Member
Oct 8, 2018
2,886
Sydney
Anecdotally, the gateway effect that makes narrative sense doesn't actually happen - people who get exposed to DDLC or Hatoful or Ace Attorney don't tend to continue further down the rabbit hole.
While Ace Attorney didn't create a gateway effect for me, 999 sure did, leading me into Steins;Gate and Fata Morgana, and I fully intend on continuing down the rabbit hole.
 

Rosebud

Member
Apr 16, 2018
6,464
That comparison would be more apt if the gaming press was largely oblivious to existence of Baldur's Gate, while at the same time presenting Dopey Joke RPG as the face of the genre.
This.

Even in this forum people have no idea that awesome VN's exist. Today the term is being used like "walking simulator".
 
Nov 23, 2017
3,879
You say there are "a lot of tweets" about this...but it just seems like you made a thread about 3 angry "im a serious gamer and this my serious gamer genre!!!!!" tweets, OP.
 

Zhukov

Banned
Dec 6, 2017
2,641
That comparison would be more apt if the gaming press was largely oblivious to existence of Baldur's Gate, while at the same time presenting Dopey Joke RPG as the face of the genre.
Sure, if you're unable to enjoy or appreciate something until it has been ordained by the Almighty Gaming Press.
 

xeecee

Member
Oct 27, 2017
824
Is it only bad because it's by KFC?

Because I thought that Hatoful Boyfriend was generally considered to be one of the high points of the genre (Otome/Romance Sim, not VN in general), despite being a parody of it.
And Dream Daddy is on the good list too?
What about that weird fan made Romance Sim with the Starcraft players? Or the one where you date tanks?

As someone who reads predominantely Otome when it comes to VN, I laughed hard when it came to the part about "showing respect" for the genre.
LMAO.
This is one if the pulpiest, trashiest, stupidest genres, AND THAT'S WHY I LOVE IT.
Remember that time you could date a cat in UtaPri?
Or that time you time travelled to the Taisho era to date your own brother in The Charming Empire (or something like that, that plot was whack)? What about that game where you date Yokai that are also in a rockband?

Romance Sims are amazing an fun, and this KFC game seems in the same vein.
We can talk about whether it's good once it's out, but wtf at assuming that this is misrepresenting the genre.
Don't worry guys, I'm sure there's an abusive asshole in there that secretly loves you because you're his step-sister and wants to drink your blood to get closer to his mother again. Because you gotta be respectful to the genre!
two things:

first, hatoful boyfriend is beloved because it’s a knowing parody of genre tropes and foibles made by people who clearly know about the genre. the stuff people have gripes with is far more cynical: games like this KFC marketing tie in are far more mocking, as if the idea of a game where you talk to people and read stuff with romantic element sounds is absurd on its face. it’s the same kind of difference between a rap parody like CB4 and people who still think rappers say “for shizzle.” you can tell who is lampooning something they’re familiar with and who is just an outsider leaping on something they think is weird and different.

secondly the emphasis on dating being the only thing that happens in a VN is just a really boring joke. it’s a much wider genre than outsiders give it credit for, with tons of excellent titles in many other genres like horror, mystery, comedy, and so on and so forth. people in this thread aren’t wrong when they’re griping about thousand year old dragon children being a problematic and shitty thing that appears in the genre, but that’s about as fair a thing to hang your opinion of the entire genre on as it would be to write off first person shooters as all being bigoted because of brutal doom and ion fury. visual novel is a very, very, VERY wide genre net that a huge amount of people appreciate for things like butterfly soup or kings of dragon pass. the genre isn’t beyond reproach, there’s lots—lots!!!—of fucked up shit out there, but that’s no different from basically any other genre.

anyway none of what i’m saying here is outlandish. i think literally everyone here has a genre or hobby or whatever they’re intimately familiar with that they would be annoyed to see generalizations of. “all shooters are for psychopaths” “rap is just guys talking about money and bitches” “sports fans are all meathead jocks” etc etc. none of these things are true and you’d rightfully find any serious opinions or attempts at humor leaning on them to be lame and tiresome, because they are. “visual novels are all just wacky loser dating sims!” is the exact same boring bullshit
 

sredgrin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,939
It has no real effect. The audience for VNs tends to be heavily dedicated, it won't make anything sell less or get your favorite creator to change his path.

