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Policies & Practices > Visual Novels on Goodreads

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message 1: by KQ (new)

KQ | 18 comments Today I found out that on Goodreads many visual novels have been added and shelved by lots of users. The problem is that despite the name, visual novels are video games and not books. In specific, they are interactive video games that usually have a lot of text. That's why they're often compared to Choose Your Own Adventure books, but the fact is that it's just a genre in video games.
Therefore I don't think that Goodreads is the proper place to review and 'shelf' these video games users play!

What would be the proper action to take in regards to these games getting added by users?
Some of them have been shelved by less than 5 users while others have been added by hundreds of them!
If they were to be deleted by a superlibrarian I'm afraid they would just keep getting re-added even though the Librarian Manual specifies that video games are not allowed.

The Librarian Manual says that some "not books" items that may already be added and have ISBNs do not have to be removed and just need to be transferred under the author NOT A BOOK.
These games don't have ISBNs and will never have them in the future (videogames can't have ISBNs), so what is the proper thing to do? Are they allowed to stay or not?

Examples that have been added:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
Please note that not all the books shelved in the 'visual-novels' shelf are video games, many of them are actual books/comics/graphic novels.


message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41710 comments Mod
They should be deleted.

Deletions on those three are pending.


message 3: by KQ (new)

KQ | 18 comments Thank you.
I'm in the process of finding as many of them as possible so that they may be deleted.
When I find new ones, can I link them in the 'Please delete this book' thread or would it be better to link them here?


message 4: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41710 comments Mod
Either is fine.


message 5: by KQ (last edited May 05, 2015 05:18PM) (new)

KQ | 18 comments Thank you for your help!
I've had problems with deleting the ones that have less than 5 entries. Some have only been added by 1 person but I keep getting the message 'Only super-librarians can delete books with so many reviews'. It's a little strange, might it be a bug?

These are all the visual novels I could find right now.
I made sure that these I am linking are actual visual novels and are not their books/novel/manga adaptations.
Please note that many of these titles are eroge (= erotic games) so googling some of them is nsfw.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...-
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


message 6: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41710 comments Mod
Could you please edit the list to add a blank line every 5 entries or so? It's very hard to tell where I am otherwise.

As far as deletions, it's a deliberate precaution for a shelved edition which is the sole edition of a work.


message 7: by KQ (new)

KQ | 18 comments rivka wrote: "As far as deletions, it's a deliberate precaution for a shelved edition which..."

I see!

I've edited the post now.


message 8: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41710 comments Mod
Thanks!

I can't do them right now, but if none of the supers get to this in the next few hours, I will take care of them later today.


message 9: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41710 comments Mod
Done.

Some deletions may still be pending.


message 11: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7027 comments got 10


message 12: by KQ (new)

KQ | 18 comments This one has been re-added by someone and needs deleting:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 13: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41710 comments Mod
Deletion pending.


message 14: by KQ (new)

KQ | 18 comments Sorry to dig up this old topic, but today I found out some visual novels that have been re-added to Goodreads and need to be deleted. I made sure the following are all games and not books.
To whoever wants to google them, please note that all these titles are erotic games, so they are nsfw.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 15: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7027 comments Got 14


message 17: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41710 comments Mod
Deletions pending.


message 18: by FerGilead (new)

FerGilead | 1 comments I was going to add a visual novel, but i decided to ckeck first if they were allowed on goodreads. According to the manual they are not, so I will not add them.

