The Un-Sexy Dating Game

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TheKruzdawg:
So starting playing through it today, because why not? Really like the sound track, it seems to fit the style and just kind of float in the background, bringing everything to life. Especially when a lot of the characters seems to have a "theme" that plays when they show up. Like Kenji. Crazy guy.

I really like the characters and their personalities. Some of them almost seem like pieces of my friends, which really helps immerse me and relate to them.

One question though: if I were to close the window, would I be able to pick up right where I left off? I'm getting kind of tired and I'm scared to shut the game off for fear of losing my place in the story. I'm playing it on Mac, if that matters. But I opened it's equivalent of "File" in the corner and nothing showed up. Help?

Just hit escape; You'll get the menu. I think Option-click or Command-click is the equivalent of Right-clicking on PC; That opens the menu as well.

Mr.Tea:

Just hit escape; You'll get the menu. I think Option-click or Command-click is the equivalent of Right-clicking on PC; That opens the menu as well.

Thank you! I really didn't want to leave my computer running or risk losing my spot. It's kind of like a good book that I can't put down!

Loop Stricken:
I think most people will have had the manly picnic at least once. Some of the routes are not as easy to hop onto as Emi's.

And yeah, Shizune's route seems to be widely considered as the worst. Apparently the person who wrote it loathed Shizune, so that might have something to do with it.
It certainly lacked closure, at any rate.

Oughtta call her ShizunEA.

I've only played through it once, having literally just finished it. I didn't really even realize I was "romancing" Emi. It just kind of happened naturally and I was like "yeah that makes sense." And I initially thought I was going to take a liking to Shizune, especially around the time of the Risk game, but my opinion of her soured when she and Lilly got into that catfight. Though I didn't like the turn the story took in the 3rd act.

I really felt that the beginning of the game gave me the sense that I was the protagonist, while the later acts left me feeling like a spectator, which kind of sucked. But the story was interesting nonetheless, although

Is every girl you meet able to be (I hate to say romanced but can't think of a better word) "romanced?" If so that means there are about 5 stories to follow.

When I first heard about this game I was kinda wary of it because of all the strange things that usually come out of Japan on the gaming front specifically. But after reading up on this game a bit I decided to download it. I was still wary of it going in because I myself am disabled. I was born with Cerebral Palsy due to being premature and because of that and a factor of my birth (my right leg getting caught in my mother's pelvis and popping out as they took me out) I have had to stay in a hospital for a long period of time and has had their life drastically changed. Being handicapped myself I didn't know what to expect from this game but i found myself to fall in love with it because it's not about the girls' disabilities it's about the girls and the main character himself overcoming they're disabilities.

Emi's story in specific resonated with me because her disability effected her legs, her having prosthetics from the knee down, and my disability effects my legs as well. Yesterday my brother checked my computer for the virus that has effected quite a few Macintosh computers and he remarked that the game was weird and I tried to explain to him that it wasn't a game for disability fetishists it was a game about people who have disabilities and overcome them.

Myself being handicapped i have to say I love this game and I don't care if anyone thinks it's strange. This game has helped motivate me to work harder then I was before at getting better and overcoming my disability.

You can call me out on this but I don't care. I love this game and it quite literally changed my life. Thank you developers and creators of this game.

People are going to vilify this game simply because of it's pedigree. At a completely cursory level this is everything wrong with internet gamer culture. Its a game where you romance crippled women as a male protagonist, based on a genre that's fairly misogynistic, comes from Japan (see last point), and made by folks from 4chan.

Yikes. If I didn't have a fairly strong handle on how the internet, and most reviewing rings work I'd call what they're doing just disrespectful, but there's a demand for reading that kind of straw man burning and there's folks who wont look a prize horse in the mouth.

The "game" actually handles itself very well, and its really an indication that you can deliver meaningful narrative in this media. Some people won't get past that point.

TheKruzdawg:
Is every girl you meet able to be (I hate to say romanced but can't think of a better word) "romanced?" If so that means there are about 5 stories to follow.

Yes, there are five stories based on who Hisao grows closest to and winds up in a relationship with (essentially all the main characters except Misha).

...and yeah, "romanced" really isn't the right word in some cases. With Emi and Shizune, it makes sense. Both have fairly typical progressions when they and Hisao start dating. Lily's route, though, mixes it up a bit, Rin's route mixes it up a lot, and Hanako...well, let's just say romance or lack thereof is a pretty important theme in her story!

NeutralDrow:

TheKruzdawg:
Is every girl you meet able to be (I hate to say romanced but can't think of a better word) "romanced?" If so that means there are about 5 stories to follow.

Yes, there are five stories based on who Hisao grows closest to and winds up in a relationship with (essentially all the main characters except Misha).

...and yeah, "romanced" really isn't the right word in some cases. With Emi and Shizune, it makes sense. Both have fairly typical progressions when they and Hisao start dating. Lily's route, though, mixes it up a bit, Rin's route mixes it up a lot, and Hanako...well, let's just say romance or lack thereof is a pretty important theme in her story!

Rin's route was... let's say it nicely, as confusing as Rin herself.

But I guess the problem was in the pants.

Alterego-X:

Therumancer:

By definition the only real point to a product like this is to have disabled people put into sexual or romantic positions, that is after all the entire premise, the entire selling point, and what defines this product apart from other romantically themed VGNs. By definition the entire thing works on the premise of fetishizing the disabled since romance with such people is presented as the point of the entire work.

