To Be the MC or Not To Be the MC: How Do You Otome?


Before reading this post, it’s important to answer one simple question: What exactly is an otome game?  Generally speaking, otome games (shortened to otoge) are “story based video games that are targeted towards a female audience” (wiki). Typically, the plots of these games focus on fostering a romantic relationship between a female protagonist and one of several male (and in some cases female) love interests. While romance is the main draw for players, otoges have been known to cover a diverse range of subjects and topics. In the past, otoges were only marketed towards Japanese women, but in recent years their popularity has extended to the Western market.  This new, growth has led to a rise in English-language otome games and an increase in the number of localized Japanese otoges. However, the market for otoges in the West is considerably smaller than that of the Japanese market.


So this past week I saw that Vogue had written an article about otome games…At first I was excited, this is just what we need, I thought, more exposure means more games…and what better way to get that exposure, than to have an article in an internationally syndicated medium, like Vogue. So like many of you, I retweeted and reblogged the article, but then I read it again and I noticed something I didn’t realize the first time. First, they assume all otoge players are women and two they generalize players…On the first count, Vogue is primarily targeted at women…so I guess I can let that slide, but the second point isn’t so easily dismissed. The article made it seem like women/girls who play otome games do so in order to escape the reality of not having a real boyfriend….

steve harvey what's wrong with you

Just like with other game genres, there are several reasons people (and I say people, because men play otome games too) play otome games. Personally, I play them for the same reasons I play Portal or Pokemon, because they are fun, it’s not really about escapism. I play for the plot mostly (and the sexy CGs). I will admit that there are times when I get carried away and get swept up in the story, but I don’t put myself into the game. I’m me when the game is on and when it’s off… For me the MC is her own character (most of the time), I don’t superimpose myself into the game…I tried it once and it was a little too awkward for me to handle. The guys kept saying my name and instead of being turned on, I was completely turned off by it and had to quickly change it back to my default MC name: Nicole Brown (no this is not my name either). Nicole is the one doing the romancing…She’s the one marrying character X…I mean hell, the MC doesn’t look like me anyway (I guess I could Photoshop the CGs if I wanted to).

I even write my reviews that way too, I rarely use ‘you’ when writing about the MC, instead opting for ‘her’, ‘she’, or simply the ‘MC/Heroine’ (it’s intentional). But there are some people out there who like to pretend that they are the MC. I shouldn’t say pretend…They play as if they are the MC and that the romantic situations in the game are happening to them. There’s nothing wrong with playing that way, but to generalize and categorize all players into that specific box is not okay.

no will smith.gif

They then go on to suggest that otoge/visual novels/dating sims prepare people for future real life relationships…ummm, I don’t think that’s how it works at all. People don’t work like games, there is no perfect conflict resolution situation. People are fluid, constantly changing and growing based on any given situation. It is possible to mess up a virtual game relationship too, believe me I’ve done it before.

And then we get these gems:

“If a female can ask for less by playing a game—like, I don’t need a handsome husband because I get that from a virtual boyfriend,” says Yuna, “it could create a better relationship.”

“It offers me hope that whatever I’m virtually doing, or subconsciously doing, will eventually manifest into my real life,” say Storm.

WTF! That sounds an awful lot like settling…like no one can compare to the standards of my virtual boyfriend, so I will explore all of my fantasies with him and in the future I’ll settle for an Average Joe Schmo. Or better yet if I wrack up enough in game experience, I’ll be an amazing girlfriend for someone special in the future…

The gaming companies like Voltage, on the other hand offer a different rationale for why people play otome/visual novels, which is more in tune with my personal views.

“The virtual romance gamer is attracted to drama-driven story lines, says Kentaro Kitajima, vice president of Voltage. “[They enjoy] our content like they would reading comics or watching TV,” Kitajima explains.”


What do you guys think? Do you agree with the article? Why do you guys play otome/otoge?  Do you have any suggestions for posts? Any burning questions? Feel free to Comment on this post or Ask Me on my tumblr!  As always Thank You for reading!

54 thoughts on “To Be the MC or Not To Be the MC: How Do You Otome?

  1. I’m not super happy with that vogue article. For one I’m engaged, so when I’m done playing around with my virtual boyfriends I know I still have to get up and make dinner or study.
    On the other hand, I guess I’m used to things like this implying we are all hikkomori.
    \|  ̄ヘ ̄|/

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my mini fangirl rant lol!

