Otome Games 101 – Origins



乙女ゲーム —oto-me gee-mu — “maiden game”

Lately, and with increasing frequency, I’ve found myself explaining what “otome games” are to fellow game developer and journalist friends of mine at meet-ups and conferences. I do this happily and willingly, since it’s a genre that personally fascinates me, and most of the devs I talk to seem unfamiliar with but curious about dating sims in general. The people who ask usually do have some sort of familiarity with romance sim elements from other series, like Persona, Harvest Moon, and BioWare games, but the fact that there is an existing industry in Japan built around video game dating sims targeted specifically at women is often news to them.

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Since I’m transferring everything over from my old portfolio site I wanted to put this here. I had planned Otome 101 to be a series but now it looks like the follow-up dating sim mechanics post may be going on a larger games website instead of just being a blog piece. Please look forward to it!