By that same logic, every romantic story premise ever is sexual fetish-pandering. "The 50 first dates" is for mental disability fetishists, "Kate & Leopold" is for 19th century fetishists, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" is for virginity fetishists, "Pretty Woman" is for prostitution fetishists, etc.

Basically, you entirely ignore the more typical attitude of "whoa, that sounds like an interesting storyline starting idea to spice up the typical boy-meets-girl plot", in favor of "yeah, I'm going to be fapping to this theme".

You earlier described Katawa Shoujo as if it would intentionally have a long slice-of-life plot solely for the sake of dissolving the fetish content in it, but in fact, it's typical for many high quality VNs, to have a long, elaborate plot. Katawa Shoujo isn't doing anything extraordinary in that regard, it was always evident ever since it was announced to be a full-lenght novel, that it will focus on many themes and situations in it's content.

For example "G-senjou no Maou" is a rather elaborate crime mystery with major yakuza themes. And it's still an eroge, with routes clasified based on female love interests.

Or there is Fate/stay night, a fantasy action adventure, where the spirits of mythological heroes are fighting for the Holy Grail. And it's also an eroge, with one of the heroic spirits being a main love interest.

By your logic, G-senjou no Maou should have a "yakuza fetish", and Fate/stay night a "mythology fetish", just because they are eroge with certain themes, and this should automatically mean that the premises themselves are always erotic.

Therumancer:

Now, you could make a better defense if there was *A* disabled girl in the context of an otherwise more normal VGN, or if the disabillities were not being presented as the entire focus of the story and what makes it differant.

Wouldn't that be even more objectifying? Like, if there are various girls, one "childhood friend", one "tomboy", one "older woman", that *are* really a bit fetishizing, plus one "disabled girl", wouldn't that just blatantly treat the disability as the character's specal "selling point"?

See, the problem with your entire position is that it's based on absurdism. While this might make you feel clever, or even be supported by people that already agree with you who lack any other method of defense, it really does little more than make you seem foolish. Basically if your defense comes down to saying "well, if you think this to be true, then by extension you must think this [insane thing] is also true" you've pretty much already lost and might as well just condede the point instead of just wasting the time. It's one of the reasons why I tend to become increasingly dismissive of anything people I'm talking to have to say in threads where I have a discussion, because people become so intent on "winning" at least in their own minds that they make ridiculous arguements, or try and indirectly put words into my mouth.

For the sake of arguement though, even your absurdist arguement doesn't really hold up because fairly abstract concepts like "fantasy" or "organized crime" aren't really fetishes in any direct sense, though they could feature into erotic role-playing that might in turn involve fetishes. A deforming it something physucal and specific that can be fetishized, as could a specific aspect of fantasy... like say pointed ears or something of the sort.

That said, most of what you mention is already accepted to an extent. After all you can find fantasy porn, or organized crime used as a backround theme behind porn all over the place. The point behind a work like this VGN is to start legitimizing this fetish to the point where you'll be able to find it on the shelves right next to all of the other stuff present.

It's similar to how with the whole BDSM thing you had very slight introductions of those elements into the "vanilla" porn world, a little spanking here, some bondage there, until it started to become such an accepted fetish that you saw more and more of it being present, with the people into it becoming increasingly less shy or looked down upon for requesting it in the right settings. Then we had the semi-mainstream breakouts of people like Bettie Page who played up the fetish card, and now you can pretty much head to any porn shop and get ultra-hardcore bondage and BDSM porn right over the shelf.

Your looking at a similar situation with a fetish for disabled people, your starting off really mild here, and the hope is that over a period of time you'll be able to find porn videos of people with substantial deformities involved in sex with the same degree of ease, especially seeing as there is nothing inherantly illegal about it, it's just that people feel it's warped and that there isn't a market for it. A massive push for it would cause backlash, and so it's being done gradually.

Sure, this VGN might not seem like an attempt to get a ball rolling, but that's exactly what it is. Half the point is to make it so it's inoffensive and almost unnoticable at this point. Wait and see, it won't be huge at first, but if this catches on at all your going to see similar titles, with the intensity of content creeping up, and also as time goes on the releases happening on a bigger level, at least within the community that follows this kind of entertainment. It's not something that can be proven right now, but just watch, and even if you disagree with me you'll see that I'm right. Unless of course it winds up being quashed along the way, which is always possible. Upset enough people too quickly and it really doesn't matter how gradual you were.

Mahorfeus:
I'm glad some reviewers "get it."

I've read a few that had me facepalm over how blatantly ignorant and unprofessional they sounded.

Careful now.

I thought it was terrible, so I guess "I didn't get it" either.

Anyway, why is this getting a discussion now? Didn't this game come out last year? I think the writer missed the boat on this one.

Abedeus:
Rin's route was... let's say it nicely, as confusing as Rin herself.

But I guess the problem was in the pants.

Eh, I found it pretty comprehensible. Long before Hisao did, at least, though I could see where his confusion came from. Liked her route about the same as Emi's, and only a little behind my favorite, Hanako's.

maninahat:
Anyway, why is this getting a discussion now? Didn't this game come out last year? I think the writer missed the boat on this one.

It came out three months ago.

I would like to put forth the notion that no-one reads 10-20 hours of text so they can get to three or four pictures of people having sex in positions that may not be your favorite style.
They Google that shit.
And, because it's the god damn internet I can reasonably say that a fetish for disabled people has existed long before this game came out, so the only people playing this for the sex scenes have an INCREDIBLE amount of patience. Sitting for 20 hours when you could just type a couple words into Google and find thousands of pictures of your favorite genre? Talk about willpower.

