I'm curious, we all know that anime and gaming is still a male dominated hobby by far, but yet, we've seen a insurgence in Otome Games released in the last 2 years and still more to come.
An Otome game is a game in which you play as a female character, typically, but not always, a visual novel, with little to no action or combat elements. Typically but not always, you pursue various male love interests - or sometimes also female love interests (Yuri) - there's also occasionally Otome Games which do not center around romance but they are rare.
The stories themselves and the plots and writing are just as broad and diverse as any other visual novel, running the gambit of Time Travel, to Action, to Horror, and Slice of Life to name a few.
In fact, ultimately, there's very little difference between an "Otome" game and a "Visual Novel" except that you play as a girl.
I am a girl who plays both Otome and Visual Novels. I play games in which I play as a male and I think nothing of this. I get attached to the characters and invested in what happens to them and their relationships regardless of my own gender and/or sexual preferences. I think the same is true for most other girl gamers.
But I do not think the reverse is true. I do not think many men play Otome games.
Is it a by product of our cultural upbringing?
Fear of ridicule by their peers?
or just general dis-interest?
But yet, millions of men absolutely loved "Life is Strange" - a game without any combat, in which you play as a female character, and can romance both male and female character(s) and which tells a very emotionally charged story.
I also loved Life is Strange, and would have loved it even if Max had been a male character too.
I'm wondering where does the line become something "gay" or "feminine" and the male "ego" (for lack of a better word) make one "write off" a game without even playing it.
For example, recently I played Norn 9 Var Commons - I would wager that anyone who liked Stein's Gate, Ever 17 (or the rest of that series), or other Time Travel Scifi themed Visual Novels would enjoy Norn 9 regardless of their gender or sexual preferences - But yet, many male gamers will not touch it because it's an "Otome Game".