Disabled Girl Dating Sim Katawa Shoujo Finally Available

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GreatTeacherCAW:

Paladin Anderson:

GreatTeacherCAW:
Well isn't this just peachy. No offense, but I cannot think of one normal person who would go out of their way to date someone who is physically disabled. A game that only offers me that choice? No thanks.

The main character is disabled and is going to a school that specializes in catering to the needs of disabled students.

How does that make it better? Are a bunch of disabled people going to play a dating sim that lets them date other disabled people like some Lifetime movie, or will they play a dating sim where they date perfectly healthy people? It honestly sounds like a fetish game.

God forbid someone with disabilities actually understand the problems of other disabled people and thus be more willing to date them, as opposed to only seeking out "perfectly healthy people"

Febel:

God forbid someone with disabilities actually understand the problems of other disabled people and thus be more willing to date them, as opposed to only seeking out "perfectly healthy people"

Hey! Stop right there! Dont you dare to bring reason into this comment section. Only kneejerk shallow displays of disgust are allowed here!

Quick! Someone find that "Oh Japan!" picture!

Darth_Dude:
Quick! Someone find that "Oh Japan!" picture!

It's not a Japanese game

Beautiful End:

...And I still feel like the lead guy has no business at that school. There's girl with no legs, scarred girl, blind girl, mute girl, hyperactive/dumb (?) girl, guy with cane, girl with no hand and...guy who suffered a heart attack once and suffers from a condition that doesn't really come into play except once or twice. :/

While I was lurking 4LS forums a bit after the demo release back in 2009, one of the developers elaborated that the hero's heart condition was Low QT Syndrome.

Wiki it. It's fucking scary.

It is the inner demon he has to wrestle with after living a healthy life for 17-18 years, but now can't so much as break into a mad dash or be surprised by a prank... or make love, without being afraid of death at any moment, and he likely won't live nearly as long as anyone else. That's a pretty damn powerful "monster" he has to overcome.

I'm not at all in the slightest interested by most Japanese things, nor dating sims... And yet... I'm 2 and a half hours in and I love it for some reason. Maybe it's the art, maybe it's because it reignited my love of reading, maybe it's the cleavage, hell maybe it's just the girl who reminds me of Pinkie Pie. I just can't help myself.

For God's sake, it's not a goddamn dating sim people, Stop calling it a goddamn dating sim.

I think this is an obvious form of sexploitation, and anyone who tries to deny it is just deluding themselves.

What makes the game special and kinky is that those girls are handicapped. Remove that, and what do you have? An high school dating sym identical to a million others, and no one would be talking about this game.

As for me, I'm indifferent to this. It's a sexploitation of a disease, so I can't approve of this game. But at least it gives handicapped people a leading role, so I can't disapprove of it either. So yeah, I'm neutral.

I don't like dating syms anyway.

Febel:
Well isn't this just peachy. No offense, but I cannot think of one normal person who would go out of their way to date someone who is physically disabled. A game that only offers me that choice? No thanks.

I can't think of one normal person who would prefer to live in a post-apocaliptic wasteland, yet the Fallout games are pretty popular.

Maybe fiction is not so much fantasizing about what you want to do, than about experiencing various themes and plots.

In a way, this thread is a good demonstration of the statement, that "in judging others, everyone's starting point is himself". I mean, it is really telling, which posters are the ones who inherently treat their games as just simulations of their secret desires, imitations of life, and can't see this one as anything more than that either, ans which ones see it as a narrative setting that exists for storytelling's sake.

rhodo:
I think this is an obvious form of sexploitation, and anyone who tries to deny it is just deluding themselves.

What makes the game special and kinky is that those girls are handicapped.

Oh, yeah, I forgot that one. The people who see a game with disabled people in it, and immediately assume that it must be the audience's kink. It looks like in their brain, "girl without legs" is directly associated with "kinky!!!"