I've enjoyed the one storyline that I've followed so far. Course the only other VN I've seen is EF: A Tale of The Two*, so maybe all the highbrow pretentious people are looking down at the Luddites who don't only read fine literature.

*The last half, after Renji and Chihiro creeped me right the fuck out.

Therumancer:

See, the problem with your entire position is that it's based on absurdism. While this might make you feel clever, or even be supported by people that already agree with you who lack any other method of defense, it really does little more than make you seem foolish. Basically if your defense comes down to saying "well, if you think this to be true, then by extension you must think this [insane thing] is also true" you've pretty much already lost

I think the analogy was very appropriate. If you want to claim that it was "insane", then maybe you should point out the inherent difference between the situations, why your own isn't your similar theory just as insane. Movies, and visual novels, are both storytelling mediums that are able to convey any narrative genre. Both of them have romantic drama, and romantic comedy works released in them. Both of them usually have sex scenes in the plot. So why would it be insane, that if you can automatically expect one's premise to be there for fetishistic purposes, you should have the same attitude with the other?

It just shows that your arguments are more based on prejudices about what the Visual Novel medium might be typically used for according to some stereotypes, rather than a coherent attitude about what expectations showuld we have about media and storytelling, and how it works.

Therumancer:

For the sake of arguement though, even your absurdist arguement doesn't really hold up because fairly abstract concepts like "fantasy" or "organized crime" aren't really fetishes in any direct sense, though they could feature into erotic role-playing that might in turn involve fetishes. A deforming it something physucal and specific that can be fetishized, as could a specific aspect of fantasy... like say pointed ears or something of the sort.

Disability isn't a fetish. It's a part of real life, a situation that actual people live in, that CAN be fetishized by same people.

But so can be everything else. You are wrong for claiming that fetishes are always tangible physical things. For example, sexual arousal from crime, is documented as "Hybristophilia". And this is just one that happens to be popular enough to have it's own wikipedia page. Pretty much everything can be someone's fetish.

The same way as you seem to imply that VNs are more likely to be fetishistic than other mediums, based on misplaced prejudices about the work's content or purpose (titilliation), you are also prejudiced against disabilities that you claim to be more inherently fetishistic than other characterizations, or settings, just because it's widespread enough that "disability fetish" is much more recognized as a thing.

So, basically, it all boils down to "I heard that VNs are usually made with the primary purpose of titilliation, and that disabilities are often used as a sexual fetish, so I will assume that this is the case here".

You continue to ignore both that most first rate visual novels are written with storytelling in mind first, just like stories in any other medium, and sex is either not there, or added as an afterthought to those who care about that kind of thing, and that a disability can be just another theme, that is driving the characterization, instead of automatically being a fetish just for being in the premise.

Even if something is in the premise of the story, doesn't mean that it has to be the sole *reason* of the story.

I repeat: Looking for any hidden motive behind it, as if the whole story would have been written for the purpose of making the sexualization if disabled people more mainstream, isn't any less ridiculous than saying that "The 50 first dates" was written for the purpose of making sex with amnesiac girls more mainstream. It would ignore both that sex wasn't actually the point of the story, and that the premise was probably the result of Hollywood creatives trying to find an interesting setup for a romantic comedy, rather than a circle of amnesia fetishists conspirating with each other to disguise their fetish as an innocent movie premise.

The only reason why the latter sounds insane, and you can get away with the former, is because Visual Novels are obscure enough that you can claim anything about what they are like, and most people won't notice.

You thought the sex scenes were un-sexy? What?

I downloaded this game out of curiosity back when it first hit, and I really liked it. Sure, it wasn't exactly Dostoevsky, but you can say the same about pretty much any video game story. I don't think anyone fires up a visual novel for that, I think people fire it up to be entertained in a more pulpy fashion.

The game really radiates the care and good intentions the creator's had for this product, and that is what makes it work despite it's flaws.

So my previous reservations in regards to the genre somewhat dimmed, I decided to move on to the biggest blockbuster in the genre: Fate/Stay Night. Big, big mistake. The game featured a nonsensical plot, cheap characters and laughably bad and cringeworthy erotic scenes.

Has anyone else run into the situation on a second playthrough where the story doesn't give you some of the same choices you had in the same situations? I'm talking specifically about early on when you're in class working group with Misha & Shizune after going to the library for the first time. The first time I played I had 3 choices while they decided where we should eat: Read a book; talk to Hanako; and "listen" to their conversation.

Since I had made some different choices the 2nd time prior to reaching this point (actually complete opposite of my 1st time through), is that why I had no choice when I reached that point again?

Alar:
You thought the sex scenes were un-sexy? What?

Comment I certainly didn't get. OK, a route had very uncomfortable sex, another made me want to punch the main character in the face, but the rest were pretty damn erotic I'd say with one adding some experimentation hilarity to the mix.

I loved the game, though Shizune's route is a bloody waste of a character. For those turned off by the sex, don't be, people have sex in real life, don't see why it immediately becomes tabu when it is a disabled couple in there. It doesn't feel patronizing and certainly made me rethink how I viewed disabled people. Yes, the writing is amateurish, but it has heart and it shows (except Shizune who got shafted).

TheKruzdawg:

Since I had made some different choices the 2nd time prior to reaching this point (actually complete opposite of my 1st time through), is that why I had no choice when I reached that point again?

