About VNs and 18+ subforums

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About VNs and 18+ subforums

#1 Post by Taosym » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:15 am

About VNs and 18+ subforums


For awhile i've been feeling that the way the forums are separated between "normal" VNs, and 18+ VNs are somewhat lackluster.

For one, the regular forums are all at the top, and there are quite a few of these sub forums, all dealing with different aspects of only all-ages VN creation. However all games that contain adult material of any kind, are squished into the 3 sub-forums, of the 'hentai' category at the very bottom of the board. Typically these boards are hidden away from sight, hardly acknowledged, and given the terrible moniker "hentai". I tend to look with skepticism whenever the word "hentai" is mentioned, as this word is almost never used in Japanese, and often only refers to video movies if anything at all.

The erotic content of a VN varies from game to game. It can be as hardcore and fetish driven as you want, or as tame as you want. Given that this is a VN community. It should go without saying that the board should adopt the term "Eroge". Eroge is a very broad term, and can encompass BL, Yuri, etc, all the way to tentacles and guro. Already there is a tagging system in place used by forum goers such as [BL]. Allowing you to get an idea of what game someone is making, when it's tagged [R-18G][BL] (R-18G being a common distinction meaning R-18 guro) not that i'm suggesting mods suddenly adopt guro, just as an example.

Reasonably as is the current rules, any VN featuring any sexual content for any reason, classifies as "hentai". when the prevailing misconception of westerners is that hentai translates to porn. That one forum is 'white', and the other is 'black'. This leads to ostracizing the community away from 'pornographic' boards, and forcing them to make non-ero content in order to have a successful project. This is partly a fault of layout, and a fault of user misconceptions. Some users might read erotica or slash fiction themselves, but shun the concept of "hentai games" as the most obscene fapping games. Leaving such forums barren and dead wastelands. Devoid of interest and creative inflow.

It's my suggestion that the Hentai forums get redesigned to be the Eroge sub-category, and moved with the all-ages category. Then allow both boards the use of Creative Corner using [18+] tags to differentiate themselves. Which would allow for threads for discussing nudity or erotic tutorials. Things that are woefully lacking currently.

-
I have been a member here for nearly a year. And prior to making this post I had my own development thread moved to the Hentai thread. Which was perfectly with the boundary of the rules for why it was moved. But before and after, I noticed the way in which this sub-forum was treated as an unwanted black sheep. How after making my thread, with updated visuals for my currently In-Development game Dizzy Hearts. Interest rose in the game not barely, but drastically From a blog that barely got 10-20 unique hits a day, I was getting hundreds. And people began to actually follow the game. After it was moved, the interest died. The thread died. The views died, and only the followers I had made then remained.

It can be for this reason, that the current Hentai forums are a killing blow to games that have erotic content in them of any kind. And had I not had to deal with this lack of interest for a year now. Experiencing that could have nearly killed development of my game there. I personally think it is crucial for all forms of VN to not just tolerated, but for forum-wide misconceptions to be clarified and people given the capability to create their project how they envisioned it. and not have to censor it in order to gain any following at all. Because it is the wish of any creator to have his work seen.

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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#2 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:37 am

I think this is mostly in the admins court since it relates to minors and sexual content. This is something that has to be carefully dealt with and considering the content of the forum and the number of minors here I think safe is better than sorry.

Just because your game is in the 18+ forum doesn't mean you can't interact with the rest of the forum. There is no reason you can't talk in the art or writing or general forum, and then people can find your project that way given they are old enough and interested in said content. I think renaming or restructuring are perfectly valid suggestions, as long as it remains separate from the rest of the forum and the younger forum members. I think the server for this forum is located in the USA and so is under USA law. Letting minors see some of that content without some consent method (like DA's maturity filter, our age check) could be poking at a hornet's nest. Especially considering the questionable age depictions of some characters, like in your own game.

