Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Can reading visual novels count as gaming?

Fanart. If you know who's the artist, let me know so that I can credit accordingly.
Katawa Shoujo. I remember playing the demo some years back, and falling already in love with Hanako. Then I forgot it, simply as that. After all, there were many other games to play at that time.

Then, suddenly.

"Have you played this yet?"
"Um, no. What is this?"
"Katawa Shoujo. You should definitely go for it."
"I'm sure you like it."

(For the record, Katsu is the guy who once recommended a 45-minute hentai movie for me because he discovered that I have a serious knack for everything romantic.)
(He's one of my dearest friends by the way.)

When I started reading Katawa Shoujo, I read Hanako's route first. It reminded me of something, but I couldn't still recall playing the demo. It took me Hanako's, Lilly's, and halfway of Emi's route to realize: "Heck, I played this demo."After all, Emi was very unforgettable with her... energy. Even more so than Hanako, who managed to steal my heart once again.

Shizune's route was okay, I guess. But despite all these four being really nice (especially Hanako and Lilly), my absolute favourite was Rin. Mostly because I could relate to how she feels about the world - how it sometimes feels a bit weird - but also because I could relate to how it feels when you don't know what exactly is wrong with you. (Some memories from my medical past. One of them involving a few-day-stay at a hospital because I passed out a couple of times and never discovering what was wrong with me.)

All in all: Katawa Shoujo was an awesome visual novel. I enjoyed reading it, and each story made me think about life in some way. Thanks to Katawa Shoujo, I'm writing with a keyboard that possesses Braille stickers, and borrowed a book about sign language from Katsu. And I started running again thanks to Emi!

So, do visual novels count as gaming? I guess that depends how far one is willing to stretch the lines of "gaming". Katawa Shoujo offers some interactive options for you, but mostly it IS just reading. So, in fact, I'd even go as far as to categorize Katawa Shoujo as a book with some nifty features. A good book, an awesome book, a visual novel. But not a game. What do you think?

Now when I made a blog post about it, I actually feel like reading it again. I'm still missing out on few of the pictures, and I'd love to do that before I depart to Luxemburg in two weeks (I travel a lot due to studies and work, and because travelling is my passion). Too much to do! Gah! But before that...

Time for breakfast pancakes!

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