If you are really interested here is a pretty detailed flow chart of the decisions. Some decisions or how much relation you have developed with on of the girls will condition what you see in future branches.

http://meta.filesmelt.com/downloader.php?file=KatawaShoujoFlowchartv25.png

Razhem:

If you are really interested here is a pretty detailed flow chart of the decisions. Some decisions or how much relation you have developed with on of the girls will condition what you see in future branches.

http://meta.filesmelt.com/downloader.php?file=KatawaShoujoFlowchartv25.png

I might check that out sometime. I think I'll still give it a try without and see what I end up with. If I end up with the same story again, then I'll check it out, as I definitely want to experience everything this has to offer. Thanks!

By the way, in case some of those who are just getting familiar with VNs didn't realize yet, you can also skip text with the ctrl button, so you don't have to read through the main route multiple times.

It took me some time to realize this back then.

This TR Juro...I simply love his writing! An adroit mixing of formal language and accessible wit. I don't recall reading him on The Escapist before...is he new? Perhaps he doesn't write much? Ah, either way--fine work, good sir!

Alterego-X:

Therumancer:

See, the problem with your entire position is that it's based on absurdism. While this might make you feel clever, or even be supported by people that already agree with you who lack any other method of defense, it really does little more than make you seem foolish. Basically if your defense comes down to saying "well, if you think this to be true, then by extension you must think this [insane thing] is also true" you've pretty much already lost

I think the analogy was very appropriate. If you want to claim that it was "insane", then maybe you should point out the inherent difference between the situations, why your own isn't your similar theory just as insane. Movies, and visual novels, are both storytelling mediums that are able to convey any narrative genre. Both of them have romantic drama, and romantic comedy works released in them. Both of them usually have sex scenes in the plot. So why would it be insane, that if you can automatically expect one's premise to be there for fetishistic purposes, you should have the same attitude with the other?

It just shows that your arguments are more based on prejudices about what the Visual Novel medium might be typically used for according to some stereotypes, rather than a coherent attitude about what expectations showuld we have about media and storytelling, and how it works.

Therumancer:

For the sake of arguement though, even your absurdist arguement doesn't really hold up because fairly abstract concepts like "fantasy" or "organized crime" aren't really fetishes in any direct sense, though they could feature into erotic role-playing that might in turn involve fetishes. A deforming it something physucal and specific that can be fetishized, as could a specific aspect of fantasy... like say pointed ears or something of the sort.

Disability isn't a fetish. It's a part of real life, a situation that actual people live in, that CAN be fetishized by same people.

But so can be everything else. You are wrong for claiming that fetishes are always tangible physical things. For example, sexual arousal from crime, is documented as "Hybristophilia". And this is just one that happens to be popular enough to have it's own wikipedia page. Pretty much everything can be someone's fetish.

The same way as you seem to imply that VNs are more likely to be fetishistic than other mediums, based on misplaced prejudices about the work's content or purpose (titilliation), you are also prejudiced against disabilities that you claim to be more inherently fetishistic than other characterizations, or settings, just because it's widespread enough that "disability fetish" is much more recognized as a thing.

So, basically, it all boils down to "I heard that VNs are usually made with the primary purpose of titilliation, and that disabilities are often used as a sexual fetish, so I will assume that this is the case here".

You continue to ignore both that most first rate visual novels are written with storytelling in mind first, just like stories in any other medium, and sex is either not there, or added as an afterthought to those who care about that kind of thing, and that a disability can be just another theme, that is driving the characterization, instead of automatically being a fetish just for being in the premise.

Even if something is in the premise of the story, doesn't mean that it has to be the sole *reason* of the story.

I repeat: Looking for any hidden motive behind it, as if the whole story would have been written for the purpose of making the sexualization if disabled people more mainstream, isn't any less ridiculous than saying that "The 50 first dates" was written for the purpose of making sex with amnesiac girls more mainstream. It would ignore both that sex wasn't actually the point of the story, and that the premise was probably the result of Hollywood creatives trying to find an interesting setup for a romantic comedy, rather than a circle of amnesia fetishists conspirating with each other to disguise their fetish as an innocent movie premise.

The only reason why the latter sounds insane, and you can get away with the former, is because Visual Novels are obscure enough that you can claim anything about what they are like, and most people won't notice.

Again, pointing out something innane like "50 first dates" in comparison and trying to draw an analogy is just absurd. Sorry, but trying to justify absurdity after the fact is in of itself ridiculous. I understand the point you would like to make, but I disagree with you, and feel you are just plain wrong. As such we are going to have to agree to disagree.

That said there is a differance between a fetish, and a paraphillia. A fetish by definition requires a physical focus. The most of a point you could make here is semantic by saying "oh well, your mislabeling it" which if you were correct wouldn't mean anything for your case except for mistaken terminilogy on my part, and despite what some people might want to think that doesn't invalidate an overall point. Especially seeing as I'd imagine you yourself didn't know that. Paraphillias being an overall body of deviant behavior that can include a fetish, or sometimes even more than one. For example someone who is a necrophilliac may or may not actually have sex with corpses or use the parts of dead bodies sexually as a fetish, they might simply be aroused by the thought of death and thus say masturbate to the pictures of corpses or look at them while engaged in sexual behavior, or even just think about death to become aroused and be telling their shrink "OMG, WTF is wrong with me to think stuff like that" without any other physical manifestation.

Therumancer:

Again, pointing out something innane like "50 first dates" in comparison and trying to draw an analogy is just absurd. Sorry, but trying to justify absurdity after the fact is in of itself ridiculous. I understand the point you would like to make, but I disagree with you, and feel you are just plain wrong. As such we are going to have to agree to disagree.