I have no problem with games that have sex references being apart of the main forum and if a creator feels their game is safe enough I think they should approach an admin to talk about it. I'm sure they will be happy to give their opinion on where it belongs. However, there are differences between sex being present and sex being erotic in nature. Again, I think it's the admin's choice on it.
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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#3 Post by ThisIsNoName » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:52 am

Actually, there's a similar disussion here, but since I didn't post in there at all, I might as well add my two cents here.
(spoilered for the safety of impressionable minds) :)
Honestly, I am very split about this. While I agree with you that the label as either "hentai" or "not hentai" blocks a lot of interest in more mature games, I also think that, given the medium, it's just going to be something that we'll have to live with for now. Personally, I would love to see stories like Sin City or Max Payne, where the sexual references add to the tone of the story and relationships, but the game doesn't revolve around it. Unfortunately, that's probably not going to happen very soon on this forum (SIN CITY: HENTAI EDITION!!). :lol:

On the other hand, I'm not entirely sure it would happen even if the sub-forum were just labelled "Adult" or "18+". I mean, as far as I understand, the genre started as sex simulators, and story came afterwards. While there are certainly mature VNs out there that don't revolve around sex, developers tend to throw it in just to live up to the stigma.

Until VNs (especially OELVNs) are able to be seen by the general public as an art form seperate from it's roots, I think we'll just have to wait and put up with the hype.

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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#4 Post by Taosym » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:15 am

ThisIsNoName wrote:I mean, as far as I understand, the genre started as sex simulators, and story came afterwards. While there are certainly mature VNs out there that don't revolve around sex, developers tend to throw it in just to live up to
Actually, that's a western misconception, they started like any other medium. It's just that the otaku sub-culture that buys VNs are more comfortable with sexual themes than westerners are. And can often tell the difference between what's real, and what's not. There are more VNs that arn't eroge for instance, same with LNs and Manga.

For instance, under this rule. Katawa Shoujo would be classified as Hentai. and if KS had started here it would have been forced into the Hentai forum. Likely it would have never had the community interest to push the project along, and KS never would have been made.

If that's not the biggest example why separating boards by hentai and non-hentai is a bad idea, I don't know what is.

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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#5 Post by nyaatrap » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:38 am

As my understanding, all games which can be accessible to matured contents should be go under that forum. So katawa shoujo should go there, to be fair judge.
I just decide I don't use that forum, because that forum is hidden from non-English speakers; Only ones who can write English and registered here has chance to notice that forum. So my other target users, Japanese, never see my game if it there.

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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#6 Post by Taosym » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:47 am

nyaatrap wrote:As my understanding, all games which can be accessible to matured contents should be go under that forum. So katawa shoujo should go there, to be fair judge.
I just decide I don't use that forum, because that forum is hidden from non-English speakers; Only ones who can write English and registered here has chance to notice that forum. So my other target users, Japanese, never see my game if it there.
That's another problem why it's not working well. The people who make projects that count as mature enough to go there, never get their work noticed. It's practically indirect censorship, because unless they are incredibly focused on the mature content in their VN. They will censor themselves to have their game noticed. I've had to accept that my game won't be popular as I'd like it to, just because it has story ideas western people don't like.

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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#7 Post by Ziassan » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:50 am

It's indeed problematic but I dunno if it's really possible to change something like that.

Maybe just making an "all-age" version in addition to the +18 one, and making a normal thread for it, saying the +18 version is downloadable in the assigned board ?

Ps : also, like every limits, the boundary between what belongs to +18 board and what not isn't that easy - like, personnaly I'd think an erotic writing still belong to the usual board, or even erotic graphic in some measures / if not explicit (I mean, a lot of movies aren't +18 and still show some slight erotic parts)
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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#8 Post by PyTom » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:58 am

Right now, I kind of recognize that there is a problem here. Good works, including some of my favorites, are going largely unnoticed. The problem is - I don't know what to do about it.

Here in the USofA, we kind of expect that pornographic works will either be behind an agewall, or else on a site by itself. And while I don't require that posts in the main section be lowest-common-denominator, there is a certain amount of age restrictions that is customary, and that I want to conform to.

There's the flip side of that, to - there's a stigma against making adult works, and I don't want to risk having that stigma applied to people unwillingly. I kind of want to avoid the scenario where you get a children's game and a pornographic game in adjacent threads.