      Yeah I tend to separate the game from
      reality…the game is a game and dinner is essential!

      I have a boyfriend and he’s actually watched me play otoge before (I even got him to play once) and he thinks they are funny…

      1. My fiance thinks so too! The first week or so I was getting into them I would settle into the couch and he would just sigh and say playing with your bishies?
        Yep. Playing with my bishies. He thinks it’s hilarious when I start yelling at my screen or throw my headphones after the MC has been killed.

      2. lol same…he actually recorded my reactions and played them back to me…it was hilarious and embarrassing at the same time!

      3. Dang. I hope my snuggleduck doesn’t get the same idea. I would be mortified. I’m an emotional gamer though. I yell at the screen whether I’m playing FF or Saints Row or Otome.

  2. Very good points! I retweeted it because otome at least now is getting some exposure from media, and I wish in the future it’d become just as big as galge, but I definitely agree with you!

    Even when playing Amnesia I didn’t feel like I was the MC per se, more like I could manipulate her like an angel or devil on her shoulder whispering things. I have no plans to enter a relationship, I’m asexual and aromantic, but I love 2D and the stories. I love how they’re character driven, and when done good, funny and cute and makes me feel all warm inside.

    I imagine people who play to have their fantasies fulfilled and settle for some random dude have issues. I’m all about fantasy fulfilment, but when it comes at the cost of your real life? When you go “I’ll breed with this one person because might as well”? I think that’s a very wrong outlook.

    Otome games are games. Fantasy. I like them like that. If they’re on a modern/current setting, I play them imagining if it was me in that situation, how would I respond and feel? (Since I have to make choices xD )
    Sometimes I get angry at characters, or laugh when it turns ridiculous because it wouldn’t happen, and if it did, I wouldn’t react like the MC does (ex: Toma and Ikki).

    In the end, I wouldn’t say those girls are playing the games wrong, just that they’re doing a disservice to themselves. I don’t feel there’s a wrong way of reading a book or watch a movie, just that there are ways to get more from the experience.

    Sorry if I rambled/didn’t say much of worth (>y<)

    1. No, no this was awesome, I definitely agree with your reasoning on this one! There are just so many facets to gaming and otome gaming in particular, that to categorize players into a specific ‘type’ is a big disservice.

      I definitely like the angel/devil analogy, it accurately sums up how I play…

      1. Exactly, you can pick five persons from a gaming community and they wouldn’t play for the same reasons. Some play for art (I can be swayed by it), others for voice actors, some for stories (this is me), others for the gameplay and they don’t care about story, others like gameplay with good story attached (like me), and the way you can combo each of these has no ending. Even me, my main focus is in story, but I can and will be swayed by pretty artwork to look it up or even try it out!

        It’s like manga. You can’t say manga readers like it for explosions or for pretty art. I definitely prefer pretty artwork, but if the story doesn’t reach me/touch me, then all the pretty art is nice for my eyes but doesn’t get above a 6-7 rating. Maybe that’s harsh, but it’s based on my tastes and what I consider important.

        I wish Vogue had asked more than two girls about this, but I’m not even sure how it even came about for this article to happen.

        With MC that talk/have their own personality, we really are angel/devil. When I don’t like a character, I turn into a devil to influence MC to be mean/ignore them xD (I did this with Ikki (*^▽^*))

      2. I definitely agree wit you! Story is key for me…I can forgive just about anything if the story is on point!

        I may come up with a poll as a result of this article…but I’m afraid no many ppl will participate 🙁

        PS I was definitely a devil when it came to Ikki and I was rewarded with a really great Bad Ending! Probably the best ending in his route in my opinion.

      3. I can forgive crappy art but not if it’s super ugly/bad, just like I can’t forgive super bad writing even if the story has potential xD

        If you spread it in twitter and here, I’m sure people will vote on the poll!

        I hated Ikki (sorry to any fans) since the start. I played so well I bypassed all the story and all the CG and received an ending out of the blue. That’s how well I played by ignoring him xD (I love telling this story even though I told it in twitter and on my review of the game on my blog xDDD )
        Did you get the one where he snaps and goes to break them? Is that the one? XD

      4. Oh I’m curious! Did you fall in love with Ikki? I personally got very infuriated, but I don’t want to say why (I said it in my review and I don’t want to spoil if anyone sees my comments >_< ).

