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Today, we have a topic possibly of great concern to many hardcore Otaku out there in the world: the issue of reading the Visual Novels they want, where they want and when they want to. Now if any of you out there are simple internet strollers who are looking at this guide without knowing what Eroge is, We commend you for your ignorance, and advise you keep it that way by not googling the term, and instead move on to the cat video you have buffering in your next tab.
To those of you who do know what Eroge means, and having found yourself in a position where you have already completed the Ace Attorney series, need a way to get your VN fix from more risqué sources even while you are away from your safe and secure residence, you have come to the right place.
You see the main issue of course with reading Eroge in public is one of respectability. While it may be respectable for adult females to read Fifty Shades of Grey in a public park, playing Muv Luv or Fate/Stay Night in a Starbucks might completely destroy one’s reputation should someone get the wrong impression. Now indeed, some games have ways to turn off H-scenes and so can be played with less fear of an inopportune guest catching the 1 H-scene in your play session, however if such a method was an option for you, you wouldn’t be reading this guide. Therefore, it is our task here at Baka Guides today to show you how to play the VNs you want, how you want them, at the time and place of your choosing, wherever that may be.
Strategy 1: The Cool and Clueless Method
- Cost: $
- Ease of use: Same as getting the Harem End in School Days
- Long Term usefulness: Minimum - law of diminishing returns
Of all the strategies listed here, the Cool and Clueless method for playing Eroges in public is by far the simplest and easiest to use right away, though it is the hardest to use for extended periods of time or for repeat engagements.
In terms of style the Cool and Clueless method is about creating an air of calm reassurance and normalcy, and maintaining it in the event of an unfortunate misunderstanding. The overall scheme is a two part method, with “The Cool” and the “The Clueless” being the main two objectives.
For the first objective, “The Cool”, the main purpose is the establishment of the nonchalant, respectable and normal character everyone expects you to be. Its all about public perception. This is the most important part of the scheme, as giving too much attention to yourself one way or the other will inevitably give other people too much of a vested interest in observing you, which could prove fatal. The trick here though is to tailor your outward appearance to be as unassuming and uninteresting as possible. Everything from audacious jewelry and crazy clothing to ridiculous hairstyles will all get in the way of your attempt at being inconspicuous. Remember the whole point is for you to go unnoticed in public. Also remember to choose your appearance based on where you will be attempting to read your VN, as “unassuming” may be different if you are trying to read Dra+Koi on Miami beach, an airport, or your local hipster coffee shop.
The other part of being unassuming is looking as relaxed as possible, as fearing someone looking over your shoulder has the sad tendency to make one tense and skittish. Not very unassuming territory. Therefore in order to alleviate your stress, the best practice is to ensure getting a good position to read. Preferably by a corner or a wall, which grants maximal rear eyesight protection, allowing for greater privacy, and therefore ease of mind.
The second objective, “the Clueless”, is a reactionary method in the off chance that someone accidentally discovers that you are playing Eroge instead of, you know, checking business emails, or surfing pop science journals. This phase is the hardest part because it involves considerable acting chops to pull off a “I didn’t know this game had That in it” reaction that doesn’t sound forced. Our editors however have found that feigning ignorance is by far the easiest acting strategy (as opposed to justifying it, or trying to act cute in order to be excused). The biggest issue however is that this second phase is by nature a one shot deal as it will only work once per person, so it has limited long term potential and therefore is not suggested for those who wish to read Eroge in public long term at the same locations.
Strategy 2: The Cloak and Dagger Method
- Cost $$$
- Ease of use: same as using an invisibility cloak
- Long Term usefulness: medium to long
The second strategy, “Cloak and Dagger”, is a complete defensive and proactive strategy in order to hide your Eroge from public ire. Much like with ninjas, it is not just skill, but the tools one is given that helps pull off stealth Eroge reading. The biggest hurdle with this technique is the fact that vibrant electronic screens are about the least stealthy piece of technology ever invented. However, this can be overcome with the right tools and kit. These, along with the positional strategy employed in strategy one, can make it so a competent Eroge player never has to face undue criticism.