We haven't found a good solution yet - so for now, we do nothing.
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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#9 Post by Taosym » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:04 am

PyTom wrote:Right now, I kind of recognize that there is a problem here. Good works, including some of my favorites, are going largely unnoticed. The problem is - I don't know what to do about it.

Here in the USofA, we kind of expect that pornographic works will either be behind an agewall, or else on a site by itself. And while I don't require that posts in the main section be lowest-common-denominator, there is a certain amount of age restrictions that is customary, and that I want to conform to.

There's the flip side of that, to - there's a stigma against making adult works, and I don't want to risk having that stigma applied to people unwillingly. I kind of want to avoid the scenario where you get a children's game and a pornographic game in adjacent threads.

We haven't found a good solution yet - so for now, we do nothing.
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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#10 Post by papillon » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:53 pm

Not *all* the 18+ games are crammed down at the bottom - completed ones are still fairly high up the page. If you have them set to be visible, that is.
Given that this is a VN community. It should go without saying that the board should adopt the term "Eroge".
Nothing ever goes without saying. :) The term eroge is less well known and many people who visit this forum wouldn't know what it meant, although many of us would know quite well.
Allowing you to get an idea of what game someone is making, when it's tagged [R-18G][BL] (R-18G being a common distinction meaning R-18 guro) not that i'm suggesting mods suddenly adopt guro, just as an example.
... You know, despite having been involved in 'hentai' for over a decade, this is the first time I've ever heard of [R-18G] being a guro flag. I've never even seen that tag to the best of my knowledge. Why on earth would someone not just say [guro]? It's shorter! And clearer!

Supposedly-common-knowledge varies quite a lot. :) I always figured DLsite put a skull on the DLsite works just to try and fend off people who'd never heard even the term guro before.
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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#11 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:59 pm

ThisIsNoName wrote:I mean, as far as I understand, the genre started as sex simulators, and story came afterwards. While there are certainly mature VNs out there that don't revolve around sex, developers tend to throw it in just to live up to
No, the reason people in the West tend to think of VNs as sex simulators is that the first companies to localize these types of games for Western audiences chose the most sexual and attention grabbing titles to translate and bring over - the thinking going that Western audiences might have a hard time appreciating complex stories set in a different culture, but everyone loves sex.
PyTom wrote:Right now, I kind of recognize that there is a problem here. Good works, including some of my favorites, are going largely unnoticed. The problem is - I don't know what to do about it.

Here in the USofA, we kind of expect that pornographic works will either be behind an agewall, or else on a site by itself. And while I don't require that posts in the main section be lowest-common-denominator, there is a certain amount of age restrictions that is customary, and that I want to conform to.
Actually, Auro-Cyanide inadvertently suggested what I think is the best solution.
Auro-Cyanide wrote:...without some consent method (like DA's maturity filter, our age check) could be poking at a hornet's nest. Especially considering the questionable age depictions of some characters, like in your own game.
I believe the best solution for all parties involved, is to have a system like DeviantArt's. Simply put, both hentai and non-hentai works exist in the same boards, but individual threads are marked as Age Restricted. EVERYONE can see that these threads exist, and where they fall in the line-up of recent posts on the board, but only people over 18 with the "View Adult Content" checked in their profile can actually ACCESS the threads.

Image

This means that no one's thread gets ignored in some kind of red light district ghetto. Even myself, who have nothing against nudity or hentai, rarely visit the "Let's Hentai Hentai" sub-forums. They are like a dark, inconvenient alley with little foot traffic going past. And it isn't really fair to creators to have their work be pushed into the obscure section of the site.

My solution above means that everyone gets a place on "Main Street" as it where, with all the foot traffic past the thread that entails. However, their "windows are blacked out" unless you are open to that content and of age. HOWEVER - everyone will still know those threads exist and can see how much traffic and views they are getting, and how much discussion is going on in them. They can just see nothing but the thread title.
PyTom wrote:There's the flip side of that, to - there's a stigma against making adult works, and I don't want to risk having that stigma applied to people unwillingly. I kind of want to avoid the scenario where you get a children's game and a pornographic game in adjacent threads.
Letting the thread creator set whether or not the thread is hentai or not in my suggested system solves the stigma issue. And I don't see the issue with letting threads for all ages games and pornographic games mingle in adjacent threads so long as the hentai one is marked and locked for younger forum goers. Yes, you'd want to avoid filthy thread titles or game names, but other than that? I mean, we have mugenjohncel's "The Fucking Question" in thread titles in all-ages portions of the forum - it that goes, why wouldn't a thread labeled: [Mature] Do You Like Horny Bunnies? (No offense to Uncle Mugen.)

