The Developer’s Burden and Discussing Authentic Representation in Dating Sims
The dating sim genre, in its origins, has always pandered to the male gaze. My first exposure to dating sims “for girls” was Konami’s Tokimeki Memorial: Girl’s Side, a spin-off of their Tokimeki Memorial franchise. In the franchise’s main series, the player was a male high school student that could woo his female classmates; Girl’s Side, on the other hand, gave me the power to be a female high school student surrounded by male classmates I could fall in love with. Although it seems to be more of an expected norm now, this genre of women-catered dating sims is fairly recent: the Angelique franchise, developed by the Ruby Part division of Koei and released in 1994, is credited to have been the first “otome,” or maiden, game.
Elvie somehow finds bliss in purposefully complicating the art of storytelling and undertaking the painful practice of animation. If you see her on Twitter at @lvmaeparian, she is doing neither of those things. She currently helps with managing the socials to ensure that the secret recipe will never be revealed.