Opinions on the current visual novel fanbase/community?

Discuss visual novels and story-based games that didn't originate on this forum.
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NowItsAngeTime
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Opinions on the current visual novel fanbase/community?

#1 Post by NowItsAngeTime » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:59 pm

To be more specific I'm NOT talking about people/companies who focus on translating / licensing / releasing / making VNs because we've had plenty of discussions about them and their actions.

I'm talking about the fans. The randoms that frequent discussion on subreddits/forums/discords, the people that buy/consume VNs, people that follow and try to interact with big VNs at social media or anime conventions and follow kickstarters or whatever. So basically not just limited to /r/visualnovels.

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Now I want to be fair and talk about my personal views on what I current like and dislike about the community at the moment. I'll start with the negative stuff since some of it has been on my mind more recently.

The first thing is this weird sense of negativity I've been seeing more of more. Some of it is more subtle some of it are super obviously angry/douchey/elitist posts. There's things where people are angry with the way some of the companies handle releases of VNs. Some are justified, some are.. perhaps a bit overblown.

I'm more concerned with people who give other fans shit for supporting the company/companies they like to shit on. Regardless of whether you like a company or not some people still enjoy what companies despite what they do (or the so called problems don't affect these fans). A particular thing I've seen is calling people 'shills' just for trying to defend things company does that people might be misinformed about but since it's the in-thing to 'hate' on the company it's alright to use dumb insults like that.

And then outside the company thing, just creating (whether directly or indirectly) these weird elitist circlejerks against certain types of fandoms. JOPs vs EOPs. Official TLs vs Fan TLs. Kickstarters vs Not. Japanese made VNs vs OELVN/EVNs. Story VNs vs Moeges, How 18+ Content should be handled etc. For the EVNs in particular, I admit I haven't read any, but I've honestly started to wonder where these EVN fans are even supposed to talk about ones they like when many places like to call the popular EVNs "babbys first VNs" and make a lot of assumptions about EVNs that may not even be true.

Now obviously I'm not saying you have to force yourself to like things you don't like, just be respectful to be people who like things different from you and cut out the silly elitist/circlejerky like comments.

The only other thing is outside the occasional discussion, kickstarter topics, some video review and the few VN podcasts that exist, there isn't much in the way of ... fun VN content creation? Like I know streaming can't really work for viewers unless it's a really known entity (but even then) but I rarely see visual novel related memes (but maybe they're just purposefully screened out/deleted here), I don't see a dedicated person who makes reviews consistently, and I don't see any big drives for the community itself to spread the love of VNs to others outside big trends that happen by accident. I know the last point in particular is hard to do but you'd think we'd at least try or something.

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As said though, despite all the said above there are a bunch of things I like.

The fact that the VN community is just slowly growing and people are constantly finding new ways to sell VNs they like to other people is nice. There's always helpful people around when there's a legit issue people may have with the game.

Some discussions on various topics are a lot more interesting and mature than discussions I see on other media like movies, video games, sports, etc.

The content creation/other stuff that does exist is really nice to see since there's a bunch of cool projects that are taking off related to VNs.

While I do wish more of the communities were merged together it's still nice to see a whole lot of different ACTIVE VN communities for many types of VNs or that focus on certain parts that are cool and varied. Some are for getting people to read a particular type of VN, some are for people who like a certain company, etc.

I think it's nice to see how people get passionate can get towards the VN developers/TLers/whatever, seeing the hype of newer releases, and seeing people bond and meet when they otherwise wouldn't through a still niche medium. And just seeing lots of different kinds of VNs that get popular and seeing why people like them.


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Anyway, I ranted quite a bit. What are you guys' thoughts on the current community/fanbase?
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Re: Opinions on the current visual novel fanbase/community?

#2 Post by gekiganwing » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:04 am

I saw this same topic on r/visualnovels a few minutes ago. As of this writing, it has more than a hundred comments.

If you're curious, I like that community, and I've posted there in the recent past. Unfortunately, I don't think that I have much in common with a lot of people who post there. I have noticed quite a few topics about commercial OJLVNs for computers that have been localized in the last seven years. That was around the time when I walked away from computer games. Therefore, most of my favorite VNs were either released for PC before 2011, or released for a console / mobile device since then.
NowItsAngeTime wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:59 pm
I'm talking about the fans. The randoms that frequent discussion on subreddits/forums/discords, the people that buy/consume VNs, people that follow and try to interact with big VNs at social media or anime conventions and follow kickstarters or whatever.
Why do I attend meetups? To talk with other enthusiasts face to face, and understand what they like. Fan conventions can be good places to listen and sometimes discuss topics. During some of my early con experiences, I was glad to attend two Shira Oka panels with maybe a couple dozen people. Not long afterward, I appreciated the chance to attend Mangagamer's panels as the company's reputation slowly improved.
NowItsAngeTime wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:59 pm
The first thing is this weird sense of negativity I've been seeing more of more. Some of it is more subtle some of it are super obviously angry/douchey/elitist posts.
Part of fandom should be admitting "Nothing is ever perfect. Keep changing." Another part of fandom should be stating "Celebrate the entertainment that you like, in spite of its flaws." These statements might contract each other.

I have been part of the negativity problem. This is why I chose to close my Reddit account.

Fan response was discussed for a couple hours by the School of Movies podcast a few years ago. I don't have much to add to what they said.

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Re: Opinions on the current visual novel fanbase/community?

#3 Post by Horma » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:24 am

I think it's not limited to visual novels. Almost everything has negative fans. Especially teenagers tend to bash others for what they like and don't like. A rather unpleasant part of their growth into adults.

One thing I've noticed that for visual novels, there seems to be less picking apart every word and overanalyzing them in an attempt to devalue the work (as opposed to traditional prose). Perhaps it's just that book readers have been around for a longer time.

Visual novel readers tend to focus on the feel of the entire work, which is a good thing. On the flipside, I haven't yet seen much critique on how many VNs tell instead of showing.

Sorry for my inane banters, hope it wasn't boring.

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