Otome games and older men

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lepapillonrouge
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Otome games and older men

#1 Post by lepapillonrouge » Tue May 15, 2012 9:56 pm

Yo LSF.

I have this issue in one of my games where one of my characters is somewhat older than the protagonist and kind of acts like an old man (drinking, commenting on his old man status, etc) but I got a good amount of negative feedback about him.

So I was wondering: When it comes to older men, what makes them attractive? Note. Older men in this case is maybe about 5 years older than the protagonist or more.

When I thought about it, I guess I like mature older men, but it's too opposite of the personality of this particular guy. Teachers are nice, I guess, but they can't always be serious.

I've noticed that older man in otome games tend not to be liked in general, but I know there's exceptions, so I'd like to know that.
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Re: Otome games and older men

#2 Post by Blane Doyle » Tue May 15, 2012 10:27 pm

Well... not being a jerk, but that is for men in general. So not looking down on the main character as childish?

What kind of feedback are you getting exactly? That would be helpful.

(I like older guys a bit myself. Maybe we're just unusual.)

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Re: Otome games and older men

#3 Post by papillon » Tue May 15, 2012 10:27 pm

Well, one of the classic draws of the Older Man is that he has *more* than his younger competition. That can manifest in a number of ways. It could be that he is wealthier and more secure than the other guys - sure, this is a shallow reason to be into someone, but so is "sexy glasses!" The older man may have his own business, may have more refined tastes, may be able to offer you champagne and limousines and diamonds... and may also be slightly creepy. Plotlines about having to get past your initial feelings of discomfort to uncover the truth about his past beckon!

It could be that he has more *power* than other characters. In a magical setting, where the other characters are just learning their talents, the older man can be an acknowledged master - he can do splashier effects for you to watch, he can function as a better protector against horrible monsters. Or he could be more physically powerful. An older man who is a veteran of some sort? A jovial, muscular, slightly-battle-scarred fighter? This sort of character could have the tendency to dismiss you as just a kid, or could have some scars of experience on his heart that you have to work through.

And of course, in some games, the older man is the acknowledged SEX MASTER with more experience and more exotic talents than everyone else. :)

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Re: Otome games and older men

#4 Post by Sapphi » Tue May 15, 2012 10:30 pm

lepapillonrouge wrote: So I was wondering: When it comes to older men, what makes them attractive? Note. Older men in this case is maybe about 5 years older than the protagonist or more.

When I thought about it, I guess I like mature older men, but it's too opposite of the personality of this particular guy. Teachers are nice, I guess, but they can't always be serious.
I think they just have to be respectable somehow... if they're not particularly mature, they could still be more competent at something than the others (Martial arts, their career, socializing... etc), or more experienced overall and less interested in dating so it is more of a challenge to get them to like you. :)
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Re: Otome games and older men

#5 Post by Hijiri » Tue May 15, 2012 10:48 pm

The fact that an older guy has more of an idea of what he's doing. Say for example: an 18 year old guy vs a 23 year old guy. The 18 year old is still new to life and is FNG to romance and that sort of thing (HS romances don't usually count as 'experience' since a lot of those tend to be shallow 'love') while the 23 year old guy has probably already earned a few stripes. He knows what does and dosen't fly and is much more refined in his skills.
There's also the fact that older guys tend to be hotter than their younger counterparts. Which is why the term DILF exists. This is, of course, not counting the older guys who are intentionally made to look creepy, but even then they could still look hotter than the younger guys.
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Re: Otome games and older men

#6 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Tue May 15, 2012 10:55 pm

lepapillonrouge wrote:Yo LSF.

I have this issue in one of my games where one of my characters is somewhat older than the protagonist and kind of acts like an old man (drinking, commenting on his old man status, etc) but I got a good amount of negative feedback about him.

So I was wondering: When it comes to older men, what makes them attractive? Note. Older men in this case is maybe about 5 years older than the protagonist or more.
I find it kind of annoying when characters call a character "old man" when they are only 5 years older. I mean, once both people involved hit 20 or older, 5 years doesn't amount to much at all. It gets ridiculous in some JRPGs where the people saving the world are 15-16 years old, and the "grizzled, old war veteran mentor" is 21. I mean, really?!

Papillon nailed a lot of the reasons why actual older men are considered attractive to girls. Statistically speaking, most girls marry an older man. If the man is very much older, it is likely the girl has "daddy" issues, and finds the older man attractive not only for the reasons Papillon listed, but also because the older man can act as a sort of substitute father figure.

