Visual *novel*?

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#26 by lywzc
2019-06-15 at 15:21
I though it was the western audience that insist on calling them " read Visual Novels". Almost no one in japan and china (I can not understand korean) will call them "read visual novels". "play galgame/erogame/bishoujo game" is the way we call it.
#27 by diabloryuzaki
2019-06-15 at 17:14
#26 it is because they always play "ero"ge not visual novels, if they play "visual novel" i think japanese people will said, "do you read this game before?"
#28 by onorub
2019-06-16 at 02:08
I know the term originated from Leaf's first works, but i wonder when it actually came to the west, since i'm pretty sure the first localized VNs either would be considered adventure games, called "interactive anime games" or called "h-games".
Also, VNs being closer to plays than novels (specially with the way monologues work) is a pretty interesting take that would explain the technical advancements of the genre in a more coherent way (sound cues, variety of expressions in sprites, etc).
#29 by yorhel
2019-06-16 at 07:09
I have a strong suspicion that Hirameki International played a big role in popularizing the "visual novel" term in the west. They had "Step inside a visual novel" prominently displayed on their site and attempted to have their games published at book stores and libraries [citation needed, I learned this from second-hand info].

I originally had some trouble deciding what to call this site, "adventure DB" has a different meaning to most westeners, "erogedb" or "hgamedb" puts the emphasis on the wrong aspect (it was Ever17 -The Out of Infinity- that made me do this, after all), and I believe it was Hirameki that inspired me to use "visual novel". Why Hirameki chose to use that term to promote these games, I don't really know. Perhaps "interactive anime games" wasn't catchy enough?
#30 by forever-here
2019-06-16 at 09:31
Ultimately, u163702, you are getting caught up in something that ultimately doesn't really matter. I think if you let the banal detail go you'll be able to enjoy stuff a bit more. Do you do this for books/novels as well, I have to wonder? What about graphic novels?

it should matter moreso to developers like you since you'd want a catchy enough genre/medium for your product to sell. #29 nails it very well.
#31 by deidarlos
2019-06-16 at 09:43
I think OP only happened to choose a bad example in order to satisfy his expectation of "novel" in the VNs. If he read/play something that is more "novel" like, he wouldn't have to write this thread in the first place. Things like Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai - Under the Innocent Sky. , Dies irae , or Albatross Koukairoku might satisfy your expectation. And 95% dialouge is an exaggeration tbh. Many VNs in fact have balance portion of narration and dialouge, some are less and some are more. It's all depend on the writer. Generalizing one or two example for the whole medium isn't wise tbh.

In other words: VNs are between novels and manga/comics. Yes, they are going to read differently. But that's how it needs to be. And the medium is in no ways inferior to novels. In fact, it can do many things novels can't, while it can do everything a novel can, at least in theory. In practice, a VN will simply read differently to a normal novel most of the time though. Otherwise, it could just be a novel, and didn't need the rest, so this is how it should be.

I think this statement is the best answer for OP. There's a reason it's called VISUAL novel, not a novel.

One of the reason, why I always found the "narration is needed" thing a bad idea for what defines a VN.

While I Agree with most of your points, I don't agree to this one. I'm not sure that you're refering to the abuse of narration in VNs or think that VN is better without any narration at all. I think that narration is one of the characteristic that define a visual novel as its own. And the narration in VNs could enchance your experience of reading VNs a lot. A lot competent VNs writer could turned their narration into magic when combined with limited visual presentation in VNs. It's what make visual novels a unique experience. I definitely agree that over abusing narration isn't good in VNs (Well, it's depend on writer's style for this matter), and I think that narration is still a good thing to convey character's thoughts, depict something, or describe something in VNs to fill the gap in its limited visual presentation or add more player/reader experience.

Additionally, I can't really agree with what people say when they said VNs are closer to plays than novels. In a lot of cases, the narration in VNs are too verbose for plays standard. Another Important things is that the narration in VNs isn't only used to advance the events, but also used to convey character's thoughts, describe somethings, or depict somethings, which is a common usage of narration in VNs that plays often don't.

ADV in Japanese sense are in almost all cases are what we refer to VN. VN in Japan itself isn't a popular term to call ADV. The most neutral term that can be accepted by both Japanese and International community when refering to Japanese ADV or Western Visual Novel is ノベルゲーム (novel game). Basically using ADV to call Visual Novel is like using Ρωμίοι (Rhomioi/Romans) to call Greeks. Otherwise just call it by its subgenre like eroge, nukige, or bishoujo game; most people prefer to use such terms.

In the end, it's best to think VNs as its own thing tbh. To me it's a unique medium that combine aspect from literature, movie, and manga to create a unique storytelling experience that can't be found in any of those medium mentioned.
#32 by forever-here
2019-06-16 at 13:07
it's more of a problem with their naming sense.
#33 by alexff37
2019-06-16 at 13:38
Wtf is this thread. 95% lol! And three description? Why would a random three need a description? If it's some special magic tree it would have a description.
#34 by mysterycorgi
2019-06-18 at 00:23
@30 It really bothers me when the terminology keeps folks OP from enjoying the game due to an internalized bias created by the terminology itself. It matters to me greatly and I've been pondering a better system for quite some time but haven't had the time/energy to try bringing it up with other developers. I'd love to see some sort of easy to understand lexicon implemented for use between fans (and devs) of the medium all over the world. When I've brought it up in the past, people don't seem keen on change or accuse me of being extremely nitpicky, no matter if the conversation is between develoeprs or consumers.
For example I see a lot of confusion when it comes to the term 'Kinetic Novel' which is indeed jarring and counter-intuitive. I had the same issue when I first encountered it years ago and to this day I see the same conversation play out on repeat, especially when introducing the term to folks who are super new to the medium.
I came across this blog a while back and was quite delighted that I'm not alone in actively pondering change, since it seems that many of us (myself included) get resigned to the current lexicon after a while. (Does it break our spirits, perhaps?) If I find the blog I'll link it, as they had some interesting points and I think it would be great for more folks to talk about it. I also appreciate the Devtalk Glossary document from r/visualnovels, which helps me think about alternative terminology to propose.


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