|See also:||eroge, nakige, Otome game, galge, dating sim, Interactive Fiction|
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A visual novel is a type of computer game that uses mostly static images, text, and sometimes sound to construct a branching narrative - usually with limited options for the player to choose from as the story progresses, but multiple possible endings based on those choices. Visual novels are primarily produced and played in East Asia, though some have been licensed or fan translated in other regions. Their fanbase outside East Asia (and Japan in particular) is slowly growing.
Some visual novels become so popular they gain adaptations in other mediums, including manga, anime, light novels, drama CDs, etc. Some well-known examples of fandoms that began as visual novels include Fate/Stay Night, Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni, Ace Attorney, Sakura Taisen, Clannad, and Air.
With so few visual novels produced or officially licensed outside of Japan, fans have tried to fill in the gaps. Some translation-related communities include:
- al|together A translation festival run in 2005, 2006, and 2008, resulting in several translations of free visual novels into English
- Fuwanovel Forums is a popular place for visual novel fan translation groups to post project updates, recruit new members, etc.