However, I don't understand why they are not allowed, since you can find Audiobooks here (and you don't have to read a thing, it is just listen to an audio file), whereas in a visual novel you spend hours reading, The only difference with a book is the background music, and in some of them you can't make choices, it is just reading.


message 19: by monika (new)

monika (lunafreya) | 132 comments Probably because visual novel is considered a video game rather than a book


message 20: by Melanie Wilson (new)

Melanie Wilson | 4 comments I was wondering why they aren't allowed as well. I've recently started playing visual novels, and wanted to add them to my "read" list. As FerGilead states, they are not just text heavy video games, but really are very much like graphic novels, except that there is also background music, and you sometimes make choices. And of those that involve choices, it's usually just a small number of them spread out over the length of the game, so the bulk of your time playing these games is just reading. They have well developed characters, intricate plots, etc. The amount of time spent reading them is akin to the amount of time spent reading any novel or novella. They also have a lot of re-read value, as some of your choices can reveal different aspects of the characters or the plot. I've been on a few forums where these types of games are discussed, and the discussion there is the same as the kind of discussions I see on book clubs and forums for "real" books.


message 21: by KQ (new)

KQ | 18 comments Visual novels are considered video games. Also, because of this they cannot have ISBNs. Most of them can be found and purchased through video games stores and websites.

To be able to play/read them, you need to run them on a device such a computer or video game console. They will never be able to be read on devices such a simple e-reader for example and will never be able to have a printed edition.
They are not merely text with background music and the occasional choice, they are considered video games because they run on dedicated engines coded with Python programming language, Javascript, and such.

Further, there are many visual novels that are considered hybrids because they include a range of gameplay mechanics (ex: a mix between RPG and visual novel). The line between VN and other genres of games can be very blurred.

I understand the need to have a list of the visual novels you have played, but Goodreads was made to catalogue books. The current rules do not consider video games as books, it doesn't matter if there's a lot of text involved.

Personally, I use other websites to catalogue and have a profile where I list all the visual novels I own and have completed. The Visual Novel Database (vndb) is a very popular website in the West that currently has 20137 visual novels catalogued, with 48570 releases (what we would consider editions). They daily add Japanese and international releases.

I think that if by any chance, Goodreads were to allow VNs, it would be a big problem because it is missing the userbase to do the same thorough work that vndb is doing.

tldr: there are other websites where you can add your completed VNs.


message 22: by Judith (new)

Judith Shields (judithbshields) | 1 comments With respect to the above, it seems that there are misunderstandings about Visual Novels. They should NOT be deleted from listings and require heavy reading for one. So what if they don't have a traditional ISBN. That is a poor litmus test if something is a book. Visual novels are one of the few story forms that is using modern tools of the times to encourage readers to immerse in the story.

Visual novels are the MODERN DAY "Choose your own Adventure" genre with images, music, and sometimes voice actors. There is a lot of reading involved. A typical one will be from 40,000 to 200,000 words. Yes, there are interactive player choices that may affect the ending, but there are rarely what is considered traditional gaming elements. Some visual novels are in the "Kinetic Novel" category which is a visual novel without any reader choices whatsoever.

Visual novels almost rarely to never use Coding--something that video games DO. Because of this, most Gaming websites REFUSE to post visual novels and instead tell creators "they are books".

So then, what are they? Why can't they be both games and books? The original Choose Your Own Adventure games were. So were the first RPGs. An increasing amount of authors are writing VNs too.

One thing visual novels ARE NOT is manga or comic books. Those are shelved inappropriately.

As to the VNDb argument: That website is difficult and not easy to use. It's focused on non-English Visual Novels. English language VNs are being published more and more but do not have an appropriate review platform for them. And there's not too many made for English language Visual Novels--maybe 100 if we're lucky.

Wouldn't it be better to expand the reader community base on Goodreads than limit it?


message 23: by Ed (new)

Ed Erwin | 73 comments I've never seen a "Visual Novel". But I've seen other interesting hybrids.

For example, there are some applications for computers that include full text of classic short stories (by Poe, for example), but add illustrations, sound, and sometimes a little interactivity. Those still feel like a "book" to me, even though you can only "read" them on a computer.

