Can someone explain the attraction of LitRpg novels to me? - Page 6 - Myth-Weavers

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Can someone explain the attraction of LitRpg novels to me?

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veradux View Post
. We talked about isekai a lot before this, using Sword Art as the prime example. But, ya know, Narnia and Peter Pan of all things fit the definition of isekai.
Yup, isekai is more or less equal to portal fantasy. And portal fantasy is a huge subset of fantasy (one for which I have an admitted weakness).

It's a fun genre but these days you need to really do something with it that explores the implications and possibilities, otherwise its just another generic fantasy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleric8092 View Post
I do think Veradux has it right. That it's not the how any character gets to it, setting, plot aspects, etc. But the explicit use of gaming terminology.
"Genre" is kind of loose and difficult to define anyway, but I'd still contest that if this is the case, it's still not really enough to count as a genre - more of a writing style or something. After all, you could still have Sci-Fi, Fantasy, etc (maybe a The Sims novel soap opera? Yeurck...) and tack this onto it or not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by leons1701 View Post
And my feeling would be that it would be a really, really hard sell to use that sort of terminology outside of the context of "these people are actually in a game".
I agree, and I think that that still counts as low fantasy. If they're using that kind of terminology in some other way then perhaps it's different enough to count as a different genre, but I also can't imagine a situation where that wouldn't be truly awful.
(Aside, of course, from parody - but even in OotS it's implied that it is a game in a slightly fourth-wall-breaky sort of way)

I think I now see the point you are making about low fantasy (I admit to not fully understanding that term) for explicit game terms. While litrpg has more to do with protagonist perspective / situation, etc. While generally also having that aspect (meta game terms, like armor class, etc) while most fantasy that I've ever read does not. I think you are right though I still don't fully get it all. I tend to oversimplification to ... try to simplify things for myself.

Sorry, "low fantasy" is just whatever's not "high fantasy", where high fantasy is set in a fictional world (e.g. Lord of the Rings) and low fantasy is set in our world with magical elements. It also includes something which starts in our world and transitions to another world (Narnia, etc) though practically speaking that's kind of distinct from something where there's more "reality" and potentially more like high fantasy. I mean, it's kind of a grey area anyway, especially when you have stuff like Harry Potter where the "fantastical realm" we travel to is not actually a different world, it's a hidden part of our own world.

Like I say, trying to define something as one genre or another is of limited usefulness anyway because things don't always fit neatly. Point is just that just because something involves some video game elements doesn't necessarily stop it from being a low fantasy - it just might be something else too, or whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
Sorry, "low fantasy" is just whatever's not "high fantasy", where high fantasy is set in a fictional world (e.g. Lord of the Rings) and low fantasy is set in our world with magical elements. It also includes something which starts in our world and transitions to another world (Narnia, etc) though practically speaking that's kind of distinct from something where there's more "reality" and potentially more like high fantasy. I mean, it's kind of a grey area anyway, especially when you have stuff like Harry Potter where the "fantastical realm" we travel to is not actually a different world, it's a hidden part of our own world.

Like I say, trying to define something as one genre or another is of limited usefulness anyway because things don't always fit neatly. Point is just that just because something involves some video game elements doesn't necessarily stop it from being a low fantasy - it just might be something else too, or whatever.
As a new poster, I was exploring the new Western LitRPG market, when I stumbled across this thread and decided to register to join the discussion.

I've been reading non English novels and webnovels that fall in this genre for a while. One interesting fact is that some of them are not low fantasy, some of them are 'high fantasy' set in a world where the Gods or simply the universe have explicitly incorporated game mechanics into the universe to various degrees. Often it's about stats, skills, and/or levels. Since they're not Portal Fantasy, and aren't connected to contemporary anything then they're not low fantasy. Generally the definition in the broader international community is that the genre is defined by having explicit game mechanics or systems. Not necessarily to the degree of what I've encountered in Western or Russian LitRPGs, but some quantification is generally a part of the story. ETA: There's some disagreement from what I've seen on whether a LitRPG needs an actual game to exist in a MMO or VRMMO style where the characters are players themselves, a la SAO or Ready Player One, or if it can just be a world where levels and the like exist, but that's a seemingly arbitrary distinction in practice given the genesis of the genre. And to be a genre it makes more sense that way, because then the genre is defined by the concept of the quantification of things that aren't normally, and that there are real consequences to that fact. It essentially becomes a distinguishing feature much like the presence of magic distinguishes other divisions in fantasy

There are really two facts of interest for the genre that create its appeal. The first, the genre is NOT targeting readers especially in the foreign markets. There is a very real reason that these stories have been popular for years in both Korea and Japan, and have reached a similar level of popularity as isekai is that it creates an explicit linear reward for effort irrespective of talent. If I play a musical instrument for 10 hours total, say a Trumpet, I'll gain one point in trumpet playing, and regardless of anything else I'll be better than I was before I had the point. And if I continue grinding I'll reach mastery of trumpet playing. It's a very very specific wish fulfillment/escapist fantasy. That would be the churning mass that doesn't have a lot of differentiation.

In other cases it's used in a very clever or interesting way to a) create a shorthand for understanding of something within the readership without an explicit data dump, and allow the author to b) use that implied understanding for subversion.
Like any other trope.

One clever example is Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka? in Japan's LN market.

Great information. Thanks for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikepuska View Post
And if I continue grinding I'll reach mastery of trumpet playing. It's a very very specific wish fulfillment/escapist fantasy.
So, kind of like real life? I dunno, "You can become good at anything but it's going to take you thousands of hours of hard work" seems like the opposite of a wish fulfilment/escapist fantasy to me - isn't that why so many fantasy stories have the "chosen one" / special power sorts of cliches where, bam! you were special all along? Perhaps there is a bit of a cultural thing there but weirdly that seems more like realism, not less...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikepuska View Post
I guess this is interesting... I feel though that it could be done exactly the same without "game mechanics". I suppose there's no reason why a world couldn't function in a way that worked more like a game (a la Order of the Stick, even) but I still don't really see that it's adding anything.

But obviously I'm not the target market anyway, so I guess I'm the wrong person to ask.







 

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