Disabled Girl Dating Sim Katawa Shoujo Finally Available

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Reet72:
I don't really have an issue with the concept as it is, not being terribly interested in this sort of thing, but what baffles me is how somebody thought of this first place. I mean, dating sims are a pretty obscure phenomenon and that the they were created at all is on the other side of unlikely but one about disabled people? Who thinks up this stuff?

It started with a mock concept art as a manga's extra page, not intended to taken seriously. Then 4chan took it seriously, and hold a big brainstorming about how to turn it into a game.

Then a few months later, they managed to collect a few actually talented passerby, who were interested in making an original Visual Novel, and convince them to spend the next 4 years on creating it, for free.

I'm not sure what happened, but I decided to download this game to give it a try, and suddenly it's 4 hours later and I did the whole Lilly storyline.

Good lord, even on 4chan everyone is polite and enthusiastic, like their hearts grew 3 sizes or something. This game is just..amazing.

Alterego-X:

The prtagonist is a male, and he is probably at least as important as the girls, if not even more so. By the description, it's easy to write him off as an audience avatar, but actually his inner monologue and attitudes drive the plot.

Strange. I will admit that I haven't tried the game, but assumed that it had a strong emphasis on the dating part rather than the internal cognition of the main character in relation to dating females who have physical disabilities.

About the core audience: Since I followed the development from a distance for over a year, I can safely say that the core audience is simply the general Visual Novel-reading audience. The artists emerged from the Visual Novel fandom, not from the disability fetishist community.(if there is such a thing). On every forum that has a VN thread or board, this is hyped by everyone about as much, as smething like Skyrim in general gaming, as the best product of the past few months. The idea that it could have been intended as a fetishist niche game, isn't even considered, but only on outsider sites like this one.

The idea crept into my mind that it could cater to that audience, but I really felt reading up on it that it wasn't the intention. Although one thing I am curious about is if they may make a sequel of some kind in relation to mental illness.

Alterego-X:

Reet72:
I don't really have an issue with the concept as it is, not being terribly interested in this sort of thing, but what baffles me is how somebody thought of this first place. I mean, dating sims are a pretty obscure phenomenon and that the they were created at all is on the other side of unlikely but one about disabled people? Who thinks up this stuff?

It started with a mock concept art as a manga's extra page, not intended to taken seriously. Then 4chan took it seriously, and hold a big brainstorming about how to turn it into a game.

Then a few months later, they managed to collect a few actually talented passerby, who were interested in making an original Visual Novel, and convince them to spend the next 4 years on creating it, for free.

Oh, 4chan. That would explain it.

Riobux:

Strange. I will admit that I haven't tried the game, but assumed that it had a strong emphasis on the dating part rather than the internal cognition of the main character in relation to dating females who have physical disabilities.

The thing that is easy to miss by the phrase "dating sim", is that it's not a simulation of literal dating, but a linearly written romance story, just like a novel.

The idea crept into my mind that it could cater to that audience, but I really felt reading up on it that it wasn't the intention. Although one thing I am curious about is if they may make a sequel of some kind in relation to mental illness.

The team disbanded upon release, as planned. They only grouped together to tell this story, to begin with.

Besides, that would be kinda stupid.

Alterego-X:

Besides, that would be kinda stupid.

In what way?

Riobux:

Alterego-X:

Besides, that would be kinda stupid.

In what way?

First of all, in a way that it would require rebooting the entire plot and the world. That would be like making a sequel to "American History X", but this time with arabs instead of black people. It would treat the actual story about Derek, and Danny, and all that was interesting about it, as irrelevant, compared to a "random sociological discussion of the episode".

Second, just like this previous analogy also shows, it would also play up the feeling that the actual theme was just a gimmick. Like, if you would hear about such a movie, you would probably feel that the previous film was also exploitative, all there is to know about it is that "It was the one about black people". Likewise, this Visual Novel already misunderstood as fetishist pandering, and objectifying disabled people. Treating other disabilites as expansion packs, would just enforce this.

Third, The medium isn't really appropriate for expressing mental disabilities. The character visuals are static pictures, and the plot is heavily dialogue based. Movie actors get oscars for playing mentally disabled characters, becase they can still act out all the emotional range of a disabled person, facial expressions, and all, demonstrating how human they are, but a dialouge-based story with the would sound.... well... retarded.

