Are Visual Novels Games?

So this is a question that comes up a lot in the online video gaming community. And having published Muv-Luv, Nurse Love Addiction, Scar of the Doll, and with more coming like Muv-Luv Alternative and Symphonic Rain, I felt it would be a good time to address it.

Is it a visual novel if you just select an option here or there? What if you add in a few other mechanics? What is the threshold of gameplay necessary to be considered a game?

What IS a video game? Does that definition include Visual Novels?

And I believe I have found the perfect answer:

Who cares?

I mean, in all seriousness, if it is a game, does that make it more fun? If it isn’t a game, does that make it less fun?

Do I enjoy reading a standard novel, by one of my favorite authors less if it isn’t a game? So why do we think of Visual Novels any differently.

Maybe it is a game, maybe it isn’t. Maybe just some of them are games, and some of them aren’t. As long as we are enjoying ourselves, why should we be so concerned with attacking or defending the genre?

As long as we are enjoying ourselves, why should we be so concerned?

Maybe the real answer is “It’s a bit more complicated than that”, but in the end, all that matters is that you are entertained, or moved, or fulfilled by what you are doing. And if VNs do that for you, go for it!

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