If I were making the rules here, I'd allow people to include them.


message 24: by KQ (last edited Sep 05, 2017 09:54PM) (new)

KQ | 18 comments Judith wrote: "With respect to the above, it seems that there are misunderstandings about Visual Novels. They should NOT be deleted from listings and require heavy reading for one. So what if they don't have a tr..."

Sorry to reply only now to your message but I hadn't noticed it before. I've written a wall of text :/

I understand everything you are saying and on the one hand I can agree with you. In case it wasn't clear, I am experienced with visual novels both as consumer and as creator. I've read and own hundreds of them. You are right when you say that there is a lot of reading involved and I understand if you see them almost as books or the evolution of books 'cause I agree on this. But their stories alone are not what VNs consist of. I personally think they do not belong on GR because they're most likely to be associated with video games.

In your post you've said that VNs almost rarely to never use coding and that is wrong. Ren'Py—that in my opinion is currently the most effective and used engine in the West—is written in Python for example and to create a VN you have to use coding.

You said that gaming websites (which ones?) refuse to post visual novels and see them as books but things are changing and they are beginning to get included in most gaming communities, or at least those I frequent.

Whoever keeps saying that they are just books is completely wrong, because they would be if only the script of a VN—published online or printed—were to be read on its own. But a VN is much more like a theatrical representation (or a movie), with its script, its characters that you see on stage, its music, and everything else that build it and contribute to the wholeness of the experience. You cannot include the whole package I listed in a book/e-book, nor a audiobook. I see visual novels as a medium. They can tell stories, they can make you play games, they can do both of them.

I'd like to add that many visual novels are not "pure VNs" and have gameplay elements. Some are very light with easy mechanics and could still be considered VNs, but others have full mini-games and such. The line between a VN and not a VN is very blurred and difficult to draw. Who gets to decide which ones were to get allowed and which ones not? On VNDB they have this issue to take care of and a VN is potentially reviewed by many people who have completed it to check if it's okay to keep or not on the database.

I know that VNDB might not appeal to you and many others but it is currently the most complete database in the West and was created with a Western audience in mind. You can see many Japanese releases because it's Japan that is releasing hundreds on VNs every year, and those in the West are in the low numbers compared to them. But I can assure you that it's not focused only on Japanese ones, it strives to include information on every edition of every language. Every user there can add and edit edition pages as if they were librarians here, so it's all based on users contributions.
It's true that that website is far from perfect and is missing things, but for example there are ways to circumnavigate the issues like posting reviews in the discussions (this reminds me of when GR did not have rereads lol).

Anyway, if VNs were to get allowed on GR I'll just accept it and won't probably care about this issue. But personally, I'm not going to manually add all of my past nor the new vns I am reading, not because of a privacy issue, but because it would be too much of a hassle that would be of help to probably nobody else except me and two other persons. It would take too much time I am not willing to spend to have a copy of my VN library here, not even if I could just import them (they would still need to get fixed in that case).

You complained that VNDB is not focused enough on English editions. I, instead, complain that GR is unfortunately not focused on Japanese editions. A whole userbase who is willing and knowledgeable enough to add and edit VN editions is just missing here.
I would be very glad to see users coming forward willing to take on the task to curate an eventual visual novel list—I'm taking for granted we would need only the most popular ones with the occasional obscure one and not the whole VNDB database—but until GR is not giving official statements on where to draw the line and what to do, it's all up in the air.

[Example #1: fan fictions are a grey area on GR: they're allowed but deleted if an author requests for them to be removed. What about visual novels that are not commercial? Would they be allowed, no matter in what obscure corner of a Japanese website they're being found, to be removed when the authors freak out after finding out they've been added on a Western website they do not know of? Think of Tumblr reposts that make Japanese artists delete their art, if you know of this issue.
Example #2: if a VN gets an updated patch with corrections, would it need to be listed as a new edition? For books we list every edition, for VNs it could get a little worrysome and difficult to follow.]