Fourth, romance with mentaly disabled people is controversial in and of itself, not just depending on the portrayal, but even in real life.

i was really excited and interested in this game about 2 years ago when i saw some of the concept art and the premise on a hentai site. since then my interest has somewhat waned, although i may download it. I don't really have an opinion on the whole "it's disabled girls" premise,


My mother is a social worker, so i've spent a great deal of my life around disabled people so it's a semi-normal thing for me.

I've only played this up to the start of act 2, but this definitely deserves praise. I would never have expected this level of maturity coming from 4Chan. I'm gonna have to play to the end, but so far this might top SonoHana as my favorite VN.

(Disclaimer) My opinion is based on the overall tastefullness and quality of the VN, not on any fetishes. However, it is nice to see disabled equality, and it distances the game from the 'perfection' which throws a lot of other VNs into the uncanny valley. SonoHana is cute, but Katawa Shoujo is deep.

Mmm downloaded it [they even offer MacOS and Linux support out of the box can you belief that] and guess what not bad not bad, Nice music to set a mood, combination of drawn and picture style and well yeah nice very nice.

Of course just 20 minutes or so in and yes I know in the end it is all about getting fourth base... sigh. But you know these characters so far at least make more sense then those in the usual type of this game. Those are.. seriously crazy![OMG I have been given a bunny, he must love me, oh I will hide in his room tonight nude!] These seem to be acceptable human ..and yes so far lacking huge breasts. Seriously.. Japanese guys.. big breasts only go so far!

masticina:
But you know these characters so far at least make more sense then those in the usual type of this game. Those are.. seriously crazy![OMG I have been given a bunny, he must love me, oh I will hide in his room tonight nude!]

Or maybe you are looking at the wrong ones. There are several Visual Novels at least as good as this one.

Clannad, Kira Kira, Ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two, G-Senjou no Maou, these are the few VNs with major romantic themes that I have played, and these are all around the level of this one. Though their writing is translated form Japanese so it's a bit worse than this, with forced idioms and such.

I'm playing it now just because I can.

I think it's a sorry state of the industry when some of the best English writing I've seen in the last 10 years of gaming is coming out in a VN from an indie studio bred out of 4chan.

"I guess I just have a soft-spot for cripples, bastards and broken things."

Alterego-X:

masticina:
But you know these characters so far at least make more sense then those in the usual type of this game. Those are.. seriously crazy![OMG I have been given a bunny, he must love me, oh I will hide in his room tonight nude!]

Or maybe you are looking at the wrong ones. There are several Visual Novels at least as good as this one.

Clannad, Kira Kira, Ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two, G-Senjou no Maou, these are the few VNs with major romantic themes that I have played, and these are all around the level of this one. Though their writing is translated form Japanese so it's a bit worse than this, with forced idioms and such.

Can't say I have looked into it but thank you. I am a sucker for a good story even if it is in media I usually do not go into.

When i stumbled across this game it piqued my interest as i had nothing better to do & it seemed like an interesting concept to base a visual novel around. So i downloaded it and i started playing immediatly getting sucked in to the amazing story and characters, with the path i ended up doing (Lilly's) being intense & brilliant with it having points i forgot completly about her blindness, the ending itself as cliched as it was heartwrenching for me.

But my opinion on those who write this off as a something for a niche fetish audience are badly mistaken and if they spent even 5 minutes they would realise it and it is a shame that many will not because of that, but everytime i see someone saying that due to the positive feedback from those who have played it they are giving it a go, instead of blurting out misinformed opinions. A good way to describe how this game reacts to the characters is on this image i found on imgur, http://i.imgur.com/MCl7y.jpg, so be the better person and try it.

Alterego-X:

I'm glad that you are so open-minded about it and everything, so I don't want to sound too preachy, but here is a tricky question: If it would be a movie or a novel, would you say the same thing? Is there something inherently creepy about setting an entire movie's premise on the life of disabled people? Or a novel that is told from a disabled person's lover's perspective?

If it were a movie or novel I wouldn't look at it either. Mostly because many times those kind of things basically hit me on the head about how hard it is to live with said disability and that disabled people are like normal people. I don't need media to teach me that. That just seems like a given. As for feeling bad about the disability everybody's got problems. You either deal with them or give in. To be honest dwelling on it makes it worse.

Also if the movie has the same style as this game I couldn't watch it just because I don't like the art style.