That said there is a differance between a fetish, and a paraphillia. A fetish by definition requires a physical focus. The most of a point you could make here is semantic by saying "oh well, your mislabeling it" which if you were correct wouldn't mean anything for your case except for mistaken terminilogy on my part, and despite what some people might want to think that doesn't invalidate an overall point. Especially seeing as I'd imagine you yourself didn't know that. Paraphillias being an overall body of deviant behavior that can include a fetish, or sometimes even more than one. For example someone who is a necrophilliac may or may not actually have sex with corpses or use the parts of dead bodies sexually as a fetish, they might simply be aroused by the thought of death and thus say masturbate to the pictures of corpses or look at them while engaged in sexual behavior, or even just think about death to become aroused and be telling their shrink "OMG, WTF is wrong with me to think stuff like that" without any other physical manifestation.

Stop focusing on the minor flaws and inconsistencies in how she is making a point and look at the point itself. The movie analogies are not the point.

What s being asked here is a very simple question: Can a game or VN portray a romantic relationship with a disabled couple, complete will all the naughty trappings that entails, without promoting a fetish or becoming fetishized?

I think the main flaw in your argument is that you are treating this work as if the player is the main character when that is not the case. Hisao is far from the blank slate most "dating sims" hand to you at the start of the game. He is an actual character with his own thoughts, feelings, desires and emotions. The point of the game is not for YOU to get your hands down one of five skirts in the course of the story. Hell, sex isn't even the focus of any of the stories. It's a natural progression of a relationship.

It is here that the name of the game's genre rings true. "Visual Novel." This is, for all intents and purposes, a spiffed up romance novel. And like so many other romance novels out there, the main point is not the end result of the romance or the sex or anything like that. It's the evolution of the characters, how they change and what they learn from each other as well as the themes presented as the relationship progresses. It's not about the sex. It's not about the romance. It's about two teenagers struggling to figure out how to live their lives or what their place in the world might be or what the hell they're supposed to do after high school.

That is where your point falls flat. This isn't a game about scoring with the pretty anime chick with no arms. This is a game about a teenage boy coming of age and learning to live his life with his disability. About a young burn victim learning to come out of her shell and enjoy life. About an athlete learning to cope with terrible loss. About an artist struggling to truly show the world how she feels when she can't find the words to say it. If that's supposed to be some kind of fetish, well then that's news to me.

Playing this genre of game for the first time, so this is my first impression of these types of things. I'm just getting into it - just met Rin - and these are my thoughts so far.
Firstly, the writing is excellent. It's handling disabilities as a topic *really* well, and the "it's only a thing if you think that way", coupled with Rin's comments and Kenji's conspiracy are tackling the issue of objectifying people, even accidentally, very maturely. I'm definitely impressed, because that's not something you get in *any* medium very often.

The character design is interesting. Lilly and her friend are definitely my favorite visually.
Shizune and are done well, but they seemed really young...it might just be my bias due to what I've heard of that genre and the fact that the only thing I heard about this game going in was people saying "It's not fetish porn! Trust me!", but that creeped me out a lot. Just saying guys, I understand why you're trying to prevent people thinking that (because it's not that kind of thing at all) but when that's the main discussion point, it still keeps the thought in the back of my mind.
The librarian character seemed drawn specifically to show off her breasts at some points, and that goes for a few other characters, but meh.

So yeah that's my two cents. Feel free to respond if any of that was unclear. Remember, this is my first visual novel experience.

Therumancer:

If your at all curious, pick a fetish like say bondage or BDSM, or scat and/or golden showers, or whatever as long as it's a fairly common nowadays, whether you like or not, and look at it's status say 30 years ago before you could find it nearly anywhere, and see how it started out in looking for media acceptance (at least on the porn circuit), and you'll see definate patterns. For bondage and BDSM (which could probably be considered my "kink") for example you can define it's state in the media as pretty much pre and post Bettie Page as far as prescence in the media.

I've got no interest in wanking off to hentai and trying to justify it as meaningful or whatever (and don't give me that "you can turn off the filth" shit, nobody is goning to do that). But in response to the above post... Even if this 'slippery slope' position is valid (which is highly debatable), really, so fucking what? Who cares if cripple porn becomes mainstream? I expect most people really cgaff.

For all the naysayers out there, I'm going to quote the art teacher from Rin's route.

Hisao: "Isn't that just exploiting her disability to make her more popular? Sounds fishy."

Art Teacher: "Ah, now, now. It's not like that at all. Think of it from another perspective, like an artist. Would you rather have [Rin] hide herself completely from public view, as if her condition were somehow shameful? Some people will call it exploitation if we promote that aspect, or discrimination if we hide it. All considered, we're just being honest about it. There's nothing wrong with that, right m'boy?"

TheKruzdawg:

Loop Stricken:
I think most people will have had the manly picnic at least once. Some of the routes are not as easy to hop onto as Emi's.

And yeah, Shizune's route seems to be widely considered as the worst. Apparently the person who wrote it loathed Shizune, so that might have something to do with it.
It certainly lacked closure, at any rate.

Oughtta call her ShizunEA.

I've only played through it once, having literally just finished it. I didn't really even realize I was "romancing" Emi. It just kind of happened naturally and I was like "yeah that makes sense." And I initially thought I was going to take a liking to Shizune, especially around the time of the Risk game, but my opinion of her soured when she and Lilly got into that catfight. Though I didn't like the turn the story took in the 3rd act.

I really felt that the beginning of the game gave me the sense that I was the protagonist, while the later acts left me feeling like a spectator, which kind of sucked. But the story was interesting nonetheless, although

Is every girl you meet able to be (I hate to say romanced but can't think of a better word) "romanced?" If so that means there are about 5 stories to follow.

