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However, most men, especially in the West, would feel too embarrassed to say they play bishōjo erotic games.That stigma I mentioned before kept many fans closeted for decades and there are still a few even today who aren't quite comfortable being public about it.Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Gef, how can you criticize romance novels–a genre that is all about landing a man–but like dating sims–which are all about landing a man?” And my answer to that is: “Romance novels don’t actually let me PLAY as the heroine!
With these kinds of games, girls could explore relationships and romantic fantasies in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Dating sims geared toward men with a male protagonist trying to court women are called bishōjo ("pretty girl") games and they also focus on romance and sexual encounters.
It probably doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, but in this day and age, it’s a nice break from all the gore-fests that currently dominate gaming.
It’s a lot like cotton candy, sweet, maybe not very substantial, but a nice treat.
But as social norms shift, Western dating sim players are multiplying and becoming more open about their love lives and love of the genre.
In 2014, it was reported that over 22 million women worldwide were playing dating sims and most of this comes from the genre's increasing accessibility outside of Japan as well as Western developers making games patterned after them.
” 🙂 Okay, you got me, you know that post on guilty pleasures I just wrote today, dating sims are my gaming equivalent of a guilty pleasure.