I guess in a way it also feels a little offensive to me. Like it takes something special to empathize with a disabled person. My friends with disabilities are the same as the ones that don't have any to me. They just live slightly differently and it's not enough to categorize them differently. Also, as I've mentioned I went to school with kids with many different disabilities alongside kids that had none. As a result I don't care or put much notice into such things.

Nocturnal Gentleman:
[quote="Alterego-X" post="7.337056.13629701"]

If it were a movie or novel I wouldn't look at it either. Mostly because many times those kind of things basically hit me on the head about how hard it is to live with said disability and that disabled people are like normal people. I don't need media to teach me that. That just seems like a given. As for feeling bad about the disability everybody's got problems. You either deal with them or give in. To be honest dwelling on it makes it worse.

Also if the movie has the same style as this game I couldn't watch it just because I don't like the art style.

I guess in a way it also feels a little offensive to me. Like it takes something special to empathize with a disabled person. My friends with disabilities are the same as the ones that don't have any to me. They just live slightly differently and it's not enough to categorize them differently. Also, as I've mentioned I went to school with kids with many different disabilities alongside kids that had none. As a result I don't care or put much notice into such things.

Then you are not just playing the open-minded in your rhetoric, but actually have your own opinion about such things. That's good. I apologize for using your post as a basis to argue the fallacy of what "most people" would think.

Besides, I think you will find the VN's execution OK. It makes a really strong point about exactly that. One paraphrased quote:

Protagonist: How could I fit in here? It's so strange, pointing out everyone's disabilities would be very rude, but ignoring them would be like ignoring the elephant in the living room.
Teacher: Well, I think, really, it's only an elephant in the living room if you make it out to be one.

And really, the way the story came to be, only supports this. It was started out pretty much as: "LOL, this would really make an unique VN setting. So, how do we start making it?" - And nothing more. Just as it wasn't a bunch of fetishists deciding to write a porn, it was neither condescending ableist activists deciding to send a message, just some guys wanting to tell a non-cliche romance story.

I can't shake the feeling the sequel game would be based around mental disablities. Now that would be an interesting character trait in a game like this. Also I cant tell who has what in physical disablities, they still all look like they're perfect more or less.(I cant spell sorry)

You know after having played this I actually quite liked it. I found the story to be well done and the character models were done well. Though, the main character annoyed me with his stupidity but hey, I guess that's common place in these kind of things. I dont have a fetish of any kind and was actually kind of surprised by the sex scenes in the game, as well as a little put off lol. Not because of them being handicapped but because of how easy it was to get them in the sack... Maybe I just missed the point in these things or maybe it was just the girl I chose IDK lol. I'm just weird I guess.

Lol...

*tries to go on the site*
*gets a message instead*
"The Katawa Shoujo server seems to be crippled overloaded."

...I see what you did there...

Anyways! This is... cool! I'm not usually into dating sims but I think I may just download this one...

Alterego-X:

CarlMinez:
This is probably, regardless of the motivation, the worst, most clusmy and insensitive way to handle this issue imaginable.

Let me guess. You didn't actually check out HOW it is handled in the plot.

Jesus Christ, I read the article and it's a disabled girl dating game. What more do I need to know?

CarlMinez:

Alterego-X:

CarlMinez:
This is probably, regardless of the motivation, the worst, most clusmy and insensitive way to handle this issue imaginable.

Let me guess. You didn't actually check out HOW it is handled in the plot.

Jesus Christ, I read the article and it's a disabled girl dating game. What more do I need to know?

For example the fact that out of the dozens of people in this thread who tried to start reading it, even for a single hour, EVERY SINGLE ONE reported that it's a very well-written, sensitive, serious romantic story.

(Or at least the ones who told something about it's quality, other than "this and that route was my favourite", and similar comments)

I played a bit of the first act, enough to get aquatinted with the characters. Out of curiosity.
And I have to say I was surprised how sympathetic I got towards the protagonist, the way your character's disability is portrayed makes you feel as sorry for yourself as you are any of the other characters.
It helps because your character isn't some normal guy taking advantage of their difficult lives, he's just as handicapped as any of the other class-mates.

Alterego-X:

CarlMinez:

Alterego-X:

Let me guess. You didn't actually check out HOW it is handled in the plot.

Jesus Christ, I read the article and it's a disabled girl dating game. What more do I need to know?