It isn't to say there's isn't something kind of crass and offputting about this KFC thing. But it's not going to be actively harmful to the genre. I'd argue it has more chance to be harmful to say, a sometimes ignored minority fanbase participating in general gaming discussion when the mainstream only pays attention to a meme game.
 

Triscuitable

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,855
I'm more insulted by the fact that this VN effectively gamified "quirky brands on Twitter". I imagine that, were I to play this, "SILENCE, BRAND" would be repeating in my head indefinitely. Like those old Burger King games, but somehow even more stupid.

This game is no more harmful to visual novels than Ride to Hell: Retribution was for third-person action-adventure games. You can go on VNDB.org and discover a lot of trash. Better yet, don't. Spare your mind.
 

Oregano

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,848
No, of course not but I can see how it can be frustrating for fans of the genre that something like this KFC parody is getting a lot more attention than something like AI: The Somnium Files(although that's not strictly a VN?)
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,929
Honestly, If Marketing crap like this is enough to hurt a genre, then it deserves to die. The VN genre has enough creepy ass shit to hurt its chances of reaching bigger audiences rather than some "innovative" marketing app.
 

Voodoopeople

Member
Oct 29, 2017
504
As has already been mentioned, the genre and much anime type stuff in general would get more global praise if they did away with the dubious sexualisation of children/teens.

That said, addressing the wider societal issues in that part of the world would also stop them selling used women's underwear from vending machines whilst they are at it.
 

Krejlooc

Indie Game Dev
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
19,395
Those tweets in the OP are really gross.
I think the one from the sega/atlus rep who is calling another devs work "gross" is really awful, personally. The way they frame it like they want to look out for small developers, ignoring that work like this is a paying job for someone contracted to make it.
 
OP
OP
Jawmuncher

Jawmuncher

Crisis Dino
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
13,596
Ibis Island
You say there are "a lot of tweets" about this...but it just seems like you made a thread about 3 angry "im a serious gamer and this my serious gamer genre!!!!!" tweets, OP.
There are, as my timeline has been filled with them. However, I wasn't going to make a thread about every tweet I saw and include it as that would take away from the topic and there is a media cap anyway. You're welcome to search VN on twitter and see for yourself. As i strived in making a thread I felt was fair about the topic from either side.
 

Rosebud

Member
Apr 16, 2018
6,464
Does Doki Doki Literature Club count? Only popular one that came to mind due to how meta it got.
Doki Doki is kinda ironic too, but it's not terrible. It has the Higurashi premisse (seemingly silly slice of life that gets violent out of nowhere) but without the great story imo.

And I understand why it's more famous, Higurashi has ~80 hours, Doki Doki 5.
 

BlackLagoon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,097
Sure, if you're unable to enjoy or appreciate something until it has been ordained by the Almighty Gaming Press.
Japanese VNs is genre with relatively high licensing and localization cost compared to their current audience. The lack of coverage and awereness is reducing the chances some of the more prestigious ones getting official English releases, so it does hurt the genre and its fans that what little attention it gets is typically in the vein of "LOOK AT THIS WACKY GAME WHERE YOU CAN DATE DINOSAURS!!!"
 
Oct 28, 2017
3,463
Howling with laughter at the idea of Colonel Sanders destroying the VN genre.

Seriously, if you want to play all those obscure as hell VN's that never will get localised because they're full of questionable content by western standards, learn Japanese already.
 

ZeroX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,945
Speed Force
I like Visual Novels, but VN Twitter can grow up or fuck off to be honest. This is the dumbest complaint. And if your genre is can't withstand parodies of all things, that isn't the fault of the parodies, it's the actual games not doing enough.
 

Zips

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,599
Stop gatekeeping a genre. And I'm pretty sure KFC is absolutely HUGE in Japan. They probably have more of a "right" to make a VN than most of the people complaining about this.
 

daxy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,101
I don't know. Seems like people are taking this a little too seriously. Whoever thinks VNs are all dating games are probably never going to play one. And let's not pretend there isn't a bunch of otome/bishoujo in this genre. It's okay.
 

Krejlooc

Indie Game Dev
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
19,395
I remember when Ikea made one of the very first commercial VR apps, a VR version of their catalogue, and nobody was like "Gross! Destroying the perception of VR! Awful!"

