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

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,220
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.
I would say the opposite is true for me. Every “gateway” game I’ve played has drove me to further explore the genre.
 

Alucrid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,960
the backlash by some vn fans is probably hurting the vn genre more than the kfc game ever would
 

hikarutilmitt

Member
Dec 16, 2017
2,907
I think the use of the word "ironic" for things like this is doing more damage to the English language than these VNs are doing to the VN genre.
 

Chocobo Blade

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,230
I'm a woman, and believe me I loathe loli shit. Some things in Higurashi bothers me, like some costumes in Persona 5, but judging a 80 hours "book" by one screenshot is not the best thing to do.
And I'm not doing that. I said nothing that would be a judgement of that entire VN. All I'm saying is that this stuff is what deters people (like me) from many games and creates the genre's reputation.
 

TacoSupreme

Member
Jul 26, 2019
310
There have always been tons of parody VNs, both in Japan and the West.

I understand that it's frustrating to see really bad examples of the genre being the only examples to get tons of media coverage, but that's more something that I blame the... to be diplomatic, often shady VN community on, and the lack of PR for good examples, rather than these parody games. VNs are probably the cheapest game that you can make that wont end up looking like it's the product of an overly ambitious 13 year old in 1997. As long as you have access to even a half-decent artist the game will come out not looking super embarrassing. It's obvious why people would want to use them as PR tools.

VNs will always have trouble escaping the stench created by schoolgirl filled nukige. Those then becomes hard to distinguish from content like CLANNAD, which although filled with schoolgirls, is honestly much tamer than the content you'd find in a lot of literature aimed at the YA audience in America. And then every other type of VN gets conflated with dating/romance/etc. VNs. Combine all of this with VNs being less likely to attract the "I just want to sit down and GAME" Call of Duty audience, it's unlikely that most people will ever give more serious VNs a chance.

TL;DR: VNs have a massive public image problem, and KFC's game isn't doing anything to it either way. At worst it's just baffling to serious fans of the genre.
 

KinoKino

Member
Sep 7, 2019
30
VNs themselves hurt reputation of VNs, not some joke games that happens to be in the same genre
^ this

Even the non-ironic ones hurt the genre. There’s ecchi VNs that release on Steam almost every day and the ones that are actually good are overshadowed or rarely shine through like Doki Doki Literature Club.

If you wanna reach, streamers can also be blamed for exposing the bad ones since they make for rather entertaining streams and have no value otherwise.
 

Dee Dee

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,459
I'm a woman, and believe me I loathe loli shit. Some things in Higurashi bothers me, like some costumes in Persona 5, but judging a 80 hours "book" by one screenshot is not the best thing to do.
Sorry for inserting myself into the discussion, and I haven't played Higurashi.

I think that a lot of stuff like this, that makes people uncomfortable in VNs, plays a bigger part of the genre not finding a wide audience compared to KFC sponsoring a dumb parody game (that might not even be half bad).
It's not right do judge the VN by that screenshot, but I also don't think you can always handwave things that people don't enjoy by claiming the overall experience is worth putting up with the nonsense.
 

Foot

Member
Mar 10, 2019
1,485
So you're not gonna address the part where you're misrepresenting VNs to make us all look like baka gaijins who are also racist because we correctly assert that a lot of VNs are gross (what even is this argument?). Never mind the irony if telling a woman that the thing I'm talking about, sexualization of children, is made for me, lol. You missed the point because you were so obsessed with defending your precious pet genre your first instinct was to just insult me. So piss off with your cutesy shit and don't talk to me again. I'll make it easy for you by putting you on ignore.
“Very cute response” says the guy portraying himself as the defender of women’s interests....to a woman. Yikes.
 
Oct 27, 2017
13,737
I'm honestly not really sure what the problem is with this. The perception of the VN genre has nothing to do with games like this and everything to do with the art styles, subject matter, and just the gameplay of the more prominent ones. This isn't going to affect people's opinions about it whatsoever. If you're a fan of the genre you're going to see this as some random licensed game and if you're not you're going to see this as some random licensed game.

Not to mention the game isn't even out and you're already assuming the worst solely based on the little you've seen of it, which is ironic, considering fans of the genre probably get annoyed when outsiders do the same
 

Ryuman

Member
Nov 1, 2017
242
The devs have made 2 titles with overall positive reviews. Why do you automatically assume its low quality? Because its published by KFC?
Like I said, even if this isn't that bad, it's literally an ad for a big fast food brand. By a marketing group called Psyop. Not really all that interested. I was mostly speaking to other games anyway.
 

Yata

Member
Feb 1, 2019
566
Spain
Sex jokes? I can only think in the Coach, and yes he's gross. But still nothing like other VN's on Steam.
I am very early in the novel, at Arc 3, but Higurashi is full of sexual jokes. Hell, that is what I assumed that poster you replied meant with his pic; because this happens in that same scene.