What ages are we talking about here?

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Re: Otome games and older men

#7 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Tue May 15, 2012 10:56 pm

For me I find them attractive when they have that confidence about everything they do, but it's subtly apart of who they are. It's something that has come with age when they have become comfortable with who they are and their place in the world. It is not arrogance, it's not something they try and dominate you with, it's just there. I also find it attractive when they are charming and gentlemen like. George Clooney and Hugh Jackman are perfect examples for me.

Thinking about it, they are really most attractive when they aren't hitting on you directly. Subtle flirting maybe, but as soon as it becomes full on pick up it gets really sleazy, really quickly.

That said, I would say this type of character would have most appeal with some of the older players (late teens onwards) as opposed to the younger teens. But yeah, it would be useful to know the kind of feedback you are getting as it may have less to do with his age and more to do with his personality.

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Re: Otome games and older men

#8 Post by Camille » Tue May 15, 2012 11:22 pm

In Japan, they're making an otome game all about age differences. The heroine's 17 and the youngest guy you can date is 25. The oldest is 46. :'D So you can study that character list and see what's charming about all the love interests that are in their 30's?

For me, the allure of older men is their maturity and charm--that cultivated and finely honed swagger that sets them apart from younger, less experienced men. A perverted grandpa is not exactly going to be winning girls' hearts any time soon. (probably?)

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Re: Otome games and older men

#9 Post by lepapillonrouge » Wed May 16, 2012 2:01 am

LateWhiteRabbit: Aha, I see what you're saying. But when I think about the target audience of this particular game (which are middle school and high school girls...for a game where everyone is over 18) even being in their twenties sounds old. I mean, I just left the teens about 5 months ago. I guess the ages I'm thinking is about maybe 21-30, which I know isn't that old. But when I talk to my boyfriend, who's only 26, he complains about being old already. >_>; I guess this is a societal thing more than anything else...

Camille: I saw that and I remember my first comment was "What the hell..."
Mainly because of the 46 year old. That guy is old enough to be the heroine's dad.

It seems that the main draw is confidence and stability, which is hilarious because that's what that particular character doesn't have. Maybe it is a personality issue more than anything else? But then again, he doesn't have to actually have it, but just seem like he does...or maybe he does have those traits, but hides it under an air of immaturity?

I don't know. But this is really helping me think about all the rewriting that I've been meaning to do, so thanks for that.
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Re: Otome games and older men

#10 Post by Twisted-Eva » Wed May 16, 2012 2:29 am

Camille wrote:In Japan, they're making an otome game all about age differences. The heroine's 17 and the youngest guy you can date is 25. The oldest is 46. :'D So you can study that character list and see what's charming about all the love interests that are in their 30's?

For me, the allure of older men is their maturity and charm--that cultivated and finely honed swagger that sets them apart from younger, less experienced men. A perverted grandpa is not exactly going to be winning girls' hearts any time soon. (probably?)
Double on what Camille says about the maturity and suave aura. Half of the guys have crazy boy band hair for being in the 30-40 range... Oh yeah, I don't know why but mustaches on guys, even if he is just 5 years older just seems off to me :\ I don't know why, maybe because mustaches scream "way too old" to me (Take the principal from a TokiMemo Girl's Side game for example)?
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Re: Otome games and older men

#11 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Wed May 16, 2012 2:47 am

lepapillonrouge wrote:us because that's what that particular character doesn't have. Maybe it is a personality issue more than anything else? But then again, he doesn't have to actually have it, but just seem like he does...or maybe he does have those traits, but hides it under an air of immaturity?
You know how occasionally a little immaturity in a person can be charming? Well, immaturity in a mid-twenties+ person is never very charming. It's off-putting. And let's be clear - you can be a child at heart, whimsical, etc. without being immature.

An immature older guy basically destroys 90% of the reason to hook up with an older guy. You don't think the statistical majority of women pick the older guy to marry because he's better looking than the buff young dude that works out all the time, do you? No. They pick the older guy because he's wiser, more confident, relaxed and settled. At peace with himself. Usually successful at something by that point in his life. Stable and offering that same stability.

