Disclaimer: I’m not, in any way, associated with Google or anyone working in the company
but, really, who isn’t using Google nowadays?!
I am a newbie when it comes to playing VN (visual novel; if you wanna know more about visual novels, #GoogleMoLang! #JustGoogleIt!). In the first place, I don’t consider myself a gamer since doing so might offend the gamers out there who literally spend hours
or days in front of their PSP or computer monitor in order to win a game or tournament, knowing that most games today cannot be paused.
I’ve only started playing them since March this year, but before that I had a general idea of what VNs are like and how they are played. Some anime (Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai) even featured parodied VNs, so I was slightly acquainted with them.
Well, I know most of the anime enthusiasts are not ignorant when it comes to VNs.
For starters, what are VNs?
VNs are computer (or PSP) games where the player is the protagonist of the story and most of the scenarios are drawn with respect to the protagonist’s field of vision or perspective (as in, literally), as if the player is really inside the universe where the story of the game being played takes place.
It’s called visual novel (visual + novel) because it is literally a novel with its story reinforced with anime-esque graphics. However, unlike most non-graphic novels, VN scenarios are written in such a way that the protagonist are given a lot of decision-making or branching points throughout the length of the story where he/she is presented with multiple choices in a given situation. Each option chosen will lead the protagonist to an event which may be different from the event that may have occurred has the player chosen another option in a branching point. The branching points are responsible for the multiple endings the player can end with in most VNs. I said most VNs because there are also VNs which are quite the exemption from the previous description: players don’t have choices, they simply have to read the novel and look at the graphics at the same time.
Majority of VNs are similar to what people call “dating sims“, because the player/protagonist literally has to conquer (each) girl/boy in his/her harem and end up dating the chosen girl/boy by playing out the best choices there are. However, that isn’t all there is to VNs. There are a lot of variations among VNs, making them a class of games really fun to play (and read). But don’t tell me that I haven’t warned you of the feels that will seep into your soul when you play some of the most emotional VNs (according to the VN gamers) like Rewrite, Little Busters!, and CLANNAD (Yes, KEY it is; I haven’t played the first two yet and I am still playing CLANNAD).
However you read the post title, I don’t intend to relay a misconception that Google PH or its employees are totally familiar with VNs. I do not know the association of Google with VNs. Maybe their employees have played some VNs, so they came up with the idea of using a VN-like gameplay for their campaign (or they came up with the campaign goals from that gameplay). Or maybe they really arrived at that design without knowing what VNs are or how VNs are played. In the end, we can only speculate how they were able to produce an interactive site in line with their latest campaign, unless someone from GooglePH actually discloses the information, which I highly doubt.
The basic things (player-protagonist role, protagonist POV, choices) are present in the latest campaign of Google PH, #GoogleMoLang (#JustGoogleIt), which was launched last September 23, 2014. The campaign aims to raise the awareness of Filipinos in making the most of Google Search. A player has 8 badges to unlock by playing out the choices in the mini game. However, instead of static images with few animations, the mini game showcases embedded videos of the supporting characters played by some local celebrities. What also made this mini game interesting is the fact that the players don’t only click the choices to go with, but they are also compelled to answer some questions, which require the help of Google Search. And if a player enters a wrong answer, Google will always detect it and keep asking for the correct answers. To make sure that players enter the correct answers, some questions have clues. If you wish to know the story and who those celebrities are, just try playing the mini-game that will only take you around 30 minutes. 🙂
Why am I posting this?
I am not advertising the company per se, but I like the thought of sharing this kind of gimmick to anyone who drops by this blog. Of course, the Filipino audience, especially VN players, might find this more relatable than other audiences do. But if anyone, just anyone, finds this concept interesting and decides to take part in it, I consider that a blissful moment. 🙂