If you ask me, the terms used to describe creative works should be first and foremost easy to understand. I also don't think terminology should be too specific or too vague.
"Visual novel" seems to imply that a person will be reading a story (rather than playing a game that focuses on action and strategy), and that there will be some pictures. Just going by this information, the format doesn't seem all that different from comics. And when you think about it, it's also surprisingly similar to gamebooks
(which can include illustrations). To add more confusion, there are a few VNs such as The World to Reverse and Digital: A Love Story which don't contain any illustrations.
The term "interactive comics" is currently used to describe series such as Ruby Quest and MS Paint Adventures. "Illustrated fiction" is too vague, and can be used to describe quite a few books. I'm not sure if I want to use terms such as "digital gamebook" or "e-gamebook." I'll have to think about it before I start throwing around slang or acronyms (DGB? EGB?). It sounds a little too similar to Nintendo's line of Gameboy products, acronyms and all.
That said, going along with what others said, the term "dating simulation" gets misused a lot. It may have been appropriate back in the 90s when journalists still talked about untranslated import games, and there were a lot of products clearly inspired by the Tokimeki Memorial series. But since then, I've seen a few too many instances of people using it to describe stories with no simulation gameplay, and games in which none of the characters are dating each other. And of course it excludes games/stories that aren't focused on relationships. J-List used to misuse the term all the time, and it still shows up in their ads every now and then.
I occasionally use the term "western visual novel" (WVN), and I'm okay with the term "English visual novel" (EVN), because it's distinct from translated or untranslated software. However, I stopped using "OEL..." to describe anything a while ago. Why? A few reasons...
1. Because even the Wikipedia article about this category of comics
is critical of the term.
2. Saying "original English language..." sounds overly specific, and I don't know if it's gramatically correct.
3. It implies that creative works are more like imitations rather than their own thing. Imitation is not necessarily bad, and I know that it's impossible to be completely original, but...
4. I don't know if any of the people who were creating comics labeled as OEL manga actually embrace that term, or if they are using straightforward terms such as (web)comics or cartoons. It seems more like an industry-imposed term, and an attempt to market a product.