I doubt 21 volunteers just got together and decided "Hey, guys! Lets make a game about fetishes about disabled chicks!". I might play this in the near future.

rhodo:

Alterego-X:

Oh, yeah, I forgot that one. The people who see a game with disabled people in it, and immediately assume that it must be the audience's kink. It looks like in their brain, "girl without legs" is directly associated with "kinky!!!"

So I see you are in denial.

You know, I have much more respect for people who admit it's a sexploitation, recognize that it's not meant to offend anyone, and just play it.

Suppose they released a dating sym in which, I dunno, all girls are very fat. Question: would that be a game to raise awareness and respect towards fat people, or would it be a game for chubby chasers? Because if you pick the first answer, you totally missed what dating syms are all about.

Oh and here's another question for you: suppose all the girls in this game had no physical handicaps; what would you get? A dating sym. This game is a dating sym. It adds the focus on handicaps because ALL dating syms put their focus on something (some are about dating vampires, some are about dating samurais, and here's one about dating handicapped people).

If I was into dating syms, I would play this game. But I still would openly admit it's a somewhat innocent form of sexploitation.
You play this game without admitting to yourself what this game really is? Then you are the one who is unconfortable with yourself and your tastes.

Oh, and did I forgot to mention that "girl without legs/arms/tongue" is a HUGE sexual fetish in Japan? Just sayin'. Perhaps you missed that part.

So this not being a Japanese game and actually being a visual novel... I'm not in denial. It's a story, I also don't believe this is just Sexual exploitation. It tells a story, plain in simple. The subject matter might not be the normal that people see everyday but that's okay.

Ariyura:

So this not being a Japanese game and actually being a visual novel... I'm not in denial. It's a story, I also don't believe this is just Sexual exploitation. It tells a story, plain in simple. The subject matter might not be the normal that people see everyday but that's okay.

EVERYTHING about this game mimicks japanese videogames. It's not made in Japan, and it's not made by japanese authors.
But it still is a japanese videogame.

And please.... visual novels? Lol. Back when I played dating syms, in my college days, I would never consider them elevated and intelligent novels. I would consider them fun games with a fun story and stereotyped characters.

I repeat, people who don't admit things for what they really are.... Well, are people who don't feel confortable admitting their hobbies.

I played the heck out of "Enzai", back in the days, and I wouldn't call it anything else than a well-made porn for people with an S/M fetish. I sure wouldn't call it a visual novel. :P

rhodo:

Suppose they released a dating sym in which, I dunno, all girls are very fat. Question: would that be a game to raise awareness and respect towards fat people, or would it be a game for chubby chasers? Because if you pick the first answer, you totally missed what dating syms are all about.

Oh, loaded questions? I like those. How about this one? Suppose, a certain big publisher releases a murder simulator about fighting russians. Question: would that be a game to raise awareness and respect towards russians, or would it be a game for xenophobic russian-haters?

Or maybe neither, bcause the question is prejudiced from the very beginning of defining the genre. Many people in this thread expressed that "dating sim" dooesn't describe this game (or most other "dating sims", either). It's A VISUAL NOVEL, a linear, literary story with pictures, where there is no simulated dating, or any interactivity other than choosing which basic plotline to read first.

rhodo:
Oh and here's another question for you: suppose all the girls in this game had no physical handicaps; what would you get? A dating sym. This game is a dating sym. It adds the focus on handicaps because ALL dating syms put their focus on something (some are about dating vampires, some are about dating samurais, and here's one about dating handicapped people).

(Assuming that in your vocabulary, "dating sym"= visual novel), There are also "dating syms" about characters trapped in an underwater complex in the near future, about the career of a school band, about Gods and Demons living among humans, about trying to catch a criminal mastermind, or a comedy about the heroine becoming the President of Japan, etc.

Yes, of course every story tries to be unique. Sometimes it's about the characters, sometimes about the setting, or something else.

rhodo:
Oh, and did I forgot to mention that "girl without legs/arms/tongue" is a HUGE sexual fetish in Japan? Just sayin'. Perhaps you missed that part.