For example the fact that out of the dozens of people in this thread who tried to start reading it, even for a single hour, EVERY SINGLE ONE reported that it's a very well-written, sensitive, serious romantic story.

(Or at least the ones who told something about it's quality, other than "this and that route was my favourite", and similar comments)

I think you need to check out my first comment and find out what exactly I was criticizing this idea for, because it wasn't the lack of a "well-written" romantic storyline.

CarlMinez:

Alterego-X:

CarlMinez:

Jesus Christ, I read the article and it's a disabled girl dating game. What more do I need to know?

For example the fact that out of the dozens of people in this thread who tried to start reading it, even for a single hour, EVERY SINGLE ONE reported that it's a very well-written, sensitive, serious romantic story.

(Or at least the ones who told something about it's quality, other than "this and that route was my favourite", and similar comments)

I think you need to check out my first comment and find out what exactly I was criticizing this idea for, because it wasn't the lack of a "well-written" romantic storyline.

You criticized THE WAY it handles the issue, without knowing anything about the way it handles the issue other than the fact that it exists.

Alterego-X:

CarlMinez:

Alterego-X:

For example the fact that out of the dozens of people in this thread who tried to start reading it, even for a single hour, EVERY SINGLE ONE reported that it's a very well-written, sensitive, serious romantic story.

(Or at least the ones who told something about it's quality, other than "this and that route was my favourite", and similar comments)

I think you need to check out my first comment and find out what exactly I was criticizing this idea for, because it wasn't the lack of a "well-written" romantic storyline.

You criticized THE WAY it handles the issue, without knowing anything about the way it handles the issue other than the fact that it exists.

I criticized the game for handling this delicate issue to begin with. Obviously, I wasn't too sure that a Japanese interactive porno named "Disability Girl", sprung forth from the boards of 4chan, would do a good job dealing with the problems of being disabled.

If you've played the game and disagree with me then that's fine though it's hardly going to convince me to play it and even if I did, I doubt I'd think any differently of it.

Okay. I'm about 30 minutes in and, despite having to actually force myself to download it, it's simple okay. It's a VN game, so it really isn't supposed to be anything past average anyway. I see a lot of praise for the writing, butI have yet to see anything that stands out.

For now, I retract my previous statement of "automatically hate it" to a loud, resounding "meh".

Oh my goodness, my weekend is instantly lost!

Svenparty:
The best part about this sim is disabled people can't leave your dates with the ease of the fully able!

I just hope this is shown tastefully

Dude, that's just messed up.

OT: Yeah, the game is just a fetish thing.

CarlMinez:

Alterego-X:

CarlMinez:

I think you need to check out my first comment and find out what exactly I was criticizing this idea for, because it wasn't the lack of a "well-written" romantic storyline.

You criticized THE WAY it handles the issue, without knowing anything about the way it handles the issue other than the fact that it exists.

I criticized the game for handling this delicate issue to begin with. Obviously, I wasn't too sure that a Japanese interactive porno named "Disability Girl", sprung forth from the boards of 4chan, would do a good job dealing with the problems of being disabled.

If you've played the game and disagree with me then that's fine though it's hardly going to convince me to play it and even if I did, I doubt I'd think any differently of it.

No it's not. If you would have tried it, or even read 1-2 pages of this thread, you would know that it's neither Japanese, nor interactive, nor a porno.

It's a visual novel, a novel-like linear written story with background images. The only interactive element is that you can choose, often with a single click, which of the five character's story to read. If you say that there is something *inherently* creepy about that medium, then I can't see how novels or movies would be any different. Basically, you are saying that the very IDEA of a romance story about disabled people can't be handled tastefully.

And it has sex scenes, about one per girl, over the 400.000 word long story. (The Lord of the Rings trilogy is 470 000). That can be turned off. And that every poster here reported to be non-fetishizing, sensitively written, or even awkward.

And the point is not that *I* disagree with you, but that literally everyone who has read it. One deluded pervert can be explained, some poor guy even tried to protect Rapelay, but there were others who tried it for objectivity, and reported that yep, it's disgusting.

But in this situation, your sole uninformed "opinion" against everyone who actually knows how it handles the issue, sounds an awful lot like certain Cooper Lawrence's opinion on Mass Effect.

I played this game in its act 1 beta years ago, and I was honestly impressed by it. The art is easy on the eyes, all soft colors and smooth character design, the characters themselves would be distinct by design, even if they didn't have their own distinguishing features (read: overt physical handicaps and the like).
I recall that the vast majority of possible choices made a difference in your play experience, something that is par for the course for a full-fledged dating sim, but the range of choices is still worth a nod.

