Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

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Greeny
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#91 Post by Greeny » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:05 pm

Let them come for the meaningless sex. Let them stay for the meaningFUL.... .........sex.
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#92 Post by gekiganwing » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:53 pm

Most genre/category names aren't especially good. Some examples:

* Science fiction: a lot of examples have only a hint of real-world science, and are nearly all fiction. The alternate term speculative fiction is rather nebulous.
* Horror: often associated with B-grade (but financially successful) movies. Some people use alternate terms such as dark fantasy or psychological thriller if their story is a different type of horror.
* Comics/comic books: The former is easily confused with comedians. While there's many humorous comics, both terms are an awkward fit for stories that have a serious tone.
* Role playing game: I used to associate it with video games that were influenced by early Dragon Quest or Phantasy Star. These days, it's used with so many video and traditional games that I have no idea what it means.
* MMORPG: Acronym soup. If I'm in a whimsical mood, I might pronounce it "more-pig." Is it a better acronym than OELVN or OJLVN? Maybe, maybe not...
Gear wrote:A huge part of this discussion revolves around the stigma of the term "Visual Novel." I myself am hesitant to call my own game such, as it carries the expectation of meaningless sex, bad art, crappy writing, and technical problems. But mostly meaningless sex.
There's always been a lot of overlap between VNs, porn games, and romance games. There's always been problems with audience stand-in characters and self-insertion fantasies. And slow-paced slice-of-life has been rather common since the late '90s. (Can't think of many examples with technical problems, though I recall that Brave Soul had a bad tendency to crash with no warning.) So yeah, if you want to distance your story from cute interactive love stories, you can always use another term. However, your product might end up in a category of one, where it's quite difficult to compare it to anything else.

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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#93 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:26 pm

Why not call them VNs, but add a little extra info when appropriate?

For example:
  • Horror VN
  • Science Fiction VN
  • Moe VN
In other situations, just call it a VN.

This naming convention works well for movies, and can help avoid some of the negative stigma many people have mentioned.
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#94 Post by Ran08 » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:18 am

Greeny wrote:Let them come for the meaningless sex. Let them stay for the meaningFUL.... .........sex.
Hahaha, wow. I guess that would... work out? Hahaha.
TrickWithAKnife wrote:Why not call them VNs, but add a little extra info when appropriate?

For example:
  • Horror VN
  • Science Fiction VN
  • Moe VN
In other situations, just call it a VN.

This naming convention works well for movies, and can help avoid some of the negative stigma many people have mentioned.
Yeah, I'd rather call them VNs as well. ^^ Not all people are familiar with visual novels, and I think changing it so soon won't be a very good idea. I'm in highschool and when my classmates see what I'm doing on my laptop and I tell them I'm reading a visual novel, most of them are like, "What's a visual novel?"

As for the older people at home, they think it's a game, not a story. So it's always, "Is Ran already finished with her assignment?" "No, she's still playing on her laptop." And I'm like, "No, I'm reading! It's... a story. With choices." And they'll be like, "But what are those drawings? And why do you have your earphones on?" Oh boy.

On the other hand, just to quote Shakespeare... "What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet."

At least, that's my personal opinion, with regards to visual novels. Personally, if somebody would call me by any other name, I'd tell them that isn't me at all. Hahaha. :)

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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#95 Post by trooper6 » Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:42 pm

I came to Visual Novels from "art games" rather than from anime. I started at The Path and then found my way to Christine Love's VNs. So I never had any negative connotations with the term Visual Novel because my first VN was Digital: A Love Story.

I am also old enough to have played a lot of Interactive Fiction and other text based games...and read the Choose your Own Adventure novels in the 80s...and I've been playing table top RPGs since 1984.

So...for me VNs are connected to a very different lineage...one that has nothing to do with anime high school porn dating sims. I have since learned that for a lot of people that is what it is...but it isn't for me and it isn't for the people I talk to, nor does it have to be. So I'm fine with the term.
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#96 Post by BonBocchan » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:23 pm

I've always known Visual Novels as just that, a story told with both text and images, using a digital medium. I've always had another name for any of those 'badly drawn porno' things, which are to me either the bad kind of Dating Sims or Otome Games (where the whole point is to wrack up points with certain characters and build a relationship), though they aren't always terrible and full of negative connotations in my mind either.

That may be because I'm not a veteran when it comes to playing/reading Visual Novels, and my experience isn't predominantly with commercial games, nor the Japanese market of them. Even then, to me and most people I know who know of Visual Novels don't think of them in general as erotic adult games, and the ones that are like that, are thought of under the category of 'Adult' or 'Erotic', the same way fiction is put into genres.

I don't think there's enough of a reason to totally do away with the term 'Visual Novel', since it seems most people that are new to them or just becoming introduced to them don't see this heavy connotation of bad drawings and sex. I know people say segregation is wrong, but isn't it just easier to say 'horror VN', 'Humour VN', or for ones that do have adult content 'Adult VN'? It'd minimise the stigma of Visual Novels being full of sex, and you'd still be staying true to the method of story telling.

A Visual Novel is just the way the story's told, the same as novel or movie, so really, changing that would be like trying to call a novel a 'large amount of text bound in cardboard' or something just so people don't go 'oh, a novel, must be really ... wordy, and full of plot and characters and stuff.' Well, you get what I mean, hopefully.

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