Discussion in 'The Bridge Over The River Kawaii' started by Eboby, Nov 25, 2012.
YAAY! NOOOES! It's wonderful! No, it's baaad baaad! I'll gladly LP it. I don't wanna, I'll cry waterfalls!
My mind is still confused.
To meta up the thread for a minute, I thought I'd delve in to this 'Let's Play/Games General' forum crossover episode thread to see if I could understand what was going on within.
Sadly, even with the help of google I was unable to figure out exactly what the game was about (other than it being some variety of dating game) and it took a lot of wading through hard to penetrate posts until I reached a point in the discussion at which a newcomer could easily enter. I mean I've played through at least one (ok maybe two) dating games in the past so while I'm an unlikely player it could happen! But not easily with that opening string of posts. So, I'm going to use this as a handy teachable moment on good game forum ettiquette, like the totally patronising dick that I am!
Basically, I think when you start a thread on a new game, especially a more obscure game, you take on some responsibility for guiding the discussion in a productive way, if you don't you are just helping make threads noisier and less inclusive to new players who might be fun to talk about the game with. First up some exceptions when it might be OK to have a first post with little more than the games title:
The game in question has a giant marketing budget and is the nth in a long running series that anyone who has even heard of computer games at all knows roughly what it is. i.e. your game is Call of Duty 12, Halo etc.
The game is almost certainly familiar to everyone in the sub-community. Here we may now have a new 'problem' for everyone at BF. In the past, I might have put a new Civilization game in this category but if there is going to be a new LP contingent bulking up the numbers then that may be an assumption I should no longer make with impunity.
That's about it really. For games that are a bit obscure or even moderately obscure you really need to put in some more context for the new reader to get started so they can join in the discussion. What do I mean by context? One or more of the following:
Short text description of the game by the poster highlighting what they think is good about it/interesting features. This is my favourite type of OP as if it is well done it is the easiest to read and get straight into the discussion.
Link to someone else doing the same thing (preferably with quoted extract)
Link to a preview or review in a publication (preferably with quoted extract)
An embedded gameplay video.
A small screenshot.
A link to a 'Let's Play' of the aforementioned game.
A link to place you can download or buy the game.
There, I mean you can probably go too far and have a first post that is more like an essay, but at least as long as you don't try to fill out some ridiculous pro forma template with subheadings a la GAF you should be alright.
In short I want the first posts of threads to be informative at the very least and perhaps even passionate at the very best (though that applies more to smaller gems that you want to direct a larger audience to). I think if the first poster doesn't manage some of these things then the responsibility falls down, cascade style, to the next person to post. Remember people, a good first post saves lives! discussions.
Anyway, carry on talking about this game.
That's a lot of words to say "Put more effort into your OPs about games that are probably seriously obscure to 99% of the forum you're posting in!", you gigantic showoff!
All that is well and good and exactly my problem with a lot of the douchebaggy characters in otome games—except that Diabolik Lovers isn't like this.
The thing about Dialovers is that all 6 of the dateable characters are sadistic, abusive guys with mommy issues. Every single one of them. They vary in terms of intensity and their methods of abuse, but they are all abusive. Take a single one of these guys and put them in another game and their behavior might be written off as you say. As I say in that tl;dr essay I wrote about this game, this "writing off" happens a lot in shoujo manga and other otome games. "Ooh he's just brooding! He's just misunderstood! He actually loves the heroine deep down!" It's easy to do that when there's only one character who's like that and he's surrounded by nice guys because you think "Well, all the other guys are romantic and nice, so surely he is, too, in his own way."
However! When you make all of the love interests assholes like in Dialovers and all six of them are put together, it makes it easier to see what exactly is wrong about them/these kinds of relationships. The abusive sort of relationship is not glorified in this game—in fact, I feel that this game is making a huge statement against them and that's why the routes get so bad. Every time you start to think "Awww maybe he's not so bad, after all!" the game is like NOPE!!! and throws something at you to remind you that the dude you're pursuing is, in fact, an vampire who may or may not kill you or throw you into a wall at any given moment. He is not something to be fawned over—at least not without understanding and accepting him 100% for what he is.