        Now I'm looking forward to Monday ;P

      5. My exact reaction! (-^〇^-)
        I’ve been told in the fandisk their personalities got changed for the better, but I don’t know how much~
        Right now I’m so swamped I don’t know when I’ll play Amnesia Later. But at least it has an Orion route to look forward to (☆^O^☆) (and Kent and Shin~)

      6. Kent is my second favourite <3 he was the best dateable, no questions asked! He was super cute ;v;
        Orion was the cutest of them all though <3

  3. Whaaaat!? I’m single right now but it definitely isn’t because I want to escape reality XD I don’t even want to imagine myself as the MC, I always see her as a different person without eyes (mostly stupid but you know).
    I play otome games because I’m always interested in the romance of two people, and it’s nice to be able to choose your own ending wether is good or bad, I know that it’s that way because of the choices I made :).
    It’s true that some people are being swept away and think of themselves as the MC, like for instance that dude who married a virtual girlfriend from a 3DS game. But ye as you said, don’t generalise us :<.

    1. Thank you for reading! lol I totally agree with you! MC-chan is MC-chan and I’m me!

      Did a guy really marry his virtual girlfriend…I read about the guy and the body pillow…but the game? That’s interesting

  4. Yet another article written by someone (to clarify, the Vogue’s one, NOT you, Ninja) with little or no experience with otome games, interaction with the otome community as a whole and/or visual novels in general. Actually, who knows? Maybe the higher-ups forced them to write an article about it that wouldn’t go against the preconceptions of us. I’m tired of articles that even imply that a vast majority of VN fans/otome fans are like Mook and “Yuna”.

    Even if I wanted to “pretend” I’m the protagonist, I just can’t. 90% of the time, we’re so different in just about every aspect of our selves. The “ideal” otome protagonist is petite, cute, unrealistically kind and tolerant, well-mannered to the point of ridiculousness even for Japanese standards, sexually unassertive but available in that capacity, innocent to the point of naivety, not overly intelligent, cute fashion sense, conservatively dressed… At this point, the only thing we have in common is our gender and depending on my mood, our dress sense. Not only that, but to be incredibly blunt and direct, I find it very creepy when in-game characters use my name; it just doesn’t feel right.

    I have an active social life, clear educational and career goals that I work towards almost everyday, I have no trouble with the opposite sex at all and I’m close with my family- so I firmly stand by the fact that I’m not playing these games to overcompensate for any perceived “shortage” in my life. Yeah, I’m single and I tend to be for long periods of time. However, I’m single purely out of choice because finding a partner (at the moment) is so far down my list of priorities in life.

    Sorry that I think having a partner is not the most important thing in the world unlike many “functional, normal” people- who would NEVER settle for less in their partners for decidedly unselfish, unromantic reasons like avoiding negative generalisations by their peers or being alone- do. But of course, I’m a single female visual novel fan that enjoys *romance* novels as well… So that MUST mean that I’m a selfish woman with unrealistic standards trying to fill my manless void (pun somewhat intended) with “perfect” VN guys, since there’s NO WAY any young female in her right mind wouldn’t place “real-life” dating, romance and sex high up in her list of priorities if she had a choice.

    But! Don’t tell these guys that I’m a VN fan that reads pretty much anything of any genre targeted towards any audience similar to how book and movie buffs do so with their favourite mediums as well. That would ruin the ignorant’s smug delusion that they’re in a better place in life than me because they’re not losers that escape into the virtual world… and we can’t have that happening to those “functional, normal” people much higher on society’s totem pole than us “loser romance VN fans”.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      I totally agree with you on this…maybe the problem is that we need to start writing our own stories in order to change the perceptions of the general public about otoge.

      1. Not a problem; it’s always nice to read articles about my fellow gamers’ perceptions of the fandom.

        As for the game I’m working on with Precatio, we can afford to not have to care about current trends in the market, popular character archetypes (that end up being the early impressions of the fandom), etc. since we’re doing it more as a labour of love. We have more freedom and we’ll try to use that fact as an advantage.

