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Opinions on the current visual novel fanbase/community?

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To be more specific I'm NOT talking about people/companies who focus on translating / licensing / releasing / making VNs because we've had plenty of discussions about them and their actions.
 
I'm talking about the fans. The randoms that frequent discussion on subreddits/forums/discords, the people that buy/consume VNs, people that follow and try to interact with big VNs at social media or anime conventions and follow kickstarters or whatever. So basically not just limited to /r/visualnovels.
 
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Now I want to be fair and talk about my personal views on what I current like and dislike about the community at the moment. I'll start with the negative stuff since some of it has been on my mind more recently.
 
The first thing is this weird sense of negativity I've been seeing more of more. Some of it is more subtle some of it are super obviously angry/douchey/elitist posts. There's things where people are angry with the way some of the companies handle releases of VNs. Some are justified, some are.. perhaps a bit overblown.
 
I'm more concerned with people who give other fans shit for supporting the company/companies they like to shit on. Regardless of whether you like a company or not some people still enjoy what companies despite what they do (or the so called problems don't affect these fans). A particular thing I've seen is calling people 'shills' just for trying to defend things company does that people might be misinformed about but since it's the in-thing to 'hate' on the company it's alright to use dumb insults like that.
 
And then outside the company thing, just creating (whether directly or indirectly) these weird elitist circlejerks against certain types of fandoms. JOPs vs EOPs. Official TLs vs Fan TLs. Kickstarters vs Not. Japanese made VNs vs OELVN/EVNs. Story VNs vs Moeges, How 18+ Content should be handled etc. For the EVNs in particular, I admit I haven't read any, but I've honestly started to wonder where these EVN fans are even supposed to talk about ones they like when many places like to call the popular EVNs "babbys first VNs" and make a lot of assumptions about EVNs that may not even be true.
 
Now obviously I'm not saying you have to force yourself to like things you don't like, just be respectful to be people who like things different from you and cut out the silly elitist/circlejerky like comments.
 
The only other thing is outside the occasional discussion, kickstarter topics, some video review and the few VN podcasts that exist, there isn't much in the way of ... fun VN content creation? Like I know streaming can't really work for viewers unless it's a really known entity (but even then) but I rarely see visual novel related memes (but maybe they're just purposefully screened out/deleted here), I don't see a dedicated person who makes reviews consistently, and I don't see any big drives for the community itself to spread the love of VNs to others outside big trends that happen by accident. I know the last point in particular is hard to do but you'd think we'd at least try or something.
 
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As said though, despite all the said above there are a bunch of things I like.
 
The fact that the VN community is just slowly growing and people are constantly finding new ways to sell VNs they like to other people is nice. There's always helpful people around when there's a legit issue people may have with the game.
 
Some discussions on various topics are a lot more interesting and mature than discussions I see on other media like movies, video games, sports, etc.
 
The content creation/other stuff that does exist is really nice to see since there's a bunch of cool projects that are taking off related to VNs.
 
While I do wish more of the communities were merged together it's still nice to see a whole lot of different ACTIVE VN communities for many types of VNs or that focus on certain parts that are cool and varied. Some are for getting people to read a particular type of VN, some are for people who like a certain company, etc.
 
I think it's nice to see how people get passionate can get towards the VN developers/TLers/whatever, seeing the hype of newer releases, and seeing people bond and meet when they otherwise wouldn't through a still niche medium. And just seeing lots of different kinds of VNs that get popular and seeing why people like them.
 
 
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Anyway, I ranted quite a bit. What are you guys' thoughts on the current community/fanbase?
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Well, my overall view is quite positive.

Sure, you get people who are elitist assholes, but, hey, what can ya do? :D In a visual novel group that I help manage on Facebook, we have had a few people who left because they didn't like people's opinions, and they pretty much hated on people who couldn't read Japanese and so have to read the "lesser" English VN's instead. Needless to say, many others in the group were angry, and so, they were kicked out. 

That's just an example of what I have seen in the VN community. Its like in other community: you are gonna get unsavory people. 

