Do Men Play Otome Games?

by GeekySweetie

GeekySweetie
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02-10-2016, 04:38 PM
#47808 (1)
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".

Momo
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02-10-2016, 04:47 PM
#47812 (2)
(02-10-2016, 04:38 PM)GeekySweetie Wrote: 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".

General disinterest in the genre. Almost all the games I play have female main characters or I would prefer to play as a female because I like the design better, however those are action games. I think it is just that the market is geared towards conventional video games and less VN's.  

I hated Life is Strange, the writing was vomit imo.
GeekySweetie
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02-10-2016, 05:02 PM
#47814 (3)
Right, which is why I started the topic here, under visual novels, instead of just "videogames"

Fans (myself included) are always saying that they play visual novels because of the story and not necessarily because of the hentai scenes. In the example I use, Norn9, it deals with Time Travel, very similar to Stein's Gate, or Ever 17, both of which are geared towards men (all 3 of which are not hentai games though).

Which brings up another interesting question - do you think that it's mostly girls as opposed to guys who play "Non H" Visual novel games regardless of the gender of the characters? Do guys ONLY play a visual novel for the H scenes?

What would then happen if there was an English H Otome game? - There are in fact several already in Japan - just none have been brought over yet -- Would men play those for the H scenes - I mean even in porn, they show the male bits too lol, so it's not like seeing a D is going to send a guy screaming and he'd still be seeing naked girls and sex scenes and stuff too similar to any other visual novel.

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02-10-2016, 05:09 PM
#47815 (4)
(02-10-2016, 05:02 PM)GeekySweetie Wrote: Right, which is why I started the topic here, under visual novels, instead of just "videogames"

Fans (myself included) are always saying that they play visual novels because of the story and not necessarily because of the hentai scenes. In the example I use, Norn9, it deals with Time Travel, very similar to Stein's Gate, or Ever 17, both of which are geared towards men (all 3 of which are not hentai games though).

Which brings up another interesting question - do you think that it's mostly girls as opposed to guys who play "Non H"  Visual novel games regardless of the gender of the characters? Do guys ONLY play a visual novel for the H scenes?

What would then happen if there was an English H Otome game? - There are in fact several already in Japan - just none have been brought over yet -- Would men play those for the H scenes - I mean even in porn, they show the male bits too lol, so it's not like seeing a D is going to send a guy screaming and he'd still be seeing naked girls and sex scenes and stuff too similar to any other visual novel.

Sorry I was looking in the recent side bar when I saw the thread I didn't notice. :tehe:

The few visual novels I have played wasn't for the h scenes, I liked just experiencing the story. But I am just one guy.
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02-10-2016, 05:46 PM
#47828 (5)
@GeekySweetie The majority of my friends who do play Visual Novels don't really care all to much whether you play as a male or female. As a Life is Strange fan I had no opposition to Maxine ("Max never Maxine") being the main character played. I personally love playing Otome games although usually of the Yuri genre. And in regards to your question about "do you think that it's mostly girls as opposed to guys who play "Non H" Visual novel games regardless of the gender of the characters" I'd have to say possibly as I can't tell outside of my own social group but the girls who I do speak with on a near constant basis rather like the Hentai content of Visual Novels/Hentai Visual Novels regardless of main lead gender. And again not really too sure on "Do guys ONLY play a visual novel for the H scenes?" but I don't really care if there are any Hentai scenes. If there are good for the people who like that sort of thing, otherwise it doesn't particularly affect me in general.

"From the perspective of others I am part of the world, but when I observe the world from my perspective I am nowhere to be found. To observe is to create perspective. I can never cease to be the point of origin from my perspective. I observe that which is not myself. This is the first principle to find." - Ergo Proxy
Cloudy
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02-12-2016, 06:07 PM
#48280 (6)
Actually to think of it no I haven't. I just haven't found a good one for me. Each time I tried looking for some I would see those gory/rape bs and I really dislike those genres. ;x
If you have some that you can recommend to me that will be awesome. :)
PunishedKom
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02-12-2016, 08:05 PM
#48284 (7)
If they're gay, yeah.

GeekySweetie
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02-14-2016, 05:19 PM
#48535 (8)
(02-12-2016, 06:07 PM)Stash Wrote: Actually to think of it no I haven't. I just haven't found a good one for me. Each time I tried looking for some I would see those gory/rape bs and I really dislike those genres. ;x
If you have some that you can recommend to me that will be awesome. :)

I'd recommend Norn 9 Var Commons - it is probably the most "interesting" story (at least that's readily available in English). If you've ever played Stein's Gate, Ever 17, or other "scifi" themed visual novels, and enjoyed any of those, you'd probably like Norn 9. You also start the first 2-3 hours of the game as a dude, which can help "ease" people into the whole Otome thing.

It's an "all ages" title so there's no rape or anything like that :)

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If you like Historical dramas and learning about Japanese culture, you may like Hakouki - personally I find this game super boring! I much prefer Yo-Jin-Bo which blends the historical stuff with more fantasy/magical elements. It had a pretty adventurous/exciting and at times sad story too which is well written.

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Personally though, my favorites, are Princess Maker (well you don't actually play AS a girl I guess but it's a very "girly" game) and Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 1-3 (all 3 of them have been fan translated) However, I don't believe these (especially Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side) would appeal to a male audience, because it lacks any kinda of "Conflict" in the story, its just a silly slice of life.

I also absolutely love ANYTHING by Cheritz, a korean company who is working now on their third title. Their production values are sky high in their games. Artwork, voice acting, story, writing, etc. My favorite is Dandelion Wishes Brought to You - in it you wake up to find 5 pets in your room and later discover they are actually men from another world and are vying for your affection as part of some sick twisted game set up by a wizard who wants you for his own. The animals have agreed to play along because the wizard can grant any wish for the one who captures your heart. For example, one of them wants to help his sick sister. However, as they play along, they fall in love for real, complicating things.

The other game by Cheritz is about Asian Balljointed dolls, based actually on a company who makes the dolls in real life, about the dolls coming to life. I haven't gotten too far in it (my computer died so I'm without games at all at the moment). 

Their newest game looks good. the trailer can be seen below:



Lastly, I've not played it yet, but Code Realize looks really really good - It's rated Teen so I think it will be pretty dark and mature. Deals with death as the main theme I think in a steampunk setting.

EnglishOtomeGames.net is the best place to read reviews and keep abreast on new Otome releases.

Especially the following 3 pages:

Upcoming Releases: http://www.englishotomegames.net/upcoming

Potential Releases (Kickstarter, etc): http://www.englishotomegames.net/tagged/support

Current Releases: http://www.englishotomegames.net/list

Crovus
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02-15-2016, 02:15 AM
#48771 (9)
(02-12-2016, 08:05 PM)PunishedKom Wrote: If they're gay, yeah.

I know several who aren't, yet they still enjoy these kind of games.
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02-20-2016, 03:31 AM
#49575 (10)
It all comes down to preference, but I think that all men can and should give Otome games a try. Finally, I found another person who likes Life is Strange!! I am a straight male and I have to admit that I loved LiS so much I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms for over a week. I still listen to the awesome soundtrack and try not to tear up thinking about the ending. I guess one might consider the walking dead game by telltale to be an otome since you play as Clementine  :cool: