This post has been a long time coming, and I mean a LONG time coming… I had the idea for this post around the time that post about the infamous Vogue article, but it wasn’t until a month or two ago when I saw an especially troubling search term that I actually started writing this post.
Before I get into why this is so problematic, let me say that I am in no way shape or form the authority on otome games and the types of people that play them. I can only speak for myself and my experiences. However, despite that I can still say with some degree of certainty, that otome gamers get a bad rap sometimes. So I decided to write a post that addresses some of the misconceptions people have about otome gamers while still answering the above question.
*Disclaimer: The ideas presented in this post are my own, it’s fine if you disagree with me. All I ask is that you be respectful when commenting.
So after playing around with a ton of post ideas, I decided to list common misconceptions and answer the above question at the end. So without further ado, here are some common misconceptions about otome gamers:
Misconception #1: Only Women Play Otome Games
While it may be true that otome games were originally designed with a female audience in mind and to this day, women are the largest consumers of otome games and their related materials. But that in no way means that they are the only consumers of otome games, in fact there are a growing number of men out there who enjoy playing otome games. Sure their numbers are relatively small when compared to those of the female otome community, but the fact of the matter is that they do exist!
But, it’s a shame that when otome gamers are portrayed in the media, they are almost always women or teenage girls. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve read comments written by men who wondered if it was normal for them to play otome games. I’m not a man, myself, but as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t matter who you are. Play whatever you want and don’t let anyone anyone tell you otherwise!
Misconception #2: Otome Games are Practice for Real Relationships
Now, I am no relationship expert, I’m just a 20-something who has a healthy obsession games, so my advice should be taken with a grain of salt. But, even though I’m no love guru… I still know a thing or two about relationships, at least as much as the next 20-something…
I don’t care how realistic a game is, it will never ever take the place of real life relationships. So the very idea of some one using otome games as practice for real life romantic relationships in the future is ridiculous. There is only one way to gain relationship points in real life, and it doesn’t involve stats raising or clearing checkpoints. It involves actual human interactions, whether that is through a dating app like Tinder or just meeting up with people at social events, love requires another (living) person. Spending hours romancing virtual hotties is not relationship practice… sorry.
Misconception #3: All Otome Gamers are Anti Social Loners
For years, gamers have been portrayed as antisocial loners who spend their days locked up in their mother’s basements playing video games. Well, the same holds true for otome gamers, people seem to think that the only people that play otome games are lonely women with too much time on their hands.
But, the truth is that otome gamers come in all shapes and forms, in fact many hold full time jobs, have families, and do just about everything else normal healthy individuals do. Sure, there will always be exceptions, but for the most part everyone I know that plays otome games lead fairly normal lives. In fact, they are some of the most social and fun people I’ve met and it’s a shame the loner stereotype is so prevalent.
Misconception #4: Only Single Women Play Otome Games
Now it’s time to address the question that started this post…
“Is it wrong for me to play otome games even if I have a boyfriend in real life?”
The short answer, “Hell no!” Why is this even a question?! I guess I should clarify that I am in no way passing judgement on the person who asked this question, because up until a few years ago I too thought that only lonely single women played otome games. It was only after I started playing otome games myself and I began interacting with other fans of otome games that I realized how diverse the community really was.
I’ve met several people who are in happy and healthy relationships and they also enjoy playing otome games. I also know several single folks who also enjoy playing otome games. For most, playing otome games is the same as playing any other video game, there really isn’t some deep psychological reason behind it. Most people play otome games because they are fun! Sure some are in it for the escapism or the fantasy aspects, but for the most part people play them because they want to… your relationship status has no bearings on that! So why is it that people still think that otome games are only for single women?
Well that’s were you all come in, I want to hear from you all! Why do people think it’s wrong to play otome games when you have a significant other? Also, I know there are many more misconceptions about otome gamers that weren’t covered in this post so feel free to share some of the other misconceptions people have about otome games and otome gamers! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment on this post below!
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