Regarding the choice to make everything take place in an academy filled with people - young men and women, no less - with disabilities, I'm not sure it's all about the fetishistic side of things. I've talked endlessly on the hurt/comfort subgenre of fan-fiction, and I'm pretty sure this falls in that category just fine, to some degree. The scarred girl (all names are forgotten) is outright afraid of social interaction, with some kind of tragedy being the root cause. That kind of emotional/psychological pain tends to pluck the heartstrings like a finely-tuned violin.
In short: It's all about drawing on a deep psychological and emotional need to see people feel better.

I would never have tried this 'game' if not for the mention. Hell, the premise seemed way too odd to me at first.

But anything time consuming and free gets an hour test run as my standard policy.

Man, I'm glad I tried it. I found it to be a very well written story with compelling characters and a surprisingly relatable main character whose inner monologue tells the story very well.
Calling it a 'Dating Sim' is really not accurate. It's a story (well, five stories) which is complemented by music and art.

I urge anyone who dismisses it to at least try the first act, it doesn't take long and introduces all of the main characters. Only then should you form some opinion on whether it's just a 'Fetish thing' or maybe some people trying to tell a slightly subversive and interesting story?

The 4chan label seems to be part of the killer, people don't understand that 4chan does not equal /b/

TheEvilCheese:
I would never have tried this 'game' if not for the mention. Hell, the premise seemed way too odd to me at first.

But anything time consuming and free gets an hour test run as my standard policy.

Man, I'm glad I tried it. I found it to be a very well written story with compelling characters and a surprisingly relatable main character whose inner monologue tells the story very well.
Calling it a 'Dating Sim' is really not accurate. It's a story (well, five stories) which is complemented by music and art.

I urge anyone who dismisses it to at least try the first act, it doesn't take long and introduces all of the main characters. Only then should you form some opinion on whether it's just a 'Fetish thing' or maybe some people trying to tell a slightly subversive and interesting story?

The 4chan label seems to be part of the killer, people don't understand that 4chan does not equal /b/

I can only second this, this is actually my first visual novel, and if the rest of them have story of this quality I might start playing more! I honestly like this game; I feel it's playing off some of my own insecurities. This game has inspired me to think more about the disabled people I know (Which are a lot, epileptic, deaf people, mentally ill to name a few).

The game simply plays differently to different people. I don't think this game should be condemned; it should be embraced by more, if you play it and the subject matter is not to your liking, then, fine.

Just don't judge this game by its cover, or judge the people playing it by the same standards. This game will continue to be interpreted differently by thousands of people for years to come, and if a handful of people are better for it, then why complain. If people use it to fulfil a fetish (it's not deranged or sick, just another fetish like the rest of them) then that's their own prerogative.

My two cents anyway ~Blank

double post my bad

I don't usually comment on anything, but I do have to say I am disappointed with this game. Mainly because it does not feel like a game.
Going into it, given that it was described as a "dating sim" in the article, I assumed that It'd play much like a role-playing game where i'd be able to make decisions and be able to create different and meaningful relationships with the characters involved. However, now having finished the game, it appears that the game doesn't wish you to do that. There were very few choices within the game, and the choices that were given felt superficial for the most of the time. You were railroaded into a relationship with one of the girls which then shut off contact with the other girls (which annoyed me. The storyline I was railroaded onto cut contact from characters that I felt were interesting and would have liked to have stayed friends with).
I do applaud it for its subject matter that challenges our outlook and relations to the disabled, and the characters don't feel like simple sex objects that are for claiming. I am just disappointed because I was hoping for more. As a video game, it's not spectacular and, in my humble opinion, doesn't offer enough interactivity to be considered as such. As a piece of art? The idea is there, but is not using the medium to its fullest, and if you're not using your medium to its fullest then why choose this medium for your work?
Given all of this, I am glad it exists. It has flaws, but it exists. And it exists to show us that there are those who we wish didn't exist. This game is the girl with no legs

You know, if they wouldn't solely focus on the romancing, but also the casual "friend talk", this could really have potential.

Maybe add some RPG elements, instead of simply going for an "interactive novel"?

Maybe connect the RPG aspects with the social interaction?

(Does anyone get where I'm going with this?)

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