I had that happen too.
I think you get "locked" on Emi way too easy.
Just by choosing to challenge her in running. I wanted to go with lilly, because she was the only one that seemed like she was actually 18 and not 12, and in the end of act 1 i thought " Am i stuck with emi now?" and restarted the game.
Managed to go with lilly the second time, though.

Amaror:
snipsnipsnip

I had that happen too.
I think you get "locked" on Emi way too easy.
Just by choosing to challenge her in running. I wanted to go with lilly, because she was the only one that seemed like she was actually 18 and not 12, and in the end of act 1 i thought " Am i stuck with emi now?" and restarted the game.
Managed to go with lilly the second time, though.

I actually liked Emi's story a lot more than Lilly's, though that may just be because of the fact that Lilly's ending was so

or the fact that I've watched a story very similar to Emi's unfold right in front of my eyes. I did also feel relatively helpless watching the protagonist be such a ponce and not able to slap him or something...

Pickapok:
[

Stop focusing on the minor flaws and inconsistencies in how she is making a point and look at the point itself. The movie analogies are not the point.

What s being asked here is a very simple question: Can a game or VN portray a romantic relationship with a disabled couple, complete will all the naughty trappings that entails, without promoting a fetish or becoming fetishized?

I think the main flaw in your argument is that you are treating this work as if the player is the main character when that is not the case. Hisao is far from the blank slate most "dating sims" hand to you at the start of the game. He is an actual character with his own thoughts, feelings, desires and emotions. The point of the game is not for YOU to get your hands down one of five skirts in the course of the story. Hell, sex isn't even the focus of any of the stories. It's a natural progression of a relationship.

It is here that the name of the game's genre rings true. "Visual Novel." This is, for all intents and purposes, a spiffed up romance novel. And like so many other romance novels out there, the main point is not the end result of the romance or the sex or anything like that. It's the evolution of the characters, how they change and what they learn from each other as well as the themes presented as the relationship progresses. It's not about the sex. It's not about the romance. It's about two teenagers struggling to figure out how to live their lives or what their place in the world might be or what the hell they're supposed to do after high school.

That is where your point falls flat. This isn't a game about scoring with the pretty anime chick with no arms. This is a game about a teenage boy coming of age and learning to live his life with his disability. About a young burn victim learning to come out of her shell and enjoy life. About an athlete learning to cope with terrible loss. About an artist struggling to truly show the world how she feels when she can't find the words to say it. If that's supposed to be some kind of fetish, well then that's news to me.

*I* wasn't the one trying to make arguements out of absurdities, don't get on me because it backfired.

The reason why we are going to have to drop this as "agreeing to disagree" is because really nothing is going to convince you that your wrong, and I'm pretty sure of what I'm saying due to previous experience.

The thing here is that every one of the points you make above is entirely irrelevent to what I have been saying, which is about gradual promotion. Attempts to do the same thing with other fetishes have started exactly the same way, with very similar arguements about "coming of age", and "romance" which are among the default ways of trying to justify anything that is contreversial when it comes to sexual behavior.

Saying that the point of the story isn't to "get with" disabled girls is frankly ridiculous when that is the only reason for the product's existance, and the only thing that even makes it stand out. As a result it *IS* the bottom line. What's more saying that the character in the story isn't the reader is even more silly because the guy wielding the wood in a porn movie, or romance novel isn't the reader either.

Spydercake:

Amaror:
snipsnipsnip

I had that happen too.
I think you get "locked" on Emi way too easy.
Just by choosing to challenge her in running. I wanted to go with lilly, because she was the only one that seemed like she was actually 18 and not 12, and in the end of act 1 i thought " Am i stuck with emi now?" and restarted the game.
Managed to go with lilly the second time, though.

I actually liked Emi's story a lot more than Lilly's, though that may just be because of the fact that Lilly's ending was so

or the fact that I've watched a story very similar to Emi's unfold right in front of my eyes. I did also feel relatively helpless watching the protagonist be such a ponce and not able to slap him or something...

Only played lily so far, so i cannot tell how good emi is and haven't reached the ending by now, but it can only be a few minutes to the end (So far it seems pretty sad though).
The problem was not that emi was bad, but that it was sooo unclear that i would be stuck with her after the run.
I tried to be nice to every of the girls in the beginning, lending towards lily and hanako at diner and cold war. You could tell emi would like being challenged in running, but you just met her, so i thought it was one + point you could get with her, not an entire route in one decision.
But then again, replaying didn't tock too long and the other decisions towards the "good" ending of lily were pretty obvious.
All in all i really liked that game, though i don't think i will be getting into the genre, since you just have too less control.

Therumancer:

*I* wasn't the one trying to make arguements out of absurdities, don't get on me because it backfired.

The reason why we are going to have to drop this as "agreeing to disagree" is because really nothing is going to convince you that your wrong, and I'm pretty sure of what I'm saying due to previous experience.

The thing here is that every one of the points you make above is entirely irrelevent to what I have been saying, which is about gradual promotion. Attempts to do the same thing with other fetishes have started exactly the same way, with very similar arguements about "coming of age", and "romance" which are among the default ways of trying to justify anything that is contreversial when it comes to sexual behavior.

Saying that the point of the story isn't to "get with" disabled girls is frankly ridiculous when that is the only reason for the product's existance, and the only thing that even makes it stand out. As a result it *IS* the bottom line. What's more saying that the character in the story isn't the reader is even more silly because the guy wielding the wood in a porn movie, or romance novel isn't the reader either.