The game is not Japanese.

rhodo:

EVERYTHING about this game mimicks japanese videogames. It's not made in Japan, and it's not made by japanese authors.
But it still is a japanese videogame.

And neither is it written FOR japanese people, so it still negates your point about the status of the disability fetish IN Japan.

rhodo:

Ariyura:

So this not being a Japanese game and actually being a visual novel... I'm not in denial. It's a story, I also don't believe this is just Sexual exploitation. It tells a story, plain in simple. The subject matter might not be the normal that people see everyday but that's okay.

EVERYTHING about this game mimicks japanese videogames. It's not made in Japan, and it's not made by japanese authors.
But it still is a japanese videogame.

And please.... visual novels? Lol. Back when I played dating syms, in my college days, I would never consider them elevated and intelligent novels. I would consider them fun games with a fun story and stereotyped characters.

I repeat, people who don't admit things for what they really are.... Well, are people who don't feel confortable admitting their hobbies.

I played the heck out of "Enzai", back in the days, and I wouldn't call it anything else than a well-made porn for people with an S/M fetish. I sure wouldn't call it a visual novel. :P

Actually I'm very comfortable with my hobbies and I play a wide assortment of games. Enzai is also a visual novel, darker and a bit more disturbed. Just because you don't think it meets any intellectual qualifications doesn't downgrade them. Some people are playing this game and have no sexual feelings towards the characters whatsoever.I'm more interested in the story more than anything else. But because it goes against the norm you categorize people as just being in it for the sexploitation of a group rarely mentioned in games but perhaps because it's such an untouched subject more people are curious about this.

rhodo:

I repeat, people who don't admit things for what they really are.... Well, are people who don't feel confortable admitting their hobbies.

I read a SHITLOAD of hentai manga, I enjoy smutty Harry Potter fanfiction, especially the Ron/Ginny pairing, and I have been looking up My Little Pony Rule 34 on more than one occasion. I'm not trying to defend any of these. I'm a pervert, lol.

And I still say that this Visual Novel still has an intelligent, high quality plot, that I like for the same reason why I like my favorite novels, movies, and video games, namely, that it has an interesting world with interesting people in it, and wouldn't mention it on the same page as any of the above. If it would have no sex scenes, or any visuals at all, I would still love it for it's plot.

Alterego-X:

rhodo:

I repeat, people who don't admit things for what they really are.... Well, are people who don't feel confortable admitting their hobbies.

I read a SHITLOAD of hentai manga, I enjoy smutty Harry Potter fanfiction, especially the Ron/Ginny pairing, and I have been looking up My Little Pony Rule 34 on more than one occasion. I'm not trying to defend any of these. I'm a pervert, lol.

And I still say that this Visual Novel still has an intelligent, high quality plot, that I like for the same reason why I like my favorite novels, movies, and video games, and wouldn't mention it on the same page as any of the above. If it would have no sex scenes, or any visuals at all, I would still love it for it's plot.

I believe, and I could be wrong that it's just taboo. Disabilities and sex in the same place. It's the assumption of why would anyone be interested in that if they didn't have a kink for it. It's harder for people to look at it with an nonjudgmental eye.

Ariyura:

I believe, and I could be wrong that it's just taboo. Disabilities and sex in the same place. It's the assumption of why would anyone be interested in that if they didn't have a kink for it. It's harder for people to look at it with an nonjudgmental eye.

rhodo also implied to be only familiar with older visual novels, that REALLY had a lot more sexual focus, the idea of just writing a story in the VN format and either missing out the sex entirely, or adding it as an afterthought, is a relatively recent trend.

To all you guys who claim that are playing this game "for the story"..... Would you still play it if the cast wasn't all made of cute anime chicks? Would you play it if, for example, the cast was all males (maybe even non-attractive males)?