A rash, immature, braggart of an older guy is competing with the young guys on a level playing field, then suffering a handicap because the younger guys 1-up him on youth and physical fitness. That means he LOSES. An older guy doesn't play those games. He isn't a young buck on the hunt who likes butting heads with other guys. He signals availability and waits for the girl to come to him. And again, statistically speaking, she WILL. Young men offer flings - because, let's face it, they're sowing their oats - and little if any financial security or stability of lifestyle. The older guy offers a long term romance. They don't pick up girls often, but when they do, they have the money and means and experience to make it special. They've had their wild days and they're over. They've sowed their oats, so they're ready for something more from a girl than a notch in the bedpost.

And hopefully the younger girl picks an older guy for those reasons, and not because of daddy issues. Because older men want a date, not a daughter. Otherwise we enter unfortunate territory with terms like "sugar daddy". Because saying someone is a daddy that gives you sugar is creepy when you really think about it.

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Re: Otome games and older men

#12 Post by DaFool » Wed May 16, 2012 4:30 am

Older guy = High social status male. I can't believe it's not pointed out as blatantly obvious. It's the equivalent of an hourglass figure signaling fertility and youth in a female.

A high social status male is already the prize, the Mr. Right, the guy everybody gravitates towards. That means the guy has already butted heads and triumphed over other guys, gained wealth, and more importantly, social power. He doesn't need to chase anybody since everybody is seeking him out already by default. By being hooked up with this guy, the protagonist will inherit some of that prestige and at minimum a fairly comfortable life.

No wonder high school setting is so popular since it's the only setting where people don't have responsibilities and can have fun in a fairly equal footing (everybody's just a student). Beyond that, however, it's harder and harder to find settings with good romantic prospects that isn't influenced by practicality.

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Re: Otome games and older men

#13 Post by Endorphin » Wed May 16, 2012 5:11 am

Eh... five years older isn't much older at all?
I mean, all guys that I went out with or that came in question was older than me.
One was seven years older and it wasn't weird or anything - age doesn't matter that much.
I was also asked out by a pretty young one, he was 18 (3 years older than me), but this was just... a fail, really. We decided to end this rather early as we searched different things - he was more of the passionate "I'm still having fun" type and I was totally annoyed by him because he just... how do I put it... he didn't know what he wanted. Guess he was still finding his way.

Being attracted to older guys is just what Rabbit said - I can really only agree.
They are finally fine with themselves (don't try to get their lacking confidence or happiness from other people) and know what they want. You can learn from him, he is stable - that's the kind of man you want for life.
(Unless you want to play around forever.)

Then again, I remember that my parents always told me that up to 10 years age difference was fine - or even pretty good.
So maybe it's just what you were raised to believe in?
Oh, and the comparison, of course.
I mean, I'm seventeen. That's not exactly old.
But seeing where other people my age are (just look at these artists ;_;) I feel... old. xD

Do you have a story example from your guy? =o
If this complaining is in this flirty, joking manner, it can be quite charming.
(If he'd actually be this confident, in peace with himself kind of guy but still having humour. I actually think that woman prefer men who don't take themselves for soooo serious.)

Well. Not sure if this made any sense, but whatever.
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Re: Otome games and older men

#14 Post by KomiTsuku » Wed May 16, 2012 7:36 am

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As time goes on, the creepiness factor drops a lot. As for why people would date older men, what are the reasons people date younger men? While a couple variables change in that time period, the same attractiveness factors keep similar. Money and stability might cause some additional sway, but that whole personality thing is still running strong. Men don't change as much as you'd think.

Besides, 21-30 is not what I'd define "old" as by a long shot.

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Re: Otome games and older men

#15 Post by sciencewarrior » Wed May 16, 2012 7:45 am

I would go farther than Auro and say older guys should never take the initiative, because that gets creepy very fast. And they don't have to. Nice, well-adjusted twenty-something guys with a steady income are a scarce commodity anywhere in the planet but China; and they probably had one or two girlfriends, so they know what it's all about, and don't spend all heir time thinking about girls like guys in the 16-18 age bracket do.

In fact, I think a good source of initial conflict is letting the older guy be very explicit that he doesn't see the heroine as an equal, much less as a potential romantic partner, and that he intends to act as her mentor. From this point, you have at least two options. One is to make the conflict explicit: the heroine won't let the older guy treat her like his pet, and will fight to make him recognize her as a woman (and probably look pretty childish in the process.) The other is implicit: they become pretty comfortable in their relationship, get closer, and then realize this isn't the kind of relationship they want. Of course, the player will see all the sparks flying from the moment they meet, but the characters themselves will be in denial.
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