The one that stood out the most to me, but can't find the screenshot right now, is when Keichi gets aroused after imagining Rika being forced to be a prostitute.
 
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PMS341

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,821
KFC is insanely popular in Japan lol. I don't think this is as ironic as you think, OP.
 

Shining Star

Member
May 14, 2019
430
The ironic subgenre exists because the core VN genre flanderized itself first and made the things the ironic games make fun of a well established genre trait familiar even to people who have never played a VN. I don't think they are damaging the genre but they are certainly not helping either
Uhh no, they didn't. These are not "well established genre traits." The West has completely silly ideas of what VNs are born from ignorance.
 

Rosebud

Member
Apr 16, 2018
5,155
And I'm not doing that. I said nothing that would be a judgement of that entire VN. All I'm saying is that this stuff is what deters people (like me) from many games and creates the genre's reputation.
Sorry for inserting myself into the discussion, and I haven't played Higurashi.

I think that a lot of stuff like this, that makes people uncomfortable in VNs, plays a bigger part of the genre not finding a wide audience compared to KFC sponsoring a dumb parody game (that might not even be half bad).
It's not right do judge the VN by that screenshot, but I also don't think you can always handwave things that people don't enjoy by claiming the overall experience is worth putting up with the nonsense.
I agree, and Higurashi, while not the worse in the genre, also has creepy stuff.

Games like Ace Attorney do a great service to the genre, just a good story without fan service.
 

Funyarinpa

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
8,299
I am very early in the novel, at Arc 3, but Higurashi is full of sexual jokes. Hell, that is what I assumed that poster you replied meant with his pic; because this happens in that same scene.
It's very sad that this is the case, but yeah, I can see how this turns people off the genre, as someone who's probably invested a thousand hours into the genre by this point.
 

Adamska

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,752
Nah, I think there's room for both types of VNs. I would also think most people think so as well, and only a subset of VN fans would take issue with VNs that aren't targeting their particular preferences.
 

Gunblade47

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
409
I am very early in the novel, at Arc 3, but Higurashi is full of sexual jokes. Hell, that is what I assumed that poster you replied meant with his pic; because this happens in that same scene.



The one that stood out the most to me, but can't find the screenshot right now, is when Keichi gets aroused after imagining Rika being forced to be a prostitute.
What. The. Actual. Fuck.
 

Rosebud

Member
Apr 16, 2018
5,155
I am very early in the novel, at Arc 3, but Higurashi is full of sexual jokes. Hell, that is what I assumed that poster you replied meant with his pic; because this happens in that same scene.



The one that stood out the most to me, but can't find the screenshot right now, is when Keichi gets aroused after imagining Rika being forced to be a prostitute.
I read it a while ago so I didn't remembered, yikes. Is this act 3 of the first chapter or chapter 3?
 

Bomblord

Member
Jan 11, 2018
3,834
Uhh no, they didn't. These are not "well established genre traits." The West has completely silly ideas of what VNs are born from ignorance.
I have played what I would consider a healthy number of Visual Novels including some pretty out there ones and unless we're thinking of very different traits the ones being discussed here are definitely well established in fact I can't think of a single one that doesn't contain some kind of fan-service, sexualization, or otherwise pandering.

Also, let's not pretend Otaku is more than a sub-culture in Japan. One that the average Japanese person doesn't endorse other than purely cutesy stuff used in advertising.
 

PBalfredo

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,594
I'd argue the opposite. The "ironic" VN are at least known to be safe and approachable. Even before the latest wave of ironic VN starting with Hatoful Boyfriend, VN had the reputation of being the video game equivalent of soft core porn. Lots of story and set up, but all for the ultimate goal, which is getting a boner. There could be a lot of care a craft put into it, but hard to get other people to care about the thing that seemingly just exists to give you a boner.
 

lambdaupsilon

Member
Apr 17, 2018
487
also go on itch.io and notice how few of the games are (even from a cursory glance) the kind of "pedobait" people are painting the entire genre with
steam (well, the games that a lot of male consumers of VNs on steam play) is not reflective
 

Kuga

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
666
I'm not really sure I understand the OP. Why does the VN community get to have any say whatsoever as to what VN games are released? I like shooters but have no control over which FPS games get developed. I just don't buy it if I have beef with the developer or don't take an interest in the game.

It's not like these "ironic"/parody/western VNs are going to magically make traditional VNs disappear. Also, just because a developer does a VN differently (or "wrong" from your perspective), that frankly isn't any of your business to critize just because it doesn't fit within your preconceived notions of what a VN game should be. Traditional VNs will still exist and continue to be developed as long as there's a market audience. If reputation is a concern -- it shouldn't be. Many people already consider VNs to be the territory of softcore pornography and such, so that ship has long since sailed.
 