Woah, time out. You're asserting that the only reason for the product's existence is to have sex scenes with disabled people? Where exactly are you getting that idea from? This game started when a bunch of people saw a piece of concept art on an image board and thought to themselves "Huh, that actually sounds pretty cool. Lets do that." The entire project actually began as a satire of visual novels before evolving into what it is now.

Saying that the sex w/ the disabled is the only reason it stands out is in clear contradiction to everything people in this thread and across the internet about this game. They praise the characters, the handeling of the subject matter, the (at times lackluster) writing and the way it portrays these characters as normal people with normal wants, desires and issues.

I take issue with your stance that this game is meant in anyway to promote a fetish when nearly all of the response to it and what the game itself presents speaks otherwise. When you get right down to it, it's the characters that draw people in, not the promise of nookie. The majority of chatter I've seen for the game on this site has scores of people mentioning the option to turn off the sex scenes and more thanking them for the tip and taking advantage of it. To label this game as nothing more than promotional material for a fetish is like calling Saboteur a porn simulator because it includes the option to turn on (in this case through purchasable DLC) nudity and other sexy bits.

Alar:
You thought the sex scenes were un-sexy? What?

Speaking as someone who's played quite a few eroge, I was pretty struck by how uncomfortable the authors seemed to be writing sex scenes. That is, during the ones that are supposed to be erotic (i.e. not Hanako, not the shed, etc.), most of which were written rather squeamishly.

Razhem:
Comment I certainly didn't get. OK, a route had very uncomfortable sex, another made me want to punch the main character in the face,

Which one? Hanako? That's the only one I've ever seen people complain about, though I don't quite get why.

I loved the game, though Shizune's route is a bloody waste of a character.

From what I understand, there's a behind-the-scenes reason for that. The original author working on her route left midway, and the replacement writer hated her character.

That said, I occasionally feel like the only one who liked that route. It wasn't as romantically-focused, and Shizune and Hisao's relationship is certainly more low-key than with Emi or Lily, but I enjoyed what was there, and liked the focus on all three characters, Misha included. The ending came up a little fast, but I think that was the only time Hisao explicitly laid out what his future goal was, and SAVING THE WORLD, ONE STUDENT AT A TIME! YAMAKU COUNCIL SENTAI...POSE!

Amaror:
I think you get "locked" on Emi way too easy.
Just by choosing to challenge her in running.

You can avoid the choice to speed up by not committing to the nurse's admonishment about exercise, and speeding up during that run can have two outcomes depending on your point total: Emi or Shizune.

I got Emi's path the first time, myself (I was just going where the wind took me), and didn't realize I was a single decision away from a different route. Basically, if I hadn't thought "I own Australia, I'm invincible!" during that game of Risk, I'd have had enough points to not drive Shizune away.

MaxwellEdison:
The character design is interesting. Lilly and her friend are definitely my favorite visually.
Shizune and are done well, but they seemed really young...it might just be my bias due to what I've heard of that genre and the fact that the only thing I heard about this game going in was people saying "It's not fetish porn! Trust me!", but that creeped me out a lot. Just saying guys, I understand why you're trying to prevent people thinking that (because it's not that kind of thing at all) but when that's the main discussion point, it still keeps the thought in the back of my mind.
The librarian character seemed drawn specifically to show off her breasts at some points, and that goes for a few other characters, but meh.

So yeah that's my two cents. Feel free to respond if any of that was unclear. Remember, this is my first visual novel experience.

I can understand on the design thing. Much like how each route had its own primary writer, I think they had a bunch of different artists work on character design and CGs. The sprites were clearly done by different people: Yuuko, Mutou, and the nurse certainly aren't drawn by the same hand as Misha or Shizune, or Lily and Hanako. And I don't know who drew the art teacher, but he freaked me the hell out.

I never even noticed Yuuko's breasts, though. In fact, how did you? She wears that loose outfit and usually has her hands clasped in front of her. Unless you're talking her Shanghai waitress uniform...

Pickapok:
[
Woah, time out. You're asserting that the only reason for the product's existence is to have sex scenes with disabled people? Where exactly are you getting that idea from? This game started when a bunch of people saw a piece of concept art on an image board and thought to themselves "Huh, that actually sounds pretty cool. Lets do that." The entire project actually began as a satire of visual novels before evolving into what it is now.

Saying that the sex w/ the disabled is the only reason it stands out is in clear contradiction to everything people in this thread and across the internet about this game. They praise the characters, the handeling of the subject matter, the (at times lackluster) writing and the way it portrays these characters as normal people with normal wants, desires and issues.

I take issue with your stance that this game is meant in anyway to promote a fetish when nearly all of the response to it and what the game itself presents speaks otherwise. When you get right down to it, it's the characters that draw people in, not the promise of nookie. The majority of chatter I've seen for the game on this site has scores of people mentioning the option to turn off the sex scenes and more thanking them for the tip and taking advantage of it. To label this game as nothing more than promotional material for a fetish is like calling Saboteur a porn simulator because it includes the option to turn on (in this case through purchasable DLC) nudity and other sexy bits.

... which is incidently exactly a big part of my comments. When this kind of thing starts it's always "mindful, tasteful, and really about something else" as far as the creators and fans will say to begin with. Every single thing you've said, has been said before in regards to other fetishes trying to break in.

As I've said, we'll doubtlessly have to agree to disagree, we really aren't going to find a middle ground here as we both think what we think, and that's not going to change based on an internet discussion. What more is there to be said?

