March 25, 2021

For a while, I was on a mad search for visual novels to pass time in quarantine. I spent hours parsing reviews, play length, graphics, and most of all, cost. It was a worthy yet stressful quest, as I had to fill my deep craving for great characters and storytelling.

This went on for about two weeks. Then I saw my app for checking out digital library books and realized the search was pointless. Visual novels are great, but library books are better in almost every way.

  • They download much faster.
  • There are many, many, many more choices. I'd say too many, but there's no such thing.
  • They get returned after two weeks, so I don't need to worry about device memory.
  • I don't worry about lackluster graphics, since I can imagine my own.
  • It's all about the story and nothing else. Wait...that explains why they're not visual novels, only "novels!"
  • Most important, they're free. Even if I have to buy the book, it's much cheaper than a new game.

This isn't to say I'm not playing any visual novels anymore. Robotics;Notes is still waiting, and Gnosia was fabulous even before I fell in love with Setsu. But my non-visual novel reading has outpaced my gaming by a lot this year.

I still have one burning question. If I read a novel and imagine it as a visual novel in my head, which type of media am I truly consuming?