NoMoreTrolls

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,641
Texas
The gatekeeping around this game is a sight to behold, as if this could sully the good name of a genre that's heavily intertwined with the sexualization of minors
 

Alucrid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,960
wait how is the kfc game a cash in? it's free. it's not like it's riding the high of VN mega popularity. obvious marketing stunt? sure.
 

lambdaupsilon

Member
Apr 17, 2018
487
SEGA/ATLUS European PR Manager
what exactly is the aim of these posts

If reputation is a concern -- it shouldn't be. Many people already consider VNs to be the territory of softcore pornography and such, so that ship has long since sailed.
those people should work to educate themselves on the genre's history and how many non-eroge there are (or ero stuff that's not for male gratification)
 

Syril

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,309
I am very early in the novel, at Arc 3, but Higurashi is full of sexual jokes. Hell, that is what I assumed that poster you replied meant with his pic; because this happens in that same scene.



The one that stood out the most to me, but can't find the screenshot right now, is when Keichi gets aroused after imagining Rika being forced to be a prostitute.
Wtf that's more gross than probably anything in some silly advertisement game.
 

Foot

Member
Mar 10, 2019
1,485
I am very early in the novel, at Arc 3, but Higurashi is full of sexual jokes. Hell, that is what I assumed that poster you replied meant with his pic; because this happens in that same scene.



The one that stood out the most to me, but can't find the screenshot right now, is when Keichi gets aroused after imagining Rika being forced to be a prostitute.
Strange how people recommending VNs tend to forget these things.

Because it’s normalized to them.
 

ShyMel

Member
Oct 31, 2017
2,049
I agree, and Higurashi, while not the worse in the genre, also has creepy stuff.

Games like Ace Attorney do a great service to the genre, just a good story without fan service.
When Maya and Pearl channel Mia, her breasts are barely contained by the two’s clothes. There is also other questionable stuff in the franchise.
 

Rosebud

Member
Apr 16, 2018
5,155

SigSig

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,256
big chunk of this thread is the same kinda diet racism but you do you. reducing an entire video game genre (most of which isn't sexualized at all) to anime pedo garbage because it's from japan is not a good look
 

Dee Dee

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,459
what exactly is the aim of these posts


those people should work to educate themselves on the genre's history and how many non-eroge there are (or ero stuff that's not for male gratification)
This is the second time I'm seeing a poster imply that the ero stuff for female gratification is in any way less gross.

I mean, let's be real, we can count the EXTREMELY GOOD MASTERPIECES of the genre on two hands, maybe on four hands if we include unlocalized stuff.
A large portion (be it the majority or not) of VNs and especially dating sims (male and female!) deals with various fetishes and fantasies that will never appeal to a wide majority of people - that is on purpose. This is a niche genre.

The existence of these doesn't by association tarnish the very good efforts in the genre, like, I fvkcing hate Musicals with a passion, except Rocky Horror Picture Show, which I actually love. It's perfectly fine to have standouts in a genre you otherwise dislike or that is full of trash. You don't need to try to elevate the whole genre without caveats to argue that the really good stuff out of it is good.


There are two aspects to the criticism that I can see worth discussing:

a) Why do media outlets give parody stuff the time of day instead of some of the more serious or outstandings works of art in the genre?
- I agree, that's sad, but I know how ad money works, so I'm not sure this is something we'll find a solution for. I don't think that should escalate into: "It would be best for the game to not exist in the first place" though. I think that doesn't solve the problem one bit.

b) Is this an example of a western dev interpreting a work of art from another culture for the sole purpose of ridicule and misrepresentation?
- I would prefer we play the game before we close the lid on that can of worms. From what I have seen, I felt there was a genuine well done homage to a lot of the tropes and yes, perceived wackiness of it, that of course comes from a Westerners perspective, but doesn't automatically lead me to believe that they mean to ridicule or insult their source material. As others have mentioned, playing with and subverting Otome tropes isn't uncommon in the genre itself, with the biggest and best example being Hatoful Boyfriend (by a Japanese Doujin artist) - so the parody view is not one taken exclusively by Westerners anyway.
 

J75

Member
Sep 29, 2018
1,211
I am very early in the novel, at Arc 3, but Higurashi is full of sexual jokes. Hell, that is what I assumed that poster you replied meant with his pic; because this happens in that same scene.



The one that stood out the most to me, but can't find the screenshot right now, is when Keichi gets aroused after imagining Rika being forced to be a prostitute.
Gross shit like this is why i avoid most VNs not called Ace Attorney.
 

Tain

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,849
criticism against a brand making a lame-ironic promotional game is gatekeeping, please consider the brand.