In which HD proposes a rudimentary system for tagging eroge content, and requests input on same.

In the neverending quest to make HD more user-friendly I’ve decided to start tagging entries in the Ero Side of mainichi updates. The tags used today were largely decided on the fly, so I’d like to lay out a few thoughts on the matter and take any input you may have that would keep things both concise (I’d like to avoid listings running over a single line whenever possible) and informative. I think a bit of Japanese jargon will be inevitable here, but once a definite codex of tags is decided on I’ll cobble together a FAQ of some sort to explain them and hopefully things will work out.

In my current line of thought I find myself using two types of tags: one that describes a game based on the specific fetish it caters to, with the level of “ecchiness” implied therein, and the other describing a game by the way its plot is put together vis a vis the ero content present. The former would be used for the sort of game that is obviously billed as catering to a certain fetish, while the latter would be used for titles that have a broader appeal or a cast too varied to peg to a single category.

The following is a brainstormed list of fetish-based tags:

  • Kyonyuu (large breasts)
  • Shokushu (tentacles)
  • Loli (loli)
  • Toshiue (older, mature)
  • Bouryoku (violence)

The following is a list of ero content-based tags:

  • VN (Visual Novel; ero content occurs as in an R-rated (US) movie)
  • Junai (pure love story; ero content only a bonus at the end of the plot)
  • Renai (love story; ero content somewhat sparse but integral to the plot as it progresses)
  • Ecchi (fantastic love story or comedy involving more sex than is at all probable)
  • Hentai (the story is about having sex, may involve force to get it)
  • SS (sex sim; the gameplay is sex)

Those who have been reading HD for awhile know that I’ve grappled with this issue before, and bringing concise categories to the vast jungle of eroge that are out there has proven a daunting task. This is compounded by the few seconds I have to analyze a title in the course of a morning’s post; I make snap judgements of game content based solely on the sample CG most of the time, which as often as not go off the mark when it comes to actually playing the games (to the sorrow of my wallet, many times over).

I’m not completely satisfied with the direction these tags are going, but a better system is eluding me at present. It doesn’t have to be perfect, of course – just something to give you a rough idea of what you’ll be seeing before you click on a link to a batch of sample CG.

In that light, perhaps the tag system should be built not to characterize games in their entirety but just what they look like – i.e. “when you click on this link you will see lolis and tentacles” instead of “this game is the tender love story of a loli and a tentacle monster and their daily life together in the foothills of Appalachia” or something. And again, short and sweet is key here; until I can figure out how to easily tag entries with icons (or coerce someone more code-literate into doing it for me) I’m limited to text to provide these descriptions, and text takes up space.

So, any ideas? I know using Japanese for these tags is lame, but it’s also usually shorter than the English equivalent (and uniquely suited to describe what I daresay is a unique Japanese “art form”). Failing that, if you could point me to such a system currently in use that I could shamelessly plagiarize that would work too. Together we can build a better porn empire mousetrap!

[edit] an issue I can already think of is the relationship of genre to game content; we have “sound novels”, ADVs, SLGs, RPGs, various tactical games, card games, mah jong, etc. etc., and these all make it harder (or at least longer) to explain a game fully. As ~90% of eroge are ADVs I feel comfortable sticking to them for the most part, but the exceptions look to be a pain in the bum in my current scheme. Also: Visual Novel, a genre or a degree of ero? And how does the game’s “cinematic” genre (comedy, action, horror, drama, etc.) fit in?? Saa…

…I knew there was a reason I didn’t try to do this earlier. -_-;;