        However, companies that try to live off of this niche can’t afford to make too many creative risks unless they can definitely survive from taking them. A lot of mediums are like this thanks to tough times, but since VNs are an especially niche market, all the more so.

        It’s often the handful of hardcore fans (who fit closer to the “otome gamer stereotype”) that inject the most money into the market, and they’re the ones the creators cater to. Since the market currently loves idols, tsundere and do-S, otome media all over are completely saturated with them. It pains me that as soon as I’m identified as an “otome game fan”, I’m presumed to like the same flat, boring, totally replaceable do-S tsundere idols as the majority of the fandom seems to.

        I acknowledge many otome guys are visually attractive. However, rarely do I like any at a level deeper than what’s on the surface. This is because they frequently have nothing below their pretty surfaces; being one-dimensional, overly idealised and too far removed from reality to connect with them. Due to the market trends, many have practically the same personalities and sometimes even say the same things, which is a bit creepy. IMO, it’s more strange that some people are so invested in a hundred copies of the same character (like do-S and tsundere fangirls) rather than the fact they’re invested in romance VNs as a whole.

        For many reasons including the ones outlined before and above, otome gaming is more like a romance novel in which I enjoy watching reasonably likeable- if often very fake and inorganic- “people” find happiness after getting over a major obstacle or in some cases, the consequences of them not giving up a poisonous relationship. Not only that, but I enjoy getting to choose who the protagonist ends up with, which is why I prefer romance VNs over romance novels and manga. Not in a control freak way, but in a sense that it’s interesting to see what it’s like when certain characters get romantically involved.

        To reiterate, I genuinely have no personal “romantic” interest in otome guys more than at a surface level simply because to me, it’d be like going crazy over a pile of market research papers, customer satisfaction survey reports and popularity poll results- that’s what 90% of otome media guys essentially are and are created from so that companies can suck the money out of diehard fans’ wallets- be it out of pure greed or to simply survive.

        Even if you’re the type who “becomes” the protagonist, as long as you know it’s never going to be real and you don’t let your love of otome games impact your real life negatively… who cares?

  5. I think that most of that Vogue article could also have been written after knowing that Japan faces big issues when it comes to virtual vs reality. Japan kinda enforces the “marry your waifu/husbando” type of mentality (where it’s pertinent), even though they’re doing it for commercial purposes only (and also because Japan is just generally not as limited as the rest of the world when it comes to the whole topic of sexuality). Japan is a very busy country so some of them do feel the need to have their “pocket girlfriends/boyfriends”to cheer their days and make them feel less lonely. Obviously, that doesn’t apply to the rest of the world. Not generally at least.

    However, it IS indeed “ignorant” to assume that every person that likes galges or otoges likes them because it’s a form of escapism. I can relate to this on a more personal level because I have this friend that literally LAUGHED at me for liking otome games and didn’t believe that I (the pickiest person she probably knows when it comes to fiction and execution of fiction) can like those “stereotypical guys with cliché storylines”(obviously generalizing the whole genre because of some reverse harem animes that she checked out) and she said that I must only like them because I want to escape from my current life or deny something from my life. I cannot even put into words how offended I felt.

    I play otome games not as a form of escapism, but because I just simply like the “make your own choices” games and it’s always interesting to find out what ending and what consequences my choices will have. (It’s also why my favorite videogame genres are RPGs and graphical adventures as well). I must also recognize that I don’t currently have a boyfriend either (and I do not miss it either after my last relationship), but otome game guys don’t fill the need to be loved or have a boyfriend for me, I use them as a form of chilling out, relaxing my brain after a hard day of school or studying, something that I know i can just shut my brain at and not take half of the things that I read seriously, let it do its job at cheering me up with their cheesy and cute reactions and maybe the involving storylines, though because of my unromantic side, I sometimes just simply roll my eyes at games like, maybe, Storm Lover Kai…but I still enjoy them to a degree.

    And as everybody that commented before me, I do not visualize myself as the heroine either, I tend to refer to her as “heroine” (though I do name her after my OC instead of keeping her default name XD and sometimes I might refer to her as “I” but it’s mostly when the guy picks on the heroine for some choice I made so it’s more like “what did I do to you???” as “I” the “player”, mostly making fun of the situation).

