Grrr--Goodreads "Librarians" are deleting VN reviews

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JBShields
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Grrr--Goodreads "Librarians" are deleting VN reviews

#1 Post by JBShields » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:42 pm

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/23 ... -goodreads

Goodreads librarians apparently believe that Visual Novels do not count as books. Oh, but audiobooks do. I "love" how they say they're "video games" when many video game distributors do not even see Visual Novels as even a video game--they see them as books. Imo, why can't VNs be BOTH books as well as games? They're the choose you're own adventure books modified for a modern audience. Who cares what platform they're rated on. A select few "librarians" shouldn't ruin it for new readers/players.

Is there anything we can do to get Goodreads NOT to remove VN recommendations? How can we fight for our genre?

Oh, and they put mangas under VNs labeling. Just saying.

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Re: Grrr--Goodreads "Librarians" are deleting VN reviews

#2 Post by Reikun » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:47 pm

I contacted Goodreads about VNs years ago (2013).

Messages edited to remove names/email addresses.
On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 2:11 AM , [name]<email> wrote:


question type: question
from email: [email]
summary: Reviewing Visual Novels

question:
Would it be inappropriate to use the Goodreads site/service to review stories presented in a non-traditional book format? I’m interested in the possibility of using Goodreads’s service to review visual novels (non-linear stories presented in a digital interactive format, often with images of characters and settings presented along with the text). By a non-linear story, what I mean is that the digital format of visual novels allows readers to make decisions for the main character at certain parts of the story, which in turn typically affects the conclusion/ending of the story. They are essentially novels with pictures and sound that allow for reader interaction which affects events in the story. Would it be alright to review stories presented in this format on Goodreads?

I have attached a screenshot of the typical presentation of a visual novel.
Their response:
Hi there,

I sincerely apologize for the delayed response! You are welcome to add a visual novel to Goodreads' book database if it meets our standards for a book record. We have more information on this here.

It sounds like you're describing a wide variety of publications in your email. If you have a specific visual novel in mind, it might help if you could send its details to me. I can look it over and let you know if it's eligible for inclusion in our database.

Please let me know if you have any further questions!

Best,
[Goodreads person]
"Here" was linked to this page: https://www.goodreads.com/librarian_manual#not_a_book

I responded and recommended The Elevator by Cyanide-Tea to them. Never got a response! From what I gathered years ago, Goodreads essentially says "If it has an ISBN it can be reviewed here."
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Re: Grrr--Goodreads "Librarians" are deleting VN reviews

#3 Post by SundownKid » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:18 pm

Meh. I don't see the problem here. They are correct in that visual novels are usually considered video games more than books. If video game distributors don't see them as games, they are quite frankly wrong and that's their fault.

If you would sell it in the game section of an online store and not the book section then it should be classified as a game.

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Re: Grrr--Goodreads "Librarians" are deleting VN reviews

#4 Post by Eirrir » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:57 pm

Image
On a more serious note, I also agree that visual novels are technically games, given the platform that they are on. For example, The Letter, a visual novel that recently came out, is a visual novel, but I would not classify the VN as a book. The mechanics within that VN include quick time events and relationship building systems that would classify it as a game. A few other examples of VNs with actual gameplay are Virtue's Last Reward, Danganronpa, and 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors. Because the platform that VNs are on allows for these kinds of gaming mechanics, it would be difficult to categorize VNs as books in the usual sense. You could argue that these are rare cases and that most VNs are usually the simple "make-a-choice" and read, but still, the "Goodreads librarians" would need to account for these cases, and that would mean too much work for them to go through each VN to see if they are "close" enough to your typical "choose your own adventure" books. I think that any game distributors who see the variety of mechanics in some VNs would be hard-pressed to deny that they are games.
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Re: Grrr--Goodreads "Librarians" are deleting VN reviews

#5 Post by JBShields » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:41 am

Reikun, I am grateful you also wrote them.

I do admit, at the time of my first post I was very passionate. But then I thought--if it's a problem of an ISBN-- is there anything that prevents VNs from getting one?

Board games can.

Well, I found out that for sure a VN can get an ISAN. Not quite the same, but it's a number.

I know, this quote is from Wikipedia, but:

"The ISAN standard (ISO standard 15706:2002 & ISO 15706-2) is recommended or required as the audiovisual identifier of choice for producers, studios, broadcasters, Internet media providers and video games publishers who need to encode, track, and distribute video in a variety of formats"
Last edited by JBShields on Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Grrr--Goodreads "Librarians" are deleting VN reviews

#6 Post by JBShields » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:44 am

Eirrir wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:57 pm
Image
On a more serious note, I also agree that visual novels are technically games, given the platform that they are on. For example, The Letter, a visual novel that recently came out, is a visual novel, but I would not classify the VN as a book. The mechanics within that VN include quick time events and relationship building systems that would classify it as a game. A few other examples of VNs with actual gameplay are Virtue's Last Reward, Danganronpa, and 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors. Because the platform that VNs are on allows for these kinds of gaming mechanics, it would be difficult to categorize VNs as books in the usual sense. You could argue that these are rare cases and that most VNs are usually the simple "make-a-choice" and read, but still, the "Goodreads librarians" would need to account for these cases, and that would mean too much work for them to go through each VN to see if they are "close" enough to your typical "choose your own adventure" books. I think that any game distributors who see the variety of mechanics in some VNs would be hard-pressed to deny that they are games.
Yeah, I was seriously thinking the same thing--"Why not both?"

I JUST purchased the Letter and plan to play it soon. I'm already impressed by the title page and the opener. Special visual effects remind me a little of Cinders. Very excited for that one.

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Re: Grrr--Goodreads "Librarians" are deleting VN reviews

#7 Post by JBShields » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:56 am

Ugh. I just read the "not a book" link that was shared above.

Among those things included:

"* video games (including visual novels)"

Goodreads has an excellent opportunity for expansion. Oh well. That's their decision/choice.

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