I'm very amused by people who don't have the guts to admit they enjoy playing a virtual dating symulator.
In the past, I've played dating syms you guys don't even know about. The enormous, character-filled, multi-layered plot of Teikoku Sensenki would have been very fitting for an ambitious rpg. The cast, the visual style and the narrative of Togainu No Chi could have been used to make one of the best fighting games.
Despite all the potential, however, all those games are still dating syms. I recognize their potential and what they could have been, and of course, if I played them it means there was more to them than just the manga-style kind of sexual innuendo. But they still are dating syms. The same thing applies to this game. Sugar-coat them and call them "visual novels", but that way you will look like a pathetic nerd. I, on the other hand, take them for what they are: erotic games that actually have a plot behind it.

rhodo:
To all you guys who claim that are playing this game "for the story"..... Would you still play it if the cast wasn't all made of cute anime chicks? Would you play it if, for example, the cast was all males (maybe even non-attractive males)?

Yes. (And I'm a hetero male). I also know of straight women who are readig this.

I still love the constant write-off this thing is getting as porn. It's so amusing since it seems like most people who are doing it haven't played the thing. One thing that does strike me is that someone mentioned that it took them 5 hours to get to the end of a playthrough. Plus it was mentioned that they were not quite paired with the person they were shooting for, but that became okay once they got to know the person they were paired with.

To me, those things stick out as a distinction you can make in terms of if this is just fetish crap. As I said before, if it was I don't think you'd have 5 hours of reading before finally getting to the content you're supposedly there for. I think that'd be a bit of a turn-off. 75% of people who would be IN it for that kind of thing would probably have probably gone "this is taking too long!" and clicked it off and uninstalled the thing.

Furthermore: not just being able to pick the girl you want? Getting switched? Sounds a bit out-of-place for mere porn, don't you think? The fact of the matter is that As I'm playing through this, I don't see any OBVIOUS ways to get one girl over another at this point. I'm going with the flow and asking myself: "what would I do in this guy's situation?". Which isn't that a mark of a good RPG/Sim? That you actually stop and think about your decisions instead of just picking the obviously good or bad choice?

Is it predictable? Yeah, more than likely to those who are jaded/just have that knack. Can it be viewed as a bit silly/annoying/insulting/whatever that though they're all disabled they're all also 'cute'? Yeah, I can see that.

But no game is without flaws, and consistently it seems like the best way to go as a developer is to contain your flaws in places where most people won't mind them. This game seems to do just that. It's flaw is that it has what can be considered cliche characters and/or personalities. I think that's a reasonable price to pay for an otherwise good game.

This is kind of weird and messed up. But hey, whatever makes you sleep at night.

i remember hearing about the the game back in 2009 and approached it,bracing for squick but when i played it i must say that i loved it it was handled tastefully, the characters were more then 2-D cutouts with there disabilities as the main drawing point, but rather there disabilities are a part of them rather then there defining feature.

as i said the characters are great and well thought out Hanako Ikezawa(the burn victim)was my favourite for some reason(i guss i just like the bookish type myself)and the way that they played off each other was great too,again using Hanako as an example , she is incredibly shy and has difficulty opening up to anyone except Lilly, whose blindness helps her cope with her appearance.which i found to be very touching and well thought out.

after i finished the act 1 demo i was eager for more but then was disappointed to fin out that was all there was for now and from what i saw the production of the game had ground to a halt so it looked like the game would fade into the depths of Internet obscurity never to realise its full potential,which was horrible since in the short time i grew attached to all the characters and hope to continue the story but despairing about it, then yesterday i saw the news and downloaded the game immediately and i must say i'm glad that i did. you can tell the game itself was a labor of love and wont disappoint you if you give it a chance despite the seeming ick factor

In my opinion burnscars are pretty moe.

Hey, fans of wRPGs who think that wRPGs are superior to jRPGs because of their "choose your own adventure" style of text bubble choices should get into visual novels like this. They're choc full o' choices, just like wRPGs!

rhodo:
EVERYTHING about this game mimicks japanese videogames. It's not made in Japan, and it's not made by japanese authors.
But it still is a japanese videogame.

What?

So is "Japanese" a genre of video game now?