This is the difference between Diabolik Lovers and something like Twilight. Twilight says "With the power of love, anything is possible." Even if Edward is an extremely creepy, abusive guy, hey, at least he loves you! He really cares about you! So as long as you two are together, everything will be okay and you can heal his broken soul and dark ways with love. Diabolik Lovers says "Vampires are predators and these ones in particular care only about themselves. You can try to love them if you want, but they will never love you the way you love them." Each guy has a past that explains why he is the way he is, but doesn't really justify him at all. The heroine is legitimately frightened by each guy's behavior (some more than others) and only stays with them because she has to. She has nowhere else to go. There is never a point where she fawns over them like most shoujo manga heroines fawn over their douchebaggy boyfriends or genuinely relies on them. In fact, she becomes a support and mother figure for each of them because they were so messed up—but in the end she accepts that they are messed up and this is the figure she needs to be for them or else she'll die. This is not the same as giving them a free pass for their behavior. In fact, I find it amazing just how well the heroine comes to understand each guy by the end, but it's still clear that despite this understanding (or even BECAUSE of it), she is not happy nor madly in love with any of them.
Yes, bad things happen in Diabolik Lovers. The guys are abusive. But the game is not saying that this is good. If Dialovers wanted to glamorize or glorify these abusive relationships, there are a lot of things the writers would have done differently. I honestly think that the game is throwing these things out there to show everyone, particularly younger teenaged girls (which is why I think they tried so hard to keep this game within a Cero C rating), why these relationships are bad and why you shouldn't think "oh, this guy is just a bit rough around the edges!" about someone who might be a psycho.
And yes this might not be everyone's cup of tea. I myself avoid games where there's cheating involved because I was cheated on in the past and I can't handle playing through a cheating scenarior even in a game. But please don't dismiss this game as something that's glorifying abusive relationships for the sake of romance because it's really not.
Okay, I get what you're saying, but to some extent all Otome games glamorize their subject matter. I mean, you're still choosing a guy to date, and you're still trying to get his ending. The main character still seems like a bit of a self-insert. Hell, there's even drama CDs to listen to. I dunno, I think I would personally find playing through a game with nothing but horrible abusive relationships to be depressing and stressful, especially when there's so little barrier between the "main character" and "myself". Is there no "opt out" option? Even A Dance with Rogues gives you non-abusive options.
Dan Lawrence, that's probably a good idea.
Eboby, perhaps you could link to the LP and the game summary in the OP?
Just because there is an abusive character (or six) in a story does not mean that the story is glamorizing it or that the author condones the behavior. At the beginning of the game when they give you a choice of a guy, you are literally choosing which guy you want to kill you because they've cornered you and you have nowhere to go. So the heroine decides that if she's going to die/have her blood sucked, at least she should be able to choose who does it to her. It's only a little while after this choice is made that you are finally told that the guys' father has ordered them not to kill you—however, they can abuse you however they like. Going towards the guy's ending is more advancing the plot than trying to reach some kind of romantic zenith. There IS actually a rather intricate plot that makes up the backbone of the game, making romance not really the point, imho.
I think that if the game gave you a non-abusive option, it would—as I said—reflect more favorably on the rest of the guys. For this game to work and for most every player to be able to see "Hey, this behavior is really bad and disturbing", all of them have to be that way. Yes, the game is stressful and disturbing—but it makes you think. It brings up these legitimate relationship issues and paints them (rather realistically, I'd say) in the negative light they're meant to be seen in instead of trying to justify the guy's behavior and make them out to be misunderstood lover boys. That's what I find so interesting about it. It fails as a traditional otome game because it's so disturbing and lacking in the more heart-moving romantic scenes, but I think that's what makes it stand out as a thought-provoking story.
I mean, you just have to look at the CGs for the game to see what they were trying to do. In most other otome games, the CGs are of these nice, sweet romantic moments. What do you mostly get in Diabolik Lovers?
OMG SWOON HE'S TOTALLY BOYFRIEND MATERIAL AMIRITE—nope. :| And this is one of the "nicer" guys! You can imagine what goes on on the other routes.