I actually thought it was a pretty great idea, myself.
 

xeecee

Member
Oct 27, 2017
824
Does Pride and Prejudice and Zombies hurt Pride and Prejudice?
this post is more appropriate than you realize because the “classic literature + ZOMBIES woooOoAAaAaAh!!” trend was just as uncreative and boring as someone going “have you heard about these games where you can freaking date people??”

does it hurt anything? no. is it funny or insightful? also no
 

Remo Williams

Self-requested ban
Banned
Jan 13, 2018
4,769
Parody is a sign of popularity, it's good news fot VN fans. If these ironic VNs have their audience, then their existence is obviously great for those people, and it shouldn't hurt the fans of more serious work. If they don't have an audience, then they'll leave no mark whatsoever, so there's no reason to be upset.

I think that exploitative soft porn and openly hentai VNs are hurting the reputation of the genre far more, not to mention all the loli stuff. If there's anything that the genre fans should be upset about, it's those games.
 

Nora

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,795
I think a cynical corporate cash-in is as contemptible as anyone, but this "hurting the sanctity of the genre" horse shit is embarrassing
 

mnz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,516


That account's avatar hurts it more than anything they are talking about
 

elyetis

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,078
This is a genre predominantly anime and we are in a forum where anime is more often than not used as an negative/insult/denigrate. You will be more likely to get differing opinions on "is water wet ?".

*I don't think they do, non-ironic VN wouldn't get much coverage anyway.
 

Thrill_house

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,637
Respect for the medium? With a shit ton of those games about hooking up with teenage girls from the look of it, gonna take alot more than a colonel sanders dating sim to do more damage to the genre than whats already been done lol

Anyway i would think most people would find those kind of games as a gateway to the more legit VNs if they enjoyed their time with it
 

TravoltaWatchesYou

Alt account
Banned
Aug 24, 2019
153
People getting upset about parodies of anime romance games. Good god. Melodrama is easy to parody, that’s why people do it, it doesn’t matter if it’s anime or a soap opera.
 

Dee Dee

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,534
anyway none of what i’m saying here is outlandish. i think literally everyone here has a genre or hobby or whatever they’re intimately familiar with that they would be annoyed to see generalizations of. “all shooters are for psychopaths” “rap is just guys talking about money and bitches” “sports fans are all meathead jocks” etc etc. none of these things are true and you’d rightfully find any serious opinions or attempts at humor leaning on them to be lame and tiresome, because they are. “visual novels are all just wacky loser dating sims!” is the exact same boring bullshit
I think there are some pretty fun parodies of rap being just about guys talking about money and bitches out there. "Show me your genitals" is still hilarious to me. "I'm on a boat" still gets a chuckle out of me. That doesn't mean I don't listen to other ("serious"?) forms of rap music or understand that one single parody is not equal to constructive criticism of the genres whole variety.
If you listen to the parody song and go "yup, that's it, all the valid criticism right there, nothing to add, nothing to further explore", then I'm not sure there was much hope of turning you into a rap fan in the first place. That's not exactly the parody song's fault, or should be held against parody.
And from what I can tell no one here or anywhere is saying that visual novels are all just wacky loser datings sims in response to this specific PR stunt.

I still don't see valid criticism against this parody Otome existing.
If anything, there seems to be an outcry about "Why does no one ever talk about the GOOD shit in this genre, only the whacky stuff?"
So it's a criticism of media informing people only of the clickbaity weird anecdotes, not a criticism of KFC making a low budget branded video game (hey, I grew up in the 90s, the idea really doesn't seem that outlandish to me, except this time I don't have to buy three kid's menus to get the CD-Rom with it).

Basically, if people are unhappy with the media not showing of more of the variety of the genre, they really shouldn't be angry at some of the fringes for existing instead.

this post is more appropriate than you realize because the “classic literature + ZOMBIES woooOoAAaAaAh!!” trend was just as uncreative and boring as someone going “have you heard about these games where you can freaking date people??”

does it hurt anything? no. is it funny or insightful? also no
Again, I thought it was pretty funny personally.
 
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MilkBeard

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,039
These joke games are made all the time, and I think this is kind of laughable considering the kind of junk that gets shoveled in the VN genre.

Instead, encourage more quality VNs like When the Seagulls Cry, House in Fata Morgana, 999, Steins;Gate, etc. etc.
 

Nora

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,795
I changed the top tweet to another popular one on the matter. I'd like a actual conversation on the topic rather than a thread about anime avatars.
The avatar is the best illustration of how absurd the premise of this thread is.

"Is this cynical corporate cash-in hurting the sanctity of the genre dominated by sexualized children?"

No it's not, the genre is doing that just fine by itself.
 