GreatTeacherCAW:
A game that only offers me that choice? No thanks.

This sounds like you have something against disabled people, to be honest.

Febel:

GreatTeacherCAW:

Paladin Anderson:

The main character is disabled and is going to a school that specializes in catering to the needs of disabled students.

How does that make it better? Are a bunch of disabled people going to play a dating sim that lets them date other disabled people like some Lifetime movie, or will they play a dating sim where they date perfectly healthy people? It honestly sounds like a fetish game.

God forbid someone with disabilities actually understand the problems of other disabled people and thus be more willing to date them, as opposed to only seeking out "perfectly healthy people"

So you are telling me that disabled people only fantasize about having relations (sexual or not) with other disabled people, whom are placed into a nice cozy special school because of their disabilities? Blind people only seek out blind people, etc. I think they'd be more willing to date them because of low self esteem. Aren't you Escapist guys all about SUPER EQUALITY with the weird sexual preferences that go on here? Why must they seek out other disabled people?

I really shouldn't have said "perfectly healthy people" on this forum, with all of the self-diagnosed mental disorders that people throw around like a frisbee. But how is this any different from a game that lets people with cutting fetishes date others with the same? Why is it so damn set on the disabled part? Why can't I choose?

Ah the shallow minded pool of human nature, judging before trying. I should expect as much in all honesty.

uzo:
Mind you, I lived in Japan for 7 yrs and read/write/speak the lingo fluently. My wife is constantly embarrassed as - when she visits family back in Osaka - I ask her to run down to Den Den Town and pick me up some random 'renai' sims.

I doubt it's embarrassment she feels when her husband is drawn to romancing cartoon characters while she struggles to get some attention...
While I am joking, this could quite possibly be true.

OT: This is just such a Japanese thing, people are so constrained and distanced from each other that they only see real prospects of a social life in dating sims.
Also comes in handy with boring relationships :P

Mr.K.:

uzo:
Mind you, I lived in Japan for 7 yrs and read/write/speak the lingo fluently. My wife is constantly embarrassed as - when she visits family back in Osaka - I ask her to run down to Den Den Town and pick me up some random 'renai' sims.

I doubt it's embarrassment she feels when her husband is drawn to romancing cartoon characters while she struggles to get some attention...
While I am joking, this could quite possibly be true.

OT: This is just such a Japanese thing, people are so constrained and distanced from each other that they only see real prospects of a social life in dating sims.

Such a japanese thing? There were quite a few western romantic stories on the market, before Katawa Soujo. Novels, films, theatre plays, etc... What makes Visual Novels different, the fact that there you can choose which couple's story you want to read, or that they are "cartoon characters"?

Alterego-X:
What makes Visual Novels different, the fact that there you can choose which couple's story you want to read, or that they are "cartoon characters"?

That they are social interaction games, that people take these as a replacement to actual social interactions, for christ sakes a guy even married a dating sim.

I for one applaud this idea. Why would disabled teenage girls not be able to experience love and rivalry like other teens?

Mr.K.:

Alterego-X:
What makes Visual Novels different, the fact that there you can choose which couple's story you want to read, or that they are "cartoon characters"?

That they are social interaction games, that people take these as a replacement to actual social interactions, for christ sakes a guy even married a dating sim.

And a woman married the Eiffel tower. Does that make it a "social interaction tower"?

The only interactivity you have with a visual novel, is choosing which linear, 70.000 word long storyline to read, often a single-click option. There is no physical control over the protagonist's acts, personality, or over the details of his dialogues.

Mass Effect's romantic sidequests have more social interaction, than a dozen visual novels combined.

GreatTeacherCAW:
Why is it so damn set on the disabled part? Why can't I choose?

The same reason you can't join the enemy faction in call of duty, and why you can't become a Daedra in the Elder Scrolls games, or date a disabled person in any other VN, because that's not what they wanted it to be, if you don't like it then it clearly isn't for you

Alterego-X:

rhodo:
To all you guys who claim that are playing this game "for the story"..... Would you still play it if the cast wasn't all made of cute anime chicks? Would you play it if, for example, the cast was all males (maybe even non-attractive males)?