On the positive side, its great to see more and more people getting into VN's, especially on Steam, where just a few years ago, VN's had quite a small market. Now, they seem to be everywhere. :) 

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I'm a pacific guy. I like what I like and honestly don't particularly care about other people at all. 
I don't relate to other people often, except with my friends on facebook with my same taste on Visual Novels. 
The fact that Visual Novels are becoming more and more popular is really good, because we can get more and more titles to read and enjoy. 
That said, if someone despises me because I like nukiges and plotVNs at the same time, I don't care and keep reading what I want.
I have 2-3 friends who can easily learn Japanese and so they have played many Visual Novel I can't play. I admire them because they can learn Japanese and they don't bully me around just because I can't. That is something I appreciate from them.  
The only thing that triggers me hard, is when I see "most innovative" on the tags of DokiDoki Literature Club, when every single person who has read at least ONE Japanese Visual Novel can easily say that DokiDoki Literature Club literally has NOTHING innovative. People who didn't even know what the hell a Visual Novel is before they came to know DDLC. 
You could say "Hey, Michael! Just chill and ignore that! It's fine!". 
Ye, it's fine. Except when I have to listen to people saying shit like "American Visual Novels are OBJECTIVELY better" (I hate people who use that word to give their opinion a greater impact) or "Japanese Voice Acting sucks" or "Visual Novels in general are shit because they have sexual content (sad to inform you that a Visual Novel is not the same thing of 50 shades of grey)".   
Am I elitist? Maybe I am.
Because I can't stand uneducated plebs who don't see the real art when they have it right before their eyes.
Just that. 

Edited by MichaelBlueTheKing
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Ok sorry, that thing above was just an outburst. 
What I wanted to say is that I can understand some people acting all high and mighty if someone disrespected their passions or said some false shit about it. 
You guys will probably think I'm over exaggerating but right now anime/manga/LN/VN are my entire world. 
Of course I have friends, a family whom I love, a social life and blablabla. But my passions are what make me say everytime "life is beautiful". 
Having to work 8 hours a day is not a problem at all if you know that once you'll get home you will be able to read some amazing piece of art and you'll do what makes you comfortable and happy. 
You don't fear the future if you think you will be able to read new VNs. And here, in Italy, the future is a really serious matter for young people with no stable jobs. 
I'm happy when I think about all the time I spent and I'll be able to spend in the future reading VNs/manga/LNs and watching anime. 
And I get seriously angry when someone belittles my passions and all the work Japanese people have done to create those pieces of art. 
As a very enthusiast person, I always try to bring my friends to the "dark side with the cookies". Of course I understand when someone says "Sorry I'm not interested" and I get sad because I failed to find another enthusiast like me. 
Now try to imagine how sad I feel when I read/hear people saying bullshit about what makes me so happy. 
Painful, isn't it?

Of course not everyone is like this. 
The world is filled with people who need to show others how cool they are. 
But maybe behind that facade there is a very passionate person who got hurt by the "uneducated plebs" I was talking about in the previous comment. 
People are fragile, after all. 
And some people prefer being like a cactus, rejecting both bad people and good people, if that means they can avoid pain. 

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The way I see it, the fanbase is pretty much the same as any other medium. There are people that read nearly everything that has been translated, those that read mostly story-driven VNs that are usually against moege, the small number of people that can read Japanese, and so forth.

The ones that have a strong sense of pride in their reading selection are generally the most critical about the genres that fall outside it. They also tend to be more knowledgeable and outspoken about the particularities of the VN developers.

For me, I usually read the discussions while occasionally throwing in a word or too, but I generally don't get too deep into it. I read the VNs that I'm interested in, that's all there is to it. They're my main source of entertainment and are pretty much my lifeblood right now, along with manga and anime. I certainly wish I could read untranslated ones as easily as a native could, but that's not something I have much control over, given how little free time I have to self-teach myself Japanese, but there are plenty of fun, English-translated novels to keep me entertained for a good number of years that include mysteries, plot-driven, moege, and even nukige. I have no reason to be concerned about what other people think, nor do I condemn anyone for their preferences. I just quietly enjoy my preferences and if I happen to find an engaging discussion, I'll respectfully join in.

 

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1 hour ago, Tsukishiro said:

The way I see it, the fanbase is pretty much the same as any other medium. There are people that read nearly everything that has been translated, those that read mostly story-driven VNs that are usually against moege, the small number of people that can read Japanese, and so forth.

The ones that have a strong sense of pride in their reading selection are generally the most critical about the genres that fall outside it. They also tend to be more knowledgeable and outspoken about the particularities of the VN developers.

