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ekmll

Can Visual Novels really change you?

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I read a couple of blog posts about how after reading Subarashiki Hibi people started to look at the world differently. After finishing it I must say it was a really spectacular read but I can't say it really changed my life. In MAL they made an enlightenment list and I was wondering if it can be done on visual novels too. Do you have any experiences of reading a visual novel that made you realize things?

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The only instance of this I can think of is in F/SN where Shirou talks about how wanting to be a hero is the same thing as wanting something to go wrong for someone else so you can fix the problem. Alternatively worded, you want someone to suffer so you can gratify yourself for being a good person when you help them, which is kinda twisted. That passage genuinely did change my outlook on heroics and humbleness.

 

Incidentally I thought the rest of F/SN's philosophy was pretty awful.

Edited by tahu157

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2 minutes ago, tahu157 said:

The only instance of this I can think of is in F/SN where Shirou talks about how wanting to be a hero is the same thing as wanting something to go wrong for someone else so you can fix it. Alternatively worded, you want someone to suffer so you can gratify yourself for being a good person, which is kinda twisted. That passage genuinely did change my outlook on heroics and humbleness.

 

Incidentally I thought the rest of F/SN's philosophy was pretty awful.

Well, I think somebody can be a hero without anyone suffering. Saving a person from a car crash is very heroic right? And nobody suffers from it. Actually, you become a hero by preventing something to go wrong.

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Well, I think every piece of media can do that. It can confront you with situations you never though about or make you empathize with people in positions you would never find yourself in. Present you with an idea you never encountered before or make it more persuasive than when you've seen it in other places. It very much depends on your personal experience and how much that specific VN/book/etc. resonates with you.

Reading Analogue had a bit of that for me, as it made me think about discrimination and despair of being put in a drastically subordinate position in society. Made me slightly more sensitive to minority issues, because I understood a bit better what it means to be oppressed. Not really a life-changing experience, but one that pushed me even further in a direction I was already leaning towards. I'm absolutely sure that a VN, just like a book, can have even bigger influence - there's just not one that will bring "spiritual change" to everyone who reads it, because we're too different from each other. 

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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2 minutes ago, ekmll said:

Well, I think somebody can be a hero without anyone suffering. Saving a person from a car crash is very heroic right? And nobody suffers from it. Actually, you become a hero by preventing something to go wrong.

/Being/ a hero is fine. Wanting an opportunity to be a hero is not. If I found myself in a situation where I could save someone from getting run over I would certainly try to do it, but I would not want someone to be in that situation in the first place over for the sake of me being able to save them.

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Reading genres that I never read before made me realize that it wasn't the genre that made it good or bad. A good game is a good game. And now I'm much more tolerant to other people's tastes.

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While I've never experienced a change like this from a VN I do believe they can impact someone this heavily. Pretty much any form of entertainment can impact someone like this(music, movies, tv series, book, etc). I feel like it's more likely to happen if you are younger or are going through a harder time in your life.

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8 minutes ago, NowItsAngeTime said:

I'm sure VNs have helped turned people into lolicons or whatever fetish if anime/doujins got them on the fence already 

 

I know that VNs did help me become a Kyonyuu fan, but it was mainly hentai that made me love them so much.

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Sure. Like pik said, vns like any other medium presents people and situations that you yourself most likely would never experience. It's a wonderful thing change can be and usually people who love themselves and think too highly of themselves don't believe they need to change. Embrace it! 

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Epiphanies from readers/watchers/players are a normal result of indulging in experiencing a great work of fiction.  If you haven't experienced that yet, then that is your loss.

In a more gradual sense, I'm living proof of the fact that playing VNs changes people.  The 'me' that I was in 2008 would never have imagined me gleefully fantasizing about various... things.  *Clephas whistles innocently*

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so yeah, this is inspired by @ekmll's thread but it got me thinking more about it. and it doesnt have to be completely life changing like you stopped drinking or something, or youre smarter with your money or you sought a heroine draws sunflowers or something but it could be the start of something wonderful. for instance, my choice would have to be katawa shoujo.