Yes. (And I'm a hetero male). I also know of straight women who are readig this.

I'm one of them *female* who enjoys these Visual Novels. I've also played the games Rhodo has played, but just because it's based off what you think Rhodo doesn't make what you say true. So keep spouting off whatever you want though.

I enjoyed Togainu no Chi though, does that make me some time of sex obsessed girl? Like I said before just because you don't care for the quality of Visual Novels doesn't downgrade them.

GreatTeacherCAW:
So you are telling me that disabled people only fantasize about having relations (sexual or not) with other disabled people, whom are placed into a nice cozy special school because of their disabilities? Blind people only seek out blind people, etc. I think they'd be more willing to date them because of low self esteem. Aren't you Escapist guys all about SUPER EQUALITY with the weird sexual preferences that go on here? Why must they seek out other disabled people? Why is it so damn set on the disabled part? Why can't I choose?

You can choose, you want to be able to pick 'perfectly healthy people'? Play a different game. I'm sure there's plenty of them offering that option. Of course some disabled people are going to have an attraction towards 'healthy people', but that's not the story they're telling here. Most people in their adolescence are surprise, surprise, most likely going to end up dating people from their school as those are the people they interact with most on a weekly basis and subsequently are most likely to be the ones they develop strong emotional connections with (and impetuous, fleeting crushes of course, these are teenagers after all). Now onto your bolded quote, which I think is the sentiment most people are taking issue with. You're implying that the only reason they'd have any interest in someone who is disabled, is because they feel that they can't do any better, that they'd push the nice paraplegic girl out of her wheelchair in order to get to the conventionally attractive blonde bombshell. Have you considered maybe they just don't find blondie all that attractive? That perhaps what you might deem to be attractive or desirebale traits might not fit the preferences of others. Just because you can't undersatnd what they might see in a person, doesn't meen the feelings aren't genuine. Yeah, they might have mear physical attraction towards Mary McAverage but so fucking what? All the notion of physical attraction is conveying is; 'yeah, you're just about attractive enough for me to fuck you' which is hardly a particularly unique or flattering quality. They might find the norms attractive, that doesn't mean they find anything else about them remotely appealing. And really, these are teenagers; so the healthy ones are largely going to be jejune, shallow, selfish and impetuous (as for the next few months I still am one, so I'm allowed to say this), most of them aren't mature or dedicated enough to accomadate themsleves to the needs and restrictions that a relaionship with someone with a disability would ential, some even seem pretty unnerved by their mere presence. So I feel that someone who's had to go through much more affliction and struggle in their daily lives will be much more willing to look beyond the surface and place much more importance on the personality, their's a greater sense of ease and humility between both parties (yes, this is a generalisation, but as far as majorities go I believe it to be true) and they have a much easier time identifying with and getting to know each other. So if you have a much easier and relaxed time talking with someone, in a much more hospitable environment than the outside world has to offer and these are the people which you are going to see and interact with most often, then yeah, I find it hardly surprising that they're more likely to engage in a relationship with a person who is also disabled.

OT: I'm not about to judge a book by it's cover, it could be genuine it could just be exploitative, it could border between the two. But let's face it, I and most of the other people reading and posting on this article I'm betting don't actually play dating sims and thus aren't going to give it a fair judgement anyway.

Kneejerk reactions FTW![/sarcasm]

I'm a girl and Umineko no Naku Koro ni is my favourite "weird Japanese porn game".

I'm pretty much a sex addict help me. Next I'll be romancing up pigeons...

But seriously it looks cute. I don't see what's so particularly heinous about making a dating sim or whatever about disabled girls for a change. If anything, it reminds me of something, there's not enough disabled people in video games to begin with because so many of them are focused on violence and physically abled people doing physically abled things in general.

I didn't even finish the demo for this game a while back, sadly. Time to hurry up and catch up.

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