Does one "play" visual novels or "read" them?:

Total posts: [41]
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1 GGCrono14th Jan 2012 11:47:38 AM from Greenville, NC , Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
The Torterra Moves!
Just wondering. I'm never sure what term to use. They're technically video games but there's very seldom much active gameplay in them.
"Honesty is the best policy but insanity is a better defense."
2 Clarste14th Jan 2012 12:22:03 PM , Relationship Status: Non-Canon
One Winged Egret
I would say "read" but I don't really pay attention to what term others use.
I use either. I think I use 'play' more frequently when talking to people who don't read them much and the opposite with those who do.
Not-So-Sane fox
"Pure" visual novels would be more "read" than "played"

As for the rest, it depends on where on the scale of "simulation vs Novel" they lie on.
They're technically interchangeable, but I think "read" fits better.
6 dorkatlarge14th Jan 2012 01:15:33 PM , Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Has enough swords
Kitsune Zeta is correct. On the scale of Story-to-Gameplay Ratio, many visual novels since the late 1990s contain little to no complex gameplay. You can safely describe them as entertainment to be read rather than played.

There is a lesser known category called "interactive adventure game." In visual novels such as Three Sisters Story, Snatcher, Yu-No, and the Maison Ikkoku licensed game for the TG-16, the player is constantly asked to take actions (look, talk, move), giving the game a bit more gameplay. It's slightly similar to Interactive Fiction. This style seems to have faded away after the mid 1990s, though it still shows up in a few recent games, such as the Phoenix Wright series and Hotel Dusk.

If the player often has to work on stats, manipulate schedules, solve puzzles, etc... then you're probably dealing with a hybrid genre game. The "other gameplay elements" section of the VNDB covers a wide variety of alternative visual novels.
Well, in a certain sense, you also "play" a disc in the DVD player, or play a piece of music on an instrument, so we could also say that you "play" a VN, even if they are not video games.

After all, you don't really just "read" them either, you also watch and listen to them.

It even just bugs me when people say that they "read" a comic book. We would need a verb for that, too. Luckily, V Ns already have this one due to their gaming origins.
8 neobowman14th Jan 2012 03:29:39 PM from Unidentified Proxy , Relationship Status: Tsundere'ing
つ ◕_◕ ༽つ HELIX
I use both. Don't really care.
Either way is fine with me. I lean more towards "read" though.
MAL || vndb || Blog
I think lumping the medium in with games is part of why it's still so unknown, so I try to say "read."
11 entropy1316th Jan 2012 08:31:26 AM from Somewhere only we know. , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
I prefer "interact." LOL
I'm reading this because it's interesting. I think.

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, over.
12 Heatth16th Jan 2012 08:53:28 AM from Brasil , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
[up]This feel even more incorrect then 'play'.
Technically, you "interact" with everything! I am interacting with the reply function to post this message!

Also it feels still and robotic and oppressive.
[up][up]Yeah, the whole point of V Ns not being video games, is that they aren't that interactive.

Well, they're still interactive fiction, though.
MAL || vndb || Blog
I lean towards "read" because I think it's more correct, but since I habitually associate them with video games, "play" slips through sometimes.
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^^Except for the ones that aren't.
18 Firebert17th Jan 2012 10:43:23 PM from Somewhere in Illinois
That One Guy
It's a Choose Your Own Adventure, I suppose. With music.
19 Anarchy18th Jan 2012 08:10:26 AM from Perak, Malaysia
just a medicine seller
Do you think it would make a huge difference in popularity if they were marketed as books - just with a little extra? A little girl acquaintance I have saw me playing Umineko and asked me if I was reading a picture book, haha.
[up] Maybe, but so many have porn that it's almost hopeless.

Oh, and I don't thing I've ever read a picture book that trolls like Umineko.
21 Anarchy18th Jan 2012 08:16:40 AM from Perak, Malaysia
just a medicine seller
I really enjoyed Bernkastel's game in Episode 8 of Umineko, and I can really see myself enjoying mysteries/logic puzzles that presented themselves in that format. Wonder if that could become a popular gaming format for mystery stories that actively encourage players to solve it. I feel like a lot of mystery games nowadays follow the adventure gaming format, while Bernkastel's game was pretty much pure logic and reasoning, which might be attractive for mystery-solving enthusiasts.
If I ever finish the one I'm working on (that'll be years from now, but it'll happen eventually), I'm definitely marketing it more as an unusual ebook than as a game.
23 ozaniel23rd Jan 2012 02:00:16 PM from Yeşilköy, İstanbul
I prefer the verb "read" but unconciously I mostly use "play". I think both verbs don't fit to the unique situation of visual novels but it doesn't bother me that much.
My hatoful Monster Girlfriend is the President Ecstasy: Higurashi After in Summer (All ages memorial edition)
Clearly, we must make a new verb.
MAL || vndb || Blog
25 Anarchy23rd Jan 2012 07:58:02 PM from Perak, Malaysia
just a medicine seller
"Preay"? :D

Total posts: 41
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