    I so definitely agree with Cat and her “angel/devil” method too. XD It’s really funny to be mean or ignore them sometimes only to see their reactions to it XD (though sometimes I can feel horribly bad, I must not deny XD). Now, I don’t get VERY attached to otome game guys on a personal level most of the time, but the only otome guy that I might like above every other otome game guy, though, is Okita Souji from Hakuouki. He’s the only one that managed to make me laugh, blush and cry in the 1-2 hours of his route. He definitely touched all my sensitive strings and that’s hard to do, to the point that I don’t think I can feel anything similar for any other otome game guy. BUT, despite all that, I don’t consider him my “husbando”. It feels weird to even think about it and whoever invented that concept and how easily it gets used and claimed by some people just simply horrifies me sometimes. But each to their own, I’m definitely not here to tell people how to call their favorite characters and how much they should love them. XD

    Anyway, great post! I like posts that manage to get people to really pour their hearts out. it definitely worked with me!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my rant and even more so for commenting! I’m glad this post resonated with so many people!

      I agree with you on a lot of your points! I separate the game from reality…Sure I’ll play a particular route for 5+ hours (on a good day), but then for the rest of the day I writing research papers or hanging out with friends or my BF…

      *Side Note…Is Okita Souji that awesome? I never got around to finishing Hakuoki…

      1. I don’t know if he will appeal to some people, but I do think that you must try out Hakuouki mostly if you’re interested in that time period. I was always fascinated with the Shinsengumi personally and how, despite them being considered the “enemies” for fighting for the shogun, they are treated with respect for their self-sacrificing samurai spirits.
        But going back to Okita Souji, he’s a flirt and I have a history with “flirting-types”. I usually tend to dislike them at the beginning only to warm up to them later on, but I’m still in denial about it for most of the time. That did not happen with Souji, though, simply because he appeared to me as a variation of the usual “flirt-type”; he’s not really a flirt as much as he is of a teaser, he just appears like one because he tends to not take anything seriously as an outer appearance when he actually never quite forgets what happens around him. He jokes about killing the heroine a lot at the beginning, but in a very laid back way, as if it doesn’t really matter to him, but he just likes to see her reaction. That funny introduction gets into the bittersweet when it’s revealed that his health is deteriorating, which makes it even more painful because he doesn’t seem to initially be scared about it or take it in a bad way, even though soon after, when the situation calls for it, he seems to realize that he hates the very idea of being useless and I was pained to see the state that he reached when knowing that he used to be the second most powerful samurai in the Shinsengumi. He’s one of the characters that hit me and moved my heart for his determination, and his condition is never once sugarcoated. His route is not devoid of annoying moments though, mostly when in regard to the heroine and the main enemy, but it ends up highly satisfying both in the bad end and happy end. This is really only my interpretation and maybe I can’t avoid being biased, but it really means something to me when a story managed to make me cry both in the bad and in the happy ending lol
        (omg I ranted too much, i’m sorry)

      2. All the bishies are worth playing IMO. soo cute!!!
        Funny story, I bought Hakuoki at EB Games and they legit said it was a historical game and I said no, it’s OTOME. and they were like wut? and I said NVM. Like, how do you work there and NOT know that?

      3. The same thing happened to me when I went to buy Code: Realize at Gamestop…they had no idea what I was talking about! Didn’t even know what an otoge was…I had to educate him a little lol

  6. OMG I remember reading this. Lol I also only play these because they’re fun. If I was depressed that I didn’t have a boyfriend, why f would I play a game about getting a boyfriend? I mean if ur that depressed about it, wouldn’t you be convinced you’d never get one and these games aren’t worth your time and money? Or heck, you might try going out with someone. Idk maybe that’s just me.

    I know that ppl assume these games are for lonely ppl but they never take into account the stories. Code Realize. They obviously haven’t played this or Hakuoki and thus wouldn’t realize that it’s more about character development, fighting, and survival than romance. Van Helsing’s routes in Code especially.

    I just can’t. Yes, romancing bishies is fun but dear God, that’s not why I play them. I first got into otoge after playing Tales of The Abyss. I saw how romance could be done well in a game and I found Harvest Moon. While I really would like more of a story in those games, at least it had other things to do besides courting a villager.

    However, since we’re talking about Voltage I will admit that these mobile games do feel like escapism. That’s not bad but that doesn’t equate to lonely women playing this. My best friend has a loving boyfriend and she loves otome games. They’re fun to play, they’re stupid sometimes, and then there are really heartfelt, story driven ones.

