The different types of VN

Published by Caroline Lamarque on

The visual novel, or VN, appeared in Japan in the early 80s. It is a type of narrative video game that can be subdivided into different subcategories that we will discover or rediscover together.

The visual novel is a specific type of video game characterized by a frame in which scrolls text, generally supported by a graphic and sound atmosphere. It is often possible to interact with the story through textual choices. If no choice is proposed, we are facing a kinetic novel. The sound novel, sometimes considered as a separate media, is a visual novel in which the sound atmosphere is more important than the general visual aspect.

Within these main types, there are different sub-genres, among which the chara-ge (or character game). It is a VN whose plot is centered on the characters. It can sometimes be a moe-ge when the attributes of these characters are intended to be attractive. A chara-ge can be a dating sim, also called a ren’ai game, if the objective is to seduce a character with the embodied avatar.

When a visual novel presents mainly male characters who interact with a female avatar, it is called an otome game. This type of VN is the opposite of bishoujo game or galge (for girl game) in which the characters are mainly female and interact with a male avatar. The shounen-ai or BL for boy’s love are games centered on love relationships between male characters. On the contrary, shoujo-ai or GL for girl’s love present romances between female characters.

When a visual novel presents sexually explicit content, it is called eroge (erotic game) or H-game (for Hentai-game). Here again, many sub-categories exist such as yaoi which presents sexual relations between male characters or yuri which presents sexual relations between female characters. We can also talk about otoge for an otome game eroge for example. Finally, when the sexual content is privileged to the detriment of the story, it is a nukige.

On the other hand, utsuge (for utsu game) has a very dark plot that stirs up a certain kind of melancholy. The nakige (which has nothing to do with the nukige!) is a genre which has a very strong emotional impact, so much so that it can make you cry.

In short, there are many different types of visual novels and the goal of the developers is to not make a kusoge (a game that is perceived to be of very poor quality, frustrating or unpopular). Finally, the kamige (i.e. the reference in terms of VN, the recognized and praised game… in short the cream of the crop!) is the dream aimed at by the studios that create this kind of game!

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