Why Don't More People Read Visual Novels? Analysis

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#26 by behappyeveryday
2020-10-14 at 18:25
< report >@7 I hope that you don't really think like this, lol. The difference between VNs/books and anime/movies is in details, a perspective, and engagement. Movies and anime are just inferior when it comes to details and immersion, but they are easier to digest because you don't need to use your imagination.

@24 IDK why you mentioned Steins;Gate because its anime adaptation is one of the most popular and well-received animes out there. There are probably more people who knows about Steins;Gate than about visual novels, lol.
#27 by ecchihieronymus
2020-10-14 at 18:58
< report >#24 Schlaefer

Have I ever asked you where you got your nick from? Is it just an affinity for German or have you played Gothic?
#28 by schlaefer
2020-10-14 at 21:32
< report >@26 that was under the assumption that one doesn't know about it. Because it doesn't have an obvious Japanese name and if you only describe the general story it's pretty neutral. It doesn't have this moege-vibe to it that would really make uninformed people question your character when you tell them about it. So there's really no reason you can't talk about it. And I mean there are a lot of books where people would also shrug their shoulders because they never even remotely heard about them. One being a book and the other being a VN doesn't change much in that case.
Like, 50 Shades of Gray or Twilight that might be kind of... you know what to some people, reading VNs doesn't make you a person of poor taste as much as anything else. (not that I've actually read/seen either, only hearsay)

It's more because VNs are kind of "new" to the west that people might be wary. Like being the only black person in a bus full of white people. Of course some people will look at you in a different way, they don't even have to be racist, it's a natural reaction. We don't have many black people were I'm from, so seeing one is rarer than a four-leaf clover. But I believe that you would just get used to it like people would get used to VNs with enough time and exposure.

And if you look at it. A few yours ago we had mostly fan-translation. Now there's a market and they are on steam.
So the question "Why don't more people read VNs?" is similar to "Why don't more people eat Borscht?"

On another note, I'm also sceptical about what would happen IF visual novels became more popular. If localization companies decided to cater to a broad mass, that could also mean easy cash grabs and censoring. For instance I don't play that much AAA games anymore because for me they are not that exciting anymore and seem all similar. Instead I look at indie games that might have innovative ideas. But for companies they would be too much of a speculation.
And a lot of games have some content or features cut so they can be sold to people under 18.
I guess we should be glad that there are Eroge that create a clear difference between 18+ and everything else. So we get some stuff like Euphoria. Doesn't make much sense to censor this if it's still 18+. But with the other stuff from steam you have to hope for a patch. I don't know if we will still get them if a mass of all-ages consumers joined the mess. (aside from unofficial patches)
I believe most of the seasoned readers here are in one way or another used to sexual content. Even if they don't need it themself it would be a shame if it vanished completely.

...Okay, I wrote alot yet again. Sorry for that.

@27 I am German and I have played Gothic but I got the nickname because I'm such a sleepyhead.
#29 by ecchihieronymus
2020-10-14 at 22:43
< report >#28

Der Schläfer sei mit dir.

...Hat sie nicht gesagt!...

#30 by bulletkin
2020-11-23 at 20:47
< report >I think the video was mostly on point, though I would have preferred to read over listen. Which is also part of why I like VN's so much.

When I've talked to others about possibly trying VN's the responses are usually "I don't read", "I don't like anime", or "it's just porn" with the last one honestly frustrating me. I wouldn't be surprised if many others here have read a decent amount of western fiction, which absolutely has sex scenes in it. I find it mind boggling that some think that because you get a short scene with some tits hanging out, a 50+ hour read is now pure smut.

If anything is to be done to make VN's more popular, I think it's the reputation as pornography that needs to go first. Bitch of the matter is I have no clue how to do it, much less tackle the more difficult problems of people plain not wanting to read or disliking anime for w/e random reason they have.
#31 by bobjr2000
2020-11-24 at 07:37
< report >Already gave my reason for vn why I read them. I don't think being seen as porn as its biggest problem as much as discovery itself. But my guess why its not more popular is because its a niche inside of a niche. Just small view point from midwestener of states but only people I know that like comics is generation X age and can count them on one hand. Telling some 1 about reading a comic book on computer that has voice acting and music will give you a look of why.

You need to be part of one of groups that likes cartoons, comics, anime or video games. Just by virtue of looking like anime/cartoon characters is enough to drive a lot of people away and won't take medium as serious.

When it comes to games most people I know want something interactive and click and point isn't exactly viewed as fun time for video game especially if paying pretty decent price for it.

With maybe exception of video games getting into one of these mediums as an adult is pretty rare from area I am from. An adult reading comics, watching cartoons and adult japanese cartoons just sounds creepy. Now take that to next level of VN seems like some off their rocker.

If going from book pure driven story reader is even harder that doesn't get filtered through one of above. Might seem like common sense to people on here but linking books and vn can seem like grand canyon to even discover this form of story telling. As the weirdo that has dabble in most of things above except comics its almost a miracle myself I even discovered what vn was. It was really part luck and stubbornness otherwise I easily could have never found it. Honestly don't know another person in real life that knows what vn is.

I am obviously speaking more from people outside of the bubble coming to this medium. That when do stumble isn't really appealing thing in itself. People on the spectrum more deep dive into this stuff couldn't give a strong reason. As for self the lazy short attention span rather choose one of mediums of above maybe its same for others.
#32 by brianhammerhand
2020-11-29 at 16:39
< report >It depends how you define the medium. I started off with Necronomicon on the FM-Towns and it had elements of traveling to different locations, chiptunes, and animations and felt more like a "game". If it's loli girls in static images or bishounen talking to one another and you progress the novel only by hitting space, then yeah that appeal will be limited to the otaku element. The stylized subjective taste artwork and lack of "game" play will turn most people off but might excite enough people to justify the cost to make it I suppose.

The medium is not the problem though. Text adventures date back to the 1970s and thrived for many years but they had interactivity and were second person --- the VN medium probably could benefit from a little broader appeal in interactivity (what are the Telltale Games popular for? It's not the artwork), the sense YOU are in the story making changes rather than just reading a novel -- which a lot of games even in the early days of VN sort of crossed the line with where you could make some decisions or win or fail - even if they were just flavor and lead you to the same end.

You see some broad appeal but the same basic story ideas in cutscenes progessing in titles like Neptunia, Corpse Party (which actually dates way back) or the RPGMaker type games, though the latter suffer from static "flat" artwork in the cutscenes IMHO. Answer Yes or No, some animated sections even when talking (actual animated eyes, etc like PC-9801 games had) rather than static images as great as they may be, parts of the artwork you can click over - a little more interactivity may help vs. the spacebar/spacebar/spacebar static image/static image/slightly different static image progression. Good story is important but you have to lure people in with some sense of excitement. A "This game made me cry, bestest story I ever read" review on Steam is not really going to grab my interest, but that's just me. Everyone has their own taste. Scattershot and try some new things. The old text adventures appealed to me actually due to LACK of art so I had to imagine where I was. All about the spectrum of what is a novel vs. interactive fiction and "game" play.

I do think VN's can thrive again but a special game has to hit that sweet spot of much broader appeal than the spacebar brigade may want.Last modified on 2020-11-29 at 16:58


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