And I know this was brought up before, but I, like several others, really dislike the "Hentai" descriptor. First, yes, in the West it implies your game is all about the SEX. It doesn't really provide a good impression if your story is focused on drama or comedy and has occasional nudity mixed in. I mean, you wouldn't describe the TV show "Dexter" as "Hentai", yet it has regular nudity in it. That is a big part of the stigma you were talking about - the term itself. Hentai. We also have several Japanese forum members like Nyaatrap. For them, hentai literally means "perverted".

We don't want to force people to have to label any game they create with adult content or some nudity as "perverted" do we? THAT'S where the stigma comes in.

"Mature" is a far better descriptor. "Adult's Only" may automatically be assumed to be porn in the West, but the "Mature" label from games and TV has been ingrained in our minds to mean ANY kind of content that may not be acceptable for children, but isn't necessarily porn. Yes, you lose the fun wordplay of "Let's Hentai Hentai", but that is too stigmatizing anyway. Right now, the sub-forums may as well be be called "Let's Get Perverted!". I wonder why so few people go there . . . .

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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#12 Post by Obscura » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:55 pm

Just another vote to change the name of the Hentai forum to Mature.
LateWhiteRabbit wrote:Right now, the sub-forums may as well be be called "Let's Get Perverted!". I wonder why so few people go there . . . .
Definitely. As somebody who just joined this community earlier this year, right off the bat I too felt games were segregated into "PG" and "Perverts" (due to the unfortunate associations I generally have with the word Hentai). Given how tiny the VN community already is, it seems using the word Hentai might hamper the growth of an already tiny number of adult OELVN games around here. Which is a shame, because this is probably one of the more supportive and helpful forums on the internet for VN creators. And adult OELVN games need all the help they can get, IMHO.

I understand the name of the forum is amusing if you're in on the joke, but for many of us, Hentai actually means Hentai.

Furthermore, If I were a game maker who put all my heart and soul into making a serious adult visual novel, I'd have some reservations about putting it in a forum labelled Hentai. I'd be inclined to seek another discussion forum altogether, just because I'd feel something more serious (and especially lacking Japanese artistic influences) =/= Hentai.

*As for using the term 'eroge', I'm not a fan, because I believe it's possible to make a very adult game lacking erotic qualities. If somebody makes a serious VN that has references to things like rape (again, in a serious way, and not rape-Hentai-style), I feel like that would be 'mature', but not 'eroge.'
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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#13 Post by Sapphi » Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:29 pm

Putting in my two cents that while "Let's Hentai Hentai" is an admirably silly name for a subforum, I've always mentally read it as "Let's Get Nasty!"
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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#14 Post by FatUnicornGames » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:07 pm

I agree with renaming the subforum Mature. I do plan on making a pervy game in the future as well, it won't be straight up hentai.
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Re: About VNs and 18+ subforums

#15 Post by PyTom » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:12 pm

LateWhiteRabbit wrote: I believe the best solution for all parties involved, is to have a system like DeviantArt's. Simply put, both hentai and non-hentai works exist in the same boards, but individual threads are marked as Age Restricted. EVERYONE can see that these threads exist, and where they fall in the line-up of recent posts on the board, but only people over 18 with the "View Adult Content" checked in their profile can actually ACCESS the threads.
As far as I know, this method isn't supported by PhpBB3. Access control is on a per-forum basis, not on a per-thread basis.
"Mature" is a far better descriptor. "Adult's Only" may automatically be assumed to be porn in the West, but the "Mature" label from games and TV has been ingrained in our minds to mean ANY kind of content that may not be acceptable for children, but isn't necessarily porn.
I'm willing to make this change, although I worry that mature is too low a bar. I think most TV-MA level stuff should be in the main section. (That may not matter, though.)
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