For me, I usually read the discussions while occasionally throwing in a word or too, but I generally don't get too deep into it. I read the VNs that I'm interested in, that's all there is to it. They're my main source of entertainment and are pretty much my lifeblood right now, along with manga and anime. I certainly wish I could read untranslated ones as easily as a native could, but that's not something I have much control over, given how little free time I have to self-teach myself Japanese, but there are plenty of fun, English-translated novels to keep me entertained for a good number of years that include mysteries, plot-driven, moege, and even nukige. I have no reason to be concerned about what other people think, nor do I condemn anyone for their preferences. I just quietly enjoy my preferences and if I happen to find an engaging discussion, I'll respectfully join in.

 

I quote the entire comment because I totally agree. 

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The passion a lot of the fans have is a big positive.  They want more releases in English (and other languages) and have definite opinions on companies, practices, and individuals involved in the localization.

The biggest negative is the sheer number of pirates compared to the number of people who actually spend money.  So many of the pirates have an absurd justification for pirating and there will never be a visual novel that they would pay for.  I've seen everything from a single misspelled word to a bad experience at a company's booth years ago as their justification for pirating all of a company's titles.  I think piracy in general has a much bigger impact on titles with fewer sales - and since most visual novels don't sell very many copies, piracy has a major effect on them.

The other thing that bothers me are the many people who only like the releases in Japanese and always complain about English releases.  They hate all localizers and standard localization practices.  Review sections seem to attract a lot of these people.  When I'm looking at a review, I want to know how the visual novel compares to other visual novels released in English or other visual novels from the same company.  And it is sometimes really hard to tell if the reviewer who is complaining hates all English releases or if there was something wrong with this particular visual novel.

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Plenty of people had to use unsavory methods in the past when it was the only realistic method of reading VNs, but most people I know tend to buy them properly now.

And the people that only read the Japanese works are elitists in their own way. I respect their ability to learn one of the most difficult languages in the world and read the many great works that have yet to (or will never) be translated, but that's no reason to look down on the readers that don't have the time, energy, and environment to do the same.

And many reviewers tend to complain about the quality of translations. Depending on the story, word meaning and nuance can make a difference but it can be difficult to find suitable English equivalents so I don't pay too much attention to it as long as the meaning gets across. Occasional typos also happen, but I generally ignore them.

Edited by Tsukishiro

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5 hours ago, MichaelBlueTheKing said:

The time they spend to complain about everything should be spent to enjoy.

Quoted for universal 42-esque truth.

 

Haters gonna hate, baiters gonna bait... The only complain I have with the community is that they almost always bark at the wring tree. Those chinese (?) MTLed VNs and H-Games that flood the market are bought like cupcakes and some good works and/or translations get stomped by the community for some minor errors like a forgotten question mark.

 

But that is one the internets - if not humanities- biggest problem: Vocal minorities. Just think about how much influence bearers of radical thoughts have in the news. It hasn't have to be stuff like radical islam or good-old-nazi-germany, just look how much coverage american hardcore SJWs have on stuff that shouldn't have any connection to politics. (I always wanted to use SJWs, hitler and IS in one sentence XDDD )

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On 3/9/2018 at 11:29 AM, Nelico said:

(I always wanted to use SJWs, hitler and IS in one sentence XDDD )

I feel like the VN scene can be a very hostile place if you're a woman, especially one with liberal views. Because, no matter how much you just want to talk about games you enjoy, you get stuff like the above blasted at you.

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On 31.3.2018 at 11:48 PM, Tamaki Sakura said:

I feel like the VN scene can be a very hostile place if you're a woman, especially one with liberal views. Because, no matter how much you just want to talk about games you enjoy, you get stuff like the above blasted at you.

If it wasn't clear enough, that wasn't meant to be taken serious and to my defence, you kinda ripped it out of context. My point was one of radical vocal minorities. I have nothing against liberals or radicals or whatever people think they are, but people that force their narrow view on others (and it is narrow if you try to force it onto others). I have seen enough people that tried to guilt trip me for just being born a white male in a normal family (I even had to work with one for some university projects, boy that was fun...), so please excuse me if satire and sarcasm weren't obviuos enough for people to notice that this fairly exaggerated.

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