Krejlooc

Indie Game Dev
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
19,395
I changed the top tweet to another popular one on the matter. I'd like a actual conversation on the topic rather than a thread about anime avatars.
I don't think changing the tweet changes anybody's answer

If you're going to limit the discussion about what people think of when they think of visual novels, all you're going to get is a bunch of single word "no" answers ITT.
 

Inuhanyou

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,482
New Jersey
"our pure visual novel medium must not be bismirched!"

i get the value in complaining about a corporation taking advantage of the junk food craze to this degree, but its clearly something that is harmless.

You do way more damage to visual novels by threads like this. Your just inviting the people with their one note hot take generalizations about visual novels to come around and give people bad impressions rather than just having things play out.
 
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Famassu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,809
No, pedo bait/misogynistic waifu crap VN are the biggest detriment. I'd like to play more of them but then I see the usual sexualized children/teenagers and I nope the fuck out quick and am far more likely to be discouraged to even check out what else is out there/coming out.

An ironic KFC Visual Novel is *whatever* in comparison.
 

Phoenix944

Member
Oct 28, 2017
759
As someone who love VN, I don't think these joke VN are hurting anything.

We get it, you don't like them, but that's the end of it.
 

Nora

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,795
I mean christ, browsing the Steam visual novel tag just absolutely blasts you in the face with a bunch of sexualized crap pandering to the lowest common denominator. "fan service" and lolis as far as the eye can see. A couple of jokey Western VNs don't even rate in comparison. The entire genre is tainted and you have to wade through an absolute river of shit to find the actual "good" ones, and even those are usually filled with embarrassing stuff you kind of have to ignore.

So no. Colonel Sander Is My Waifu or whatever is cynical and an obvious attempt by a Brand to be hip and cool, but it's not ruining the nonexistent sanctity of the VN genre.
 

Catshade

Member
Oct 26, 2017
647
Speaking of 'niche genre', casual gamers actually love playing F2P western VNs on mobile. Episode, for example, has 50M+ installs. Choices has 10M+ installs. Even Ubisoft has their own take with 1M+ installs. Do they have high quality stories or CG backgrounds compared to the Steins or Higurashis? Most definitely not. But apparently a lot of people love playing them.

Edit: I just browsed throught the edited top tweet; I'm sure the 'guardians of genre' wouldn't consider those games as 'real VNs.'
 

Inuhanyou

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,482
New Jersey
I mean christ, browsing the Steam visual novel tag just absolutely blasts you in the face with a bunch of sexualized crap pandering to the lowest common denominator. "fan service" and lolis as far as the eye can see. A couple of jokey Western VNs don't even rate in comparison. The entire genre is tainted and you have to wade through an absolute river of shit to find the actual "good" ones, and even those are usually filled with embarrassing stuff you kind of have to ignore.

So no. Colonel Sander Is My Waifu or whatever is cynical and an obvious attempt by a Brand to be hip and cool, but it's not ruining the nonexistent sanctity of the VN genre.
This is not incorrect. Dating sims to begin with pandered to a specific audience and that hasnt changed at all in all the time visual novels have existed. Rather its things like this that give mainstream appeal to play VN despite maybe having reservations about things they might have seen or heard before

Considering how niche a genre it is, it makes sense that the only properties that have managed to stand out and gain a following are those who thought outside of the genre's basic premise(FSN added deep plot and complex character development, Stein's gate added mind bending twists...Saya no uta for better or worse just exelled in being fucked. Clannad,/Air/Kanon maxmized the relationship drama, Higurashi carved a niche with ultra brutality ect)
 
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OP
OP
Jawmuncher

Jawmuncher

Crisis Dino
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
13,596
Ibis Island
The avatar is the best illustration of how absurd the premise of this thread is.

"Is this cynical corporate cash-in hurting the sanctity of the genre dominated by sexualized children?"

No it's not, the genre is doing that just fine by itself.
I don't think changing the tweet changes anybody's answer

If you're going to limit the discussion about what people think of when they think of visual novels, all you're going to get is a bunch of single word "no" answers ITT.
Completely understand where you two are coming. The change is just a personal one as I don't want it to seem like the site has it out for some random twitter user. As it could be misconstrued as such.
 

rickyson33

Member
Nov 23, 2017
717
I feel like VNs are niche enough that any attention to the genre can only be a positive for it whatever form that takes

and even if that weren't the case there's plenty of stuff out there way more offensive than a corporate marketing joke game