The drama CDs are completely separate from the game. They were handled by a different company and the guys are quite different (a lot nicer, for one) on the CDs. All they do, really, is talk at you.
But yeah I mean obviously not everyone would like this kind of game. I agree that it's rather depressing and stressful. (I'm still making my way through it and periodically have to play something else to sort of... cleanse my palate?) I just don't want people to think of the game in a way different from how it was intended just because it's in Japanese and harder to understand. The opt-out option is do not play the game. 8D
Dan Lawrence. I was in a hurry to make the thread and go to sleep, so I didn't consider that this is a pretty impenetrable for the uninitiated, although that's no excuse. I've edited the opening post to put in relevant links.
I may be reading that wrong, but if the game grants you the "best endings" if you choose to put up with abusive crap the assholes are throwing at you to the point where the personality of your character changes and they stay the same, then how is that really any better (or realistic) from promoting the "i can change him" fantasy?
I mean, if the outcome was that the assholes indeed don't change and that's bad end then it'd be a different matter. But if that's supposed to be 'best' and what the player should be aiming for or else then it muddles up that supposed valuable lesson quite a bit.
Each guy gets three endings. They vary in content but the structure is basically like this:
- best ending; the guy is still an asshole but there is some hope and potential possibility for change; the heroine gets more power in the household because of [spoilers]
- middle ending; the guy does not change whatsoever and the heroine is so wishy-washy throughout the route that usually what happens here is that the guy kills everybody else because he's so insecure and the heroine gets brainwashed or somesuch
- worst ending; either the heroine dies or the guy dies or they both die or something else REALLY REALLY bad happens
But yeah, nobody says otome games have to have happy endings? If you choose to put up with their abusive crap no matter what and let them walk all over you, of course they're not going to change much? I'd say that's pretty realistic. None of the endings are actually labeled as "best" or "worst", so it's really up to each person's interpretation of what they consider is the best. Some people I know prefer the middle endings because they're more romantic in a reaaaally twisted sort of way.
Why are they both winking? Is it a code?
I believe he's closing one eye to make it easier to aim. The heroine, I think, is wincing in pain.
I'm not impressed by this guy who feels the need to aim his knife.
I hope you don't get a lot of XP for killing him.
Hmm so wait, masochistic putting up with the crap gives you the 'best' ending and the 'best' ending is that there is "some hope and potential possibility for change" vs none in the other outcomes? If so then i'd have to say that makes it even less likely to teach the player any sort of "realistic point" than you were making it sound, initially. Because in this way it doesn't even show how futile this approach is, but leaves the hope dangling in front of them, that it's actually slowly working.
And no, i'm not talking about need for happy endings here. Just questioning whether the game really gets anything 'realistic' across to its players with the edings it offers. As for labeling them, i went with the labels you've chosen to gave them.
I can see where tmp is coming from. I think that the game does, at least to an extent, cater to a specific fantasy. I could point out pretty much every fan-fiction for any fandom ever that has a dubious consent warning at the beginning to make that point a little more solid, but that's a lot of links. There is a fantasy being catered to here, but for those who aren't necessarily into that fantasy, this game does carry some very interesting arguments that I believe were intentional on the part of the people behind this game.
That was pretty much what I was getting at.
And, hey, if you like that kind of thing then go for it, but I personally find that particular sort of fantasy not to my taste (ironic, considering my love/hate relationship with A Dance with Rogues).
You don't always get the "best" ending for a guy (where there is change/potential) by being masochistic, though. One of the guys' best ending has the power roles completely changing and the heroine becomes the sadist to great (and yet also tragic) effect. Like I said, it depends on the character involved and the way things play out is different from route to route.
I feel like the argument for this game is pretty much going to go around in circles, with neither side really backing down lol.
I mean I get what you're saying tmp, but the thing is that this is a game at the end of the day. Of course it won't be 100% perfect and it definitely has its faults and it definitely isn't for everyone. Dialovers, to me, is a more plot-driven than character-driven game. I look more towards how the plot will advance through the later parts versus how the character will end up as the game progresses.