To finish, one of the reasons I started this thread was that many of the editions of the VNs that were listed would not have been okay with GR standards, or so I would hope (they were legally in a grey area). For example, it was obvious that whoever had read a certain VN had done so with an illegal fan translated copy of the game. The edition was set as "English".
I'm not going to take the responsibility to fix an edition to its "legit Japanese" language one because otherwise whoever has shelved it is gonna change it back to "English" as soon as they notice. A very similar issue happens everyday with manga fan translations that get released on the Internet before the official ones. I'm not going to bother with them.
Do we keep 1 Japanese edition and 2 English (one fan tld and one official?) Do we keep only the Japanese and add the English one when it's officially released? Do we let people change the original Japanese edition into "English" because people don't bother to create a different language edition or don't want to keep a Japanese release in their library? (This last example is not okay.)

Again, this was a wall of text and I apologize to whoever read my messy thoughts :/
tldr I see vns as medium. If vns were to get allowed, I think it's going to be chaos full of duplicate and erraneous pages (we probably wouldn't even be able to impose a proper Japanese romanization standard for the titles) that I'm not sure who's willingly going to take responsibility to fix. Also, in the worst case, titties everywhere on cover images lmao.


message 25: by Melanie Wilson (new)

Melanie Wilson | 4 comments So is the concern here not so much as to whether or not they can be classified as books but the work involved in making sure they're listed properly on GR because of all the variables involved?


message 26: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 1767 comments I'm not sure there is a concern. Rivka's made it quite clear they are not considered books, and the last post (about the difficulties) is from the OP, who was the one originally wanting them removed. The rest of the thread is just shouting in the wind, pretty much :)


message 27: by Renske (new)

Renske | 10679 comments The question about fan-translations, those are never valid editions and should be merged.


message 28: by Melanie Wilson (new)

Melanie Wilson | 4 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "I'm not sure there is a concern. Rivka's made it quite clear they are not considered books, and the last post (about the difficulties) is from the OP, who was the one originally wanting them remove..."

I see. So this is something non-debatable and set in stone?


message 29: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13572 comments Melanie wrote: "I see. So this is something non-debatable and set in stone? "

Well, it was debated in this thread and rivka still says they are not considered books.


message 30: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 1767 comments lethe wrote: "Melanie wrote: "I see. So this is something non-debatable and set in stone? "

Well, it was debated in this thread and rivka still says they are not considered books."


Rivka is a staff member, by the way (I forget people don't always know that or check her profile). So yes, she pretty much has the final say here.


message 31: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13572 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "Rivka is a staff member, by the way (I forget people don't always know that or check her profile)."

Since Melanie is a librarian, I assumed she would know that :)


message 32: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 1767 comments lethe wrote: "Krazykiwi wrote: "Rivka is a staff member, by the way (I forget people don't always know that or check her profile)."

Since Melanie is a librarian, I assumed she would know that :)"


Doh. (I didn't realise that was "our" Melanie.)

I should stop replying to things and just go drink a whole pot of coffee.


message 33: by Melanie Wilson (new)

Melanie Wilson | 4 comments Caffeine is your friend!

I haven't been super active as a librarian so far so I did have to scroll up and check Rivka's profile as mod & staff member before I said "Rivka says? Who is Rivka all of a sudden?" ;)

Ok, well, that is frustrating but I'll just have to accept it and hope that some day in the near future they'll be able to be listed as books. It's already a bit frustrating as a fan of visual novels to have them be such a niche category in the gaming world and not get taken seriously there for the most part...


message 34: by lethe (last edited Sep 11, 2017 07:56AM) (new)

lethe | 13572 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "Doh. (I didn't realise that was "our" Melanie.) "

Of course this Melanie is "our" Melanie too (hi, Melanie!), but I think you confuse her with the Melanie with cat-in-front-of-books avatar, who is very active in the Librarians Group :P

(Enjoy your coffee!)

And...
I should never assume
I should never assume
I should never assume
I should never assume...



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