    I am glad they wrote an article on this, but they need to realize that these games are different. Mobile games don’t have much depth compared to Vita/PSP/PC ones and never will. If they want to talk about these games, then talk about those released by Aksys and IDF if you want more players to check them out. Goodness.

    1. Lol I absolutely agree with you! At first I read this and went….”Yay recognition for otoge!” But then I went to read it again and went, “Hey, that’s not me….I don’t do that at all!”

      I have a bf and I love otoge….the two are completely unrelated. I play because otoge are fun the same as I would any game!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment on the post! I really like people’s response to the article and the stories!

      1. Aw np:) Srry for being so ranty lolol.
        Oh! SInce you have so many followers could u do a post on Kenka Bancho? Spike Chunsoft is considering releasing this otome game to the West but only if ppl tell them they want them to. So if you did a post talking about how all u need is to send them a tweet or facebook them about wanting this game, I’m sure so many ppl would!! ^^

      2. Ranty is good…i like ranty…half of my reviews are ranty lol

        Hmmm, most of the followers are from my facebook…the number is actually lower…but for some reason when I linked my accounts they added everyone together…

        But I can definitely write a post about it like the one you did last year! 😀

      3. I always feel so satisfied after a good rant! Especially since i just finished my review for Toma…now that is a ranty review!

        oh no you are all good lol! I really should try to keep up with these things anyway, I really appreciate you telling me about it! I tweeted them right after you told me about it!

      4. Toma was a personal otoge hell! I just have Ukyo left to play and then i’m done with Amnesia! Toma took a lot out of me!

        Aww shucks…lol I don’t mind suggestions and stuff, it helps me keep on top of new games and what not!

      5. i free play the first go round….let the cards fall where they may…and then i use a guide for the endings i didn’t get the first time (usually for the bad endings because you really have to go out of your way to get some of them)

  7. I just read the article myself, and it makes me angry. I’m new to otoge games (Haven’t found any for my Macbook yet? I’ve just dabbled in mobile ones… I don’t even know where to start on actual PC, fully fleshed out games…) and it really does make us out to be lonely millennial cat ladies who are too socially inept to get a real life lover.

    I really love the “kichiku megane” kind of trope in routes… and it’s not some kind of… “training for IRL” that they leave the article’s endnote on. This is so completely unrealistic, very much akin to a teenager watching porn to learn about relationships and sex. That person will turn out very, very messed up– psychologically speaking.

    I’m a gamer. I play and run paper-and-pencil RPG’s as well as play console video games (usually RPG’s like “Dragon Age” or story based shooters like “Borderlands”) and I tend to make up characters personalities and go from there. Like in Dragon Age, I have a “smug mage” character, who makes the worst, most sarcastic decisions on purpose just to tell society “screw off”, and “Lawful Good Rogue” who basically Mary Sues EVERYTHING… but is adept with the sticky fingers. Yes, some of their personality traits mimic my own… but that’s the human condition. We are egoists at heart, but I can honestly say that I don’t see myself as a main character in anything I play…

    I play Otoges specifically because whenever I bring a cutesy romance novel like “My Little Monster” or something like that, out into public, I get people talking to me, either as a kindred spirit (I’m not in public to make friends. I generally go out to preform a task, and that only. I have a lot of connections from work and gaming, or online and those relationships are exhausting enough) or as a “omg, you’re a weaboo weirdo at 30? Really??!?” reaction and I don’t want to deal with it. These little visual novels give me a bit of the manga fix I crave, and yet people can’t screw with me while I’m just tapping away at my phone in public. (tried downloading manga onto phone and these old eyes can’t read them)

    I feel like they almost purposely interviewed more otaku-types just to put fans in a box, though.

    1. Thank you for reading my post and for sharing!

      I definitely share the same sentiments about the image this article paints of otoge gamers! Which is why I think it is especially important that we tell our own stories! When I tell people I play otoges, I definitely get strange looks, but I play for myself and not for anyone else.