Of course seeing the protagonist become so broken at the end is horrible, but keep in mind in this game there are no happy endings. I can see what you mean about how having the guys not change at all isn't a better alternative compared to having our protag try to change him for the better, but at least it kinda shows that putting up with all the abuse doesn't really help at the end of the day as well as trying to change the guy, if that makes sense? Both lead to shitty endings. So, I guess the moral of the whole game is: don't get into an emotionally abusive relationship because it's never going to work no matter how you go about it?
I wasn't saying that the game is ~super~ realistic, but compared to most otome games I think it does show a realer perspective and it doesn't try to cover up all the horrible parts of the relationships between our protag and whichever brother she's with... But with the vampire/supernatural aspects, I can certainly see what you mean about it catering to a certain fantasy in a way.
Pretty much, if you don't like it then that's all fine and dandy. And if you do than that's cool too ^^
Sorry I just saw this now since I was at school, but I'll do my best to explain why Kanato is my bby :*
You misspelled one of your [spoiler] tags as [spioler]. I took the liberty of correcting it for you.
Oops, thanks a lot :)
The game is portraying Stockholm Syndrome at its best, with potential inklings of Lima Syndrome. Meaning, it's successful at portraying an unhealthy relationship at its best. Which is horrifying.
Meaning, this is not cool and the game creators did a very damn good job of portraying that. I'm terrified out of my mind by this game precisely by how sick and twisted the relationships are.
Of course, this is also catering to people who have this specific fantasy, so there's that as well. But I really think the creators were going for a double whammy/two birds one stone situation. There are a lot of people who find milder forms of this relationship romantic. Or the exact same type of relationship romantic.
In this game, it's not romantic at all. And they don't try to pull it off as one, not really.
Of course, I haven't played the game and I'm going off of the CDs and spoilers, along with Chamomile's description, so feel free to ignore me.
The guy dying sounds like the best ending to me, based on my brief reading of this thread.
Not really because with that guy dead, the heroine's main protector (like yes he abused her in his way, but he at least kept the others at bay, as well) is gone and she's stuck being abused by the five brothers remaining who don't care at all about her well-being. Five is a lot worse than one.
That's just me being snarky, sorry!
Sounds like a game I would not enjoy.
I'm just going to sit here in the back and watch all this with sort of detached fascination because I have no real feelings on the subject because I am a robot and liberally toss about likes.
I agree, to an extent, with most of your post, and I know where you're coming from, but I have to disagree with a specific point you said.
I apologize for the rage fest and the fact I'm being rude, but that just really pressed a berserk button of mine and I'm not thinking clearly so I'm going to regret posting this big time when I come back to this, but I just. I'm done.
Again, I'm sorry if I offended you with this, I don't mean to come off as rude, I'm usually much calmer about these things and less aggressive but this just bothers me for various reasons and.
I'm sorry, I'll stop talking now and I'll go sit in a corner and wonder why I actually posted this instead of deleting it like I usually do with these kinds of topics.
The discussion about this game is interesting, but what is also interesting is that the two arguments are being held by people who fully played the game vs people who haven't. Yes, I realize some of this is more in general and about otome games in general, but regarding this game I myself would prefer to wait for the LP, and see firsthand how it decides to handle this stuff.
I am pretty desensitized to most of this kind of things, even after (or because) experiencing some of these situations, but even so I do not enjoy games that throw around abusive relationships and situations in a gratuitous manner. I do enjoy (in a morbid way), though, games that conduct the plot along these lines in a way realistic enough for me to analize and understand. We'll have to see in which category this game falls, I guess.
Edit: I really fail at english when tired, don't I.
Seems to me this game is just brimming with triggers and buttons.
I'd typed up a really, really long post, but I'm gonna summarize it in a few words.
I could appreciate this game and show more respect towards it if it were not an otome game.
If this game had been just a visual novel, I could have appreciated it. If, instead of making it a second thought, there were no romancing, I could have appreciated it. But the fact remains that this is labeled as a dating sim. And that is what concerns me.
That is my biggest issue.
Okay I had something I wanted to say, but then I stopped, realizing I'd only be repeating myself.