What follows here is a list of devices and how to use them in order of hardest to easiest stealth use:
- Laptops: due to their oversized screens, laptops are by far the hardest to use stealthily, however to use them effectively, the best way is to make sure your screen has the smallest viewing angle possible, which can be helped with privacy filters. Also, lowering brightness settings may help in not distracting wandering eyes.
- Tablets: since these are generally smaller than PCs they are slightly better, however they are still bulky. The issue of course is the limited VN availability. (Unless you have a windows tablet, of course)
- Phone/ipod touch - excellent in terms of portability and stealth features, the tiny screens allow for easy maneuverability, as well as quick access to locking features. For maximum usage, I suggest splashtop-ing your pc to your device for all the best Eroge wherever you want it.
- Head mounted display, the most advanced, secretive, and risk averse in terms of secrecy, head mounted displays hooked into your computer will allow perfect privacy to your PC, allowing for virtually limitless guilt free Eroge watching in any public forum.
Strategy 3: The Fujoshi Honey Badger method
- Cost: $ - $$$$$$$
- Ease of use: Same as hooking up your laptop to a big screen projector.
- Long Term usefulness: potential infinite
The real issue with playing Eroge in public is the cognitive dissonance people have with the upstanding moral classy citizen, the image of you on your advanced piece of mobile technology conjures in their mind, and the realization that you are one of those creepy cartoon girl perverts. Therefore the third and final strategy, the Fujoshi Honey Badger method, takes the opposite approach to the first two strategies where the focus is on maintaining your (false) normal social standing and instead brings your social standing in line with your Eroge watching actions, thereby removing the cognitive dissonance.
The trick to this strategy is that you have to be unabashedly, fearlessly Otaku to the naked eye, to virtually everyone. therefore in order to make it effective, it is best to make every conceivable identifying portion of yourself markedly Otaku. Display your waifu/husbando with large stickers on your laptop screens, make sure your bag is covered with keychains and patches from your favorite series, and make sure you have a phone charm on your smartphone/ipod, along with an appropriate case. You could even bring along a portable selection of nendoroids or figma in order to create an Otaku-centric desk space anywhere you go.
However the most important part of this scheme is your attire. As the proverb goes, “the clothes make the man”. Therefore in order to complete your expression of your inner hardcore Otaku, it is best to wear clothes in keeping with your nature. Graphic tees are one of the best ways, with the more moe, colorful, explicitly Otaku shirts being preferred here. The other way to convey this through clothing is cosplay, and again the wackier and more outlandish the costume is the better, especially if it involves an outlandish hairstyle or wig. Remember, this is not a way to blend in, you need to be able to stick out in whatever crowd you’re in. This is not a place for your stylish Attack on Titan biker’s coat, this is the place for your maid uniforms, overly colorful school uniforms, magical girl costumes, kimonos, and Dragonball Z robes to shine. Subtlety is not a virtue here, but a terrible vice to this scheme.
Having completed all this, you will have successfully created an Otaku personal space, that will actively guard anyone from prying eyes and judgements on your Visual Novel selections, as your frank otakuness will make people gloss over or completely miss the fact that you are reading Eroge, due to being preoccupied with your Otaku nature. Though If someone does recognize you as playing Eroge, this method will protect your honor as reading such would be in keeping with your public persona, effectively negating any disgrace or shame.
Between these 3 stratagems you should hopefully find a suitable method to playing all the Eroge you want in all their original version glory wherever you want. If you however have issues after attempting these methods… well seriously why are you looking into this anyways? Have you no sense of propriety or shame?... seriously I can’t keep this up.... if you can’t find a way to read Visual Novels you want in public, you’re probably either playing the wrong VNs, or playing them in the wrong place… damn… I’m done here…
Special thanks to Ascendant-Izanagi, Protonstorm, Rockmandash12 and Stranger for helping make this guide as awesome as possible.
You have been reading Baka Guides to find our previous guides you can find here: The Otaku’s Baka Guide to Life as we Know it as well as The Otaku’s Baka Guide to Avoid Unwanted Romantic/Sexual Tension