 

now it wasnt my first vn like it was for most but it was a first of sorts. not entirely proud to admit this but i got into vns because of a flash game that was a parody of love hina. in it you date girls, you buy gifts, you give them the perfect gift and if you got their ending you were given a password to play dress up with the girls sprites. basically you can make them go fully nude if you wanted and this may have been the start of my journey down a lewd rabbit hole. so i began looking for stuff like that parody and landed on vns. so, yeah, i chose vns that were nukiges at first and then somehow landed on katawa shoujo. i saw the sprites for it and like what i saw and so i downloaded it. the writing, the characters, the level of respect the vn had towards its characters and the handicapped was really amazing. i wasnt much of a reader growing up, just never got into it really but i couldnt stop reading ks for hours. it made me appreciate what vns could offer outside of just ecchiness. the level of writing going into them from the characters, to the setting, to the drama.

 

then, eventually it lead me to this community. of course it was originally for the torrents back then and fuwa was and still is the first site i used to upload a fully tled to the public. maman kyoushitsu. nearly four years later i made numerous friends and had tons of discussions ranging from games, vns, movies, shows, manga, and just life in general. quite the experience. one i hate at times but mostly am happy and thankful for.

Edited by mitchhamilton

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After I read some Visual Novel (Especially Eroge ) , I realized one thing.......

innocent protagonist just victim from bitch heroine....    Story can change your own perspectives, and right after you read another story with opposite content, your perspectives change again. but in the end its your decision for belief one of that many perspectives. Or you can make new one. 

ahh.... I can't say it well.... =,= nvm

Edited by Jazid-Kun

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Yeah VNs ruined my life and made me into a salty individual that hates everything now. They frustrate me because of how often potential is wasted, interesting worlds, characters, and ideas all wasted for sex scenes, shoe horned romance, and character tropes to make weebs buy them. 

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2 minutes ago, solidbatman said:

Yeah VNs ruined my life and made me into a salty individual that hates everything now. They frustrate me because of how often potential is wasted, interesting worlds, characters, and ideas all wasted for sex scenes, shoe horned romance, and character tropes to make weebs buy them. 

Not that I disagree with you much, but somehow I knew when I saw that you responded to this thread it would be filled with :salt:.

 

As for me, Suba Hibi was one of those VNs where for nearly half a year it changed my perspective and outlook on life in a really positive direction. I couldn't describe it in any sort of comprehensible way, but Minakami's philosophy of "幸福に生きよ" (Live towards Happiness) really manifested in my attitude towards life for a while. However eventually it began to fade. But for a legit half a year I listened to the full OP of Suba Hibi at least once a day. It always put me into a positive mentality. 

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I think it has changed me by the fact that it has shown me a different way of telling a story. I think the three act structure is still probably the best but it's nice knowing that you don't have to be a slave to it.

It has also introduced me to characters I never would have experienced and concepts I wouldn't have been drawn to otherwise.

There is this great moment that touched me in Campus Notes: Forget Me Not when two side characters were talking about how all the books in the library were written by dead people who were able to live on through what they had written. That moment really touched me because I really want that for myself. I want to leave something behind when I go some way of saying that I was there. That I existed. That I mattered.

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Yume Miru Kusuri came to mind instantly. While it may not have downright changed me, it made me realize what happened at some events when I went to school. At age 17 (I think) one of the guys in my class turned into Nekoko. Sure some details differs, but overall it was pretty much the same thing, complete with even the crazy hat. Some days he was high and some days he kept falling asleep. He was a bit of a character even before this, but turning this weird ensured nobody wanted to have anything to do with him at all. One day after he had fallen asleep during class (again), I walked up to him and said "you know, this just can't keep up. You end up dropping out and throwing away your life". We then had a conversation about him not caring about his parents' expectations and I started talking about that it's his life, not his parents' life, which is at stake. It only lasted about 10 minutes, but within a week he was back to normal and he managed to not drop out. The answers he gave me were weird, but I didn't think much of it at the time. While reading YMK much later I realized what he said was sort of code to admit his abuse. In other words it was YMK, which made me realize what I had done. It's also a reminder how we can influence other people with what seems like minor actions. I just "wasted" a 10 minute break where my alternative was to just waste time. I never really had anything to do with that guy other than this, not before or after, though when I had a chance encounter with him a few years later, he was doing well and he clearly had a very positive impression of me.