Kaneda said, the people who are currently arguing against this game haven't even played it. It puts me and other people who have played and actually like the game in the position of feeling we have to defend it and we just keep going around in circles. You all might not intend to sound this way, but the way some of you post about this game makes me feel threatened, like me enjoying this game makes me someone who agrees with glorified rape and abusive relationships when this isn't the case and that's not even really what the game is about. It's making me feel extremely uncomfortable.
I don't mind answering questions about the game, but frankly I'm getting kind of tired of having to continually explain (not just here, but elsewhere) why I like it and feeling like I have to justify myself because I'm doing something ~wrong~.
Ah, sorry about that. I guess I was just trying to express that while I don't like games with abusive relationships as the subject matter (no matter whether it's being glorified or not), I harbor no ill-will towards people who do.
It's different with games. In other mediums I'm fine with the depiction (though not glorification) of abusive relationships, but when it's "me" it gets squicky.
I'm just the opposite; when it's "me" in games it feels less squicky, because I feel more in control, as the player, than the character does. Of course, it depends on the exact situation.
It does depend on the situation. In A Dance with Rogues, for example, the MC has the ability to pay back the people who hurt her by slaughtering them. In that way, it's quite cathartic. However, for VNs you really don't have much control, which makes it worse, I find.
I didn't mean to offend -- I am extremely "live and let live" and if folks enjoy a game, more power to them -- my apologies if I did.
I certainly would never interrupt the actual Lets Play with my comments (which, as I said, are based only on this thread) but thought that a "Game Discussion" post was the place for such, er, discussions.
This post isn't meant to offend, but...
This is a place to discuss the game. Saying "stop discussing how much you don't like the game because it makes me unhappy" seems kind of unfair. It's like "my opinion or no opinion". No one is trying to directly point at you and say liking this game makes you an INFIDEL, some of us just have serious problems with the game. Which is understandable, considering the controversial content.
I don't care if people don't like the game. As I said in my post, it's not that. Obviously, plenty of people don't like this game and I don't particularly mind it. It's your tone. I did say that you probably don't mean to be abrasive, but it's how it comes across to me.
You said that you don't like it when stories use abuse and rape in a romantic context. That's fair and very understandable because I don't like it, either. I and Hikikomori tried to explain that this game isn't like that and then your reply was simply that you can't show respect towards this game because it's labeled as an otome game. You're saying that an arbitrary label (by the way, the actual game creators label it simply as an AVG, or "adventure game", which is the fancy Japanese term for visual novel) dictates how you view the game rather than the actual content and intent of the writers. That's what offends me; it's as if you're saying that otome games aren't allowed to have depth and be respected.
Nah, it's not "don't discuss this", it's "we are just going in circles".
Let's leave it like this?
"Hey, I don't like this game because it is about abusive relationships."
"FYI, in this game in particular these kind of relationships aren't really glorified."
"It is still the main subject, and it is evident by a simple glance that it caters to a fantasy to a certain extent."
"Probably, but even people without that fantasy can enjoy the game by analizing the characters, since it features interesting situations and isn't at all OMG I LOVE YOU DESPITE YOU TORTURING ME I WILL CHANGE YOU, like many other games regarding this subject. Also it actually has a pretty good plot."
"It still makes me uncomfortable and queasy."
"Mmkay, I respect that."
That sounds perfect.
Huh? Where did I say that? I was talking about the structure of Otome games. I don't inherently respect or disrespect something because of the genre. That's silly. However, I do approach an Otome game that deals with rape more cautiously than I would a TV Drama or a piece of literature because the medium necessitates a certain closeness between player and protagonist. "I" am the one choosing which guy to date and "I" am the one choosing the dialogue options that will potentially make that guy more/less abusive towards "me". That can be traumatic. In addition, an Otome game, by definition, is a game about forming romantic relationships. Romantic relationships have the potential to affect people deeply, especially if they're abusive. So, coupled with the fact of player-protagonist identification, that makes Otome games which deal with abusive relationships problematic to me personally, regardless of creator intention.
Ahhh sorry, I probably should have quoted the post in particular that I was talking about... My response wasn't aimed at you. It's late and I'm working on a LP at the same time, so my brain is kind of... @_@ I completely understand your view on things and I'm not trying to force you to see my way or anything. I'm sorry for the confusion.
Separate names with a comma.