NeutralDrow:

I can understand on the design thing. Much like how each route had its own primary writer, I think they had a bunch of different artists work on character design and CGs. The sprites were clearly done by different people: Yuuko, Mutou, and the nurse certainly aren't drawn by the same hand as Misha or Shizune, or Lily and Hanako. And I don't know who drew the art teacher, but he freaked me the hell out.

I never even noticed Yuuko's breasts, though. In fact, how did you? She wears that loose outfit and usually has her hands clasped in front of her. Unless you're talking her Shanghai waitress uniform...

Yeah, I noticed more the different designs too, while I was playing just now. Emi is a lot more sketch-looking than Rin, for example.
The pose you mentioned has only been used one other way in my experience - to accentuate breasts. She didn't have her hands in front of her in a lot of the sections, but with her arms behind and framing her chest, and her hands low. The outfit is loose, but still bulges more noticeably than the shirts on some students, and this token looseness served to make them more obvious to me.
It might just be me, but that's how I saw it.

I've gotten a new complaint, and that's that the pathways seem *way* too easy to get locked into. I thought I was following the general arch of the story line, but all of a sudden I'm only seeing Emi and getting a lot more involved with her. Not that I mind, really - she's my favorite of the students. :P

MaxwellEdison:

NeutralDrow:

I can understand on the design thing. Much like how each route had its own primary writer, I think they had a bunch of different artists work on character design and CGs. The sprites were clearly done by different people: Yuuko, Mutou, and the nurse certainly aren't drawn by the same hand as Misha or Shizune, or Lily and Hanako. And I don't know who drew the art teacher, but he freaked me the hell out.

I never even noticed Yuuko's breasts, though. In fact, how did you? She wears that loose outfit and usually has her hands clasped in front of her. Unless you're talking her Shanghai waitress uniform...

Yeah, I noticed more the different designs too, while I was playing just now. Emi is a lot more sketch-looking than Rin, for example.

You'll notice the same thing with a lot of the CGs (the actual fully-drawn images). I didn't hate the Shizune route like a lot of people did, but my one major complaint is with whoever did the artwork; the characters look really off-model at times. On the other hand, whoever did Lily's was apparently a wonderful hand with watercolors...

The pose you mentioned has only been used one other way in my experience - to accentuate breasts. She didn't have her hands in front of her in a lot of the sections, but with her arms behind and framing her chest, and her hands low. The outfit is loose, but still bulges more noticeably than the shirts on some students, and this token looseness served to make them more obvious to me.
It might just be me, but that's how I saw it.

Actually, looking back at some of my screencaps, I can see that. Guess it just didn't occur to me...until seeing her in her waitress uniform, that is!

I've gotten a new complaint, and that's that the pathways seem *way* too easy to get locked into. I thought I was following the general arch of the story line, but all of a sudden I'm only seeing Emi and getting a lot more involved with her. Not that I mind, really - she's my favorite of the students. :P

It's a design decision. Visual novels can often be distinguished by exactly when the storyline actually branches out. Early-branching games tend to have far more distinct individual storylines (games like Tsukihime, Fate/Stay Night, and A Drug That Makes You Dream fit this), while late-branching games tend to give more generalized focus on a larger cast and sometimes don't tie endings quite as strongly to individual characters (games like Princess Waltz and Family Project come to mind). Then there's those in the middle.

Katawa Shoujo happens to be an early-branching game. The "general" arc of the storyline ends 4/5 of the way through Act 1 in favor of the character-specific arcs. Sorry to hear it's not as much to your liking...though if it's any consolation, only the Emi and Rin paths basically cut off all interaction with the others. Lily and Hanako are heavily involved in each others' stories, and Lily is also present quite a few times in Shizune's.

Therumancer:

Pickapok:
[
Woah, time out. You're asserting that the only reason for the product's existence is to have sex scenes with disabled people? Where exactly are you getting that idea from? This game started when a bunch of people saw a piece of concept art on an image board and thought to themselves "Huh, that actually sounds pretty cool. Lets do that." The entire project actually began as a satire of visual novels before evolving into what it is now.

Saying that the sex w/ the disabled is the only reason it stands out is in clear contradiction to everything people in this thread and across the internet about this game. They praise the characters, the handeling of the subject matter, the (at times lackluster) writing and the way it portrays these characters as normal people with normal wants, desires and issues.

I take issue with your stance that this game is meant in anyway to promote a fetish when nearly all of the response to it and what the game itself presents speaks otherwise. When you get right down to it, it's the characters that draw people in, not the promise of nookie. The majority of chatter I've seen for the game on this site has scores of people mentioning the option to turn off the sex scenes and more thanking them for the tip and taking advantage of it. To label this game as nothing more than promotional material for a fetish is like calling Saboteur a porn simulator because it includes the option to turn on (in this case through purchasable DLC) nudity and other sexy bits.

... which is incidently exactly a big part of my comments. When this kind of thing starts it's always "mindful, tasteful, and really about something else" as far as the creators and fans will say to begin with. Every single thing you've said, has been said before in regards to other fetishes trying to break in.

As I've said, we'll doubtlessly have to agree to disagree, we really aren't going to find a middle ground here as we both think what we think, and that's not going to change based on an internet discussion. What more is there to be said?

Awwwwww, but arguing on the internet is fun. I still don't view this as a fetish trying to break into the mainstream. If it were doing that the people making it would have tried to find a much more mainstream way of delivering it. And this is coming from the guy that thinks most of today's prominent fetishes can be traced back to Disney animated films.

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