 

Another lesson YMK told me is that some people have decided a certain world view and rejects anything conflicting with that point of view. Specifically in the case of YMK, it's bullying. A lot of people have written online that the bullying in YMK is way too extreme to be believable. I wish that to be the case, but in fact it doesn't seem farfetched to me. During my schooltime, stuff happened, like adding gravel to food, hoping the tiny rocks would break teeth (didn't work, but each attempt caused a no lunch day). Also pouring water into a schoolbag to ruin all the books, which caused the school to demand the bag's owner to pay for new books. Overhead a similar plan being abandoned because one person chickened out and had discarded the collected urine. Then there are physical attacks, sending people to hospital and in one case somebody was arrested at school for attempted murder. My parents decided to move just to get me out of the school district and shortly after some government task force took over the school because everything had gone crazy and the school leadership did nothing. I really can't say YMK is any worse than this. Just because it didn't happen at your school doesn't mean it doesn't happen at any school at all.

 

Just for the record, the Nekoko event and the bullying were two different schools.

 

Speaking of bullying, research has indicated that it has nothing to do with not being friendly towards bullies. What happens is a lack of leadership. This power vacuum will make one person decide to be leader and collect a group of henchmen. The leader then orders the henchmen to bully a victim. The goal is to make the henchmen not want to be the victim. With this setup, the leader will gain complete power over the henchmen because if a henchman refuse to follow an order, he/she will be the next victim. The victim is often picked semi or completely random and can't do anything about it. The whole "let's talk it over and be friends" will never work because somebody has the goal of power rather than friendship. I didn't actually learn this part from YMK. It's just an important fact regarding the topic from YMK.

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3 hours ago, tahu157 said:

/Being/ a hero is fine. Wanting an opportunity to be a hero is not. If I found myself in a situation where I could save someone from getting run over I would certainly try to do it, but I would not want someone to be in that situation in the first place over for the sake of me being able to save them.

This post made me stop and think. I never thought about it like that before, but you are right. Wanting to save somebody from a house fire is the same as wanting their house to burn.

 

It also made me think back on one night when something completely unexpected happen. I was on a chat (not VN related) and one of the regulars announced that somebody did something awful to him. The culprit was sleeping in the next room and as revenge he had got hold of a knife and announced his plan to kill the culprit. I then decided to keep writing to him and telling him that would be a bad idea. In fact I had to write a lot of different stuff because it turned out that he had made the decision to follow through with it and in his rage he could not think clearly. It took me 1.5-2 hours to get him to calm down and convince him it would be a bad idea. Their relationship was wrecked beyond repair, but at least nobody got physically hurt. It did cost me around 3 hours of sleep that night though.

Did I want to do it? No, it was horrible because it lasted for what seemed like forever and I didn't know the outcome.

Would I want to do it again? No, I don't want to do stuff, which feels horrible.

If I'm in a similar situation, would I do it again? Absolutely!

 

Am I a hero for doing what I did? I will let other people decide that as I never considered the question at all. I did what I felt had to be done at the time without considering something like that.

 

It was really hard to write this. First of all, writing about a bad experience like this isn't easy. The second is figuring out what is suitable to write here (not sure if I came even close). Last, I had to remove a lot of information because I want to ensure the person in question to be completely untraceable. He went into chock and had a moment of insanity. After having calmed down, he recovered just fine and I don't want this apparently once in a lifetime event to follow him for years.

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As cheesy as this may sound, House in Fata Morgana gave me an appreciation for romance where I had none whatsoever before. It was my first real VN after DDLC. The way it played out was very "believable" to me, to where it changed my views fundamentally. My past relationships were very absent of romance, but I think in the future it will play out differently.

Edited by PiggiesGoMoo

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4 minutes ago, PiggiesGoMoo said:

As cheesy as this may sound, House in Fata Morgana gave me an appreciation for romance where I had none whatsoever before. It was my first real VN after DDLC. The way it played out was very "believable" to me, to where it changed my views fundamentally. My past relationships were very absent of romance, but I think in the future it will play out differently.

Fata Morgana mostly showed me that a more SoL-based mystery can actually be extremely good. If you liked Fata Morgana, definitely check out Enigma. You may get the same reaction from it.

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The best example I can think of is Princess Evangile. When I was watching a TED Talk about some lady mentioning why all-girl schools are awesome, I was quickly reminded of that VN and use that as a basis for my podcast assignment. While the story itself is fictional, I could see how the personalities and feelings as a result of being sheltered can apply in real-life situations. 

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Some of the greatest VNs I've read definitely changed me. MuvLuv, Sharin no Kuni, Cross Channel are the first that come to mind. It applies to all kind of great stories though.

And it doesn't have to be a radical or immediate change. Maybe years down the line you'll be faced with a choice, or a situation, and you'll think of that VN/book/movie/etc. and it will have an impact on your actions.

Edited by Overlord87

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