  8. Well said. Indeed, otoge are not exclusive to us girls. Just like how shoujo-romance series are watched by both girls and guys and anyone in between, otoge can be played by guys too. It’s like saying Call of Duty is only played by manly men–no girls allowed! Are effing kidding me?!!!!! I guess that the person who wrote that article don’t really know everything about otoge. Well, as if I have any right to say anything about this topic since I don’t play otome games myself. Hmph. Still. . . .at least I content myself envying those who do. . .yes, I’m talking to you, evil temptresses who dangle those hot bishies and yummy cookies. Anyway, good post. Keep it up. Cheers!

    1. Thank you for reading my post! This article was so frustrating because it kept perpetuating negative stereotypes about otoge gamers and that just isn’t fair. It’s on par with the way some folks treat yaoi fans!

      Even if you don’t play otome games your opinion is still a valid perspective and I appreciate your comments.

      PS. I take my temptress duties very seriously lol XD

      1. Amen to that! Great example about yaoi. Others think we’re gay for liking yaoi. Are they nuts? Ehehehe. That’s great to hear that my comments are still valid despite not being an otoge player.

  9. Nice article (*^^)v
    Tho every time i play otoge…… i always put myself in the MC’s situation 😂😂 but i also respect other players who plays differently. I used to hate them saying things like…… “dafuq??!! We are her!! So why are you keeping saying MC this MC that??!” But…… it so long ago…… when i was new to this world 😂😂 now…… i understand that not everyone has the same opinion and a way of thinking while playing these kind of games. 😄😄

  10. You write some of the most interesting articles! I keep feeling the need to add in my two cents 🙂
    Apologies for the wall of text, POKENINJA90. I wanted to make it clear what I wanted to say. Let me know if this is a problem!

    I’m a woman very happily in a 12+ year relationship and I talk to both my partner and his sister about these games. I send them both screen-shots too when I get funny scenarios too! Honestly, they’re the only people I know nerdy enough to appreciate them :p

    Me VS Her.
    I also invent different characters in each game (and sometimes for each guy). I have Hiromi Kanzaki, Moeka Aramaki and Anita Yun among many others. My Hiromi is actually in the graphic you’ve used up there! ;). Each of those women will have a name and I will build up her backstory as I play her. I love asking questions and character building: Why is my character interested in this guy? What was her first boyfriend like? How does she feel about her situation, etc. This does, however, mean I have to change my character name constantly when I play on Voltage’s new app!…. I’m not impressed by this. Is it so weird to have different names for each?)

    These games are pretty fun for me precisely because I’m comfortable where I am in my life. If I were not, I think they ‘might’ actually make me sad or lonely. Unless perhaps there is a cat reading this, we each only have one life. Playing these games, for me, is trying a different life for a while and meeting new interesting people! So basically, the same way we might read or watch telly. I certainly don’t consider watching a romantic film as ‘settling’ and seeing others regard it as such just seems just…plain weirdness …to me ) :/

    Playing a game or reading a book when a character hooks up with her boss/ teacher / childhood friend is not wish fulfilment for me. There’s no way in heck I want to do that. Most to time these guys in the games don’t measure up to my real life relationship. Me and my partner know each other as long term partners do. For better or for worse, daft romance clichés are generally over for us. During these games I recall some of those early relationship things: the nerves I felt before one of these early dates, arguing and crying over the phone about nothing, when we first held hands at the farm, meeting his mother for the first time. It can be intense and rather fun to relive those situations again. Even if, for the most part, I’m really glad they’re over.

    A lot of the time a sense of distance can be helpful in getting immersed in a story. Something to remind me this isn’t my life. I have no trouble playing a game set in a fantasy world or a country I don’t know too well (Korea, Japan, etc). However, sometimes the ‘distance’ is too much. As a Brit, I sometimes have trouble playing games set where the viewpoint character is using extremely obvious Americanisms but It’s generally passable. However, a major spanner in the works is if the character expresses a view too different from mine.

    I had a particular problem with Winter in Fairbrook. I loved the art and the characters …with the exception of the main character whoreally, really put me off. Right off the bat, she internally sneered at the food being served by the nice woman she was living with because it was homemade vegetarian cuisine (which happened to sounded really tasty to me). Then the MC went away moping about how she wanted hamburgers, pizza and meat instead and how awful it all was. This reeked as cringe worthy immaturity at best). As such, it pulled me right out of the game very early on.

    Has this happened to anyone else while playing an otome game?

Gush about cute otome boys~