A thoughtful article about Yandere Simulator

An opinion columnist named Anastasia Wythe has written a thoughtful article about Yandere Simulator: http://www.gamemoir.com/lgbt-gender/yandere-sim-abuse

I enjoyed the article. It was very eloquently written; Anastasia certainly has a way with words, and articulated her thoughts very well. She did a fine job of describing the game’s mechanics in a neutral and accurate way, demonstrating that she researched the game thoroughly before writing an article. That’s journalistic integrity! As you might expect, I didn’t agree with every word, but I certainly don’t think it’s a bad article. It’s her opinion, and she’s entitled to it.

I don’t think it can be said that Yandere Simulator “sanitizes” harassment, suicide, or sexual exploitation. The player is punished harshly for being caught performing unethical actions. If the player chooses to eliminate their rivals through bullying, the player will have to witness the psychological effects of bullying firsthand. The player is rewarded for taking panty shots, but the game’s characters will express disgust and anger if they catch the protagonist doing so, and if an authority figure witnesses this behavior, the result is an instant game over.

Yandere Simulator’s objective is not to “reveal a new look” or “present a new perspective” or “explore the psychology” of anime tropes; the game’s only goal is to provide enjoyable gameplay and lots of replayability, along with unusual themes, uncommon scenarios, and unorthodox methods. Yandere Simulator is not intended to be satire, but it is certainly tongue-in-cheek at times (have you seen the easter egg that makes a toaster appear in the protagonist’s mouth?) and certainly isn’t meant to be taken seriously. One day in the future, I might eventually make a game about the social issues I feel strongest about (crime prevention and public safety), but Yandere Simulator is not meant to carry a serious message.

It’s true that Yandere Simulator “trivializes” significant social problems. However, it is necessary for video games to over-simplify certain aspects of reality that would be too complex to program, or simply aren’t fun when portrayed realistically. “Super Mario Bros” trivializes jumping; Mario doesn’t bend his knees before he jumps, and he can jump four times his own height. Grand Theft Auto trivializes murder – something far more abhorrent than bullying. Video games must simplify many aspects of reality; everything from physical limitations to the wanton deconstruction of human lives. If video games can trivialize everything from jumping to murder, I can’t see a reason why social issues would be an exception.

I’m extremely relieved to hear Anastasia say that she feels developers have the right to create the games they wish to create, as this is one of my most strongly held beliefs. I’m very pleased to know that Anastasia would never ask a developer to remove a feature that she personally finds distasteful. As long as she doesn’t suggest or advocate censorship, I don’t see a problem.

In a forum post, Anastasia suggested an interesting idea; the idea that students should behave differently after the death of a suicidal student. This is logical; if you bullied someone until they took their own life, you might be less likely to bully someone else in the future. It would just be weird if Yandere-chan was able to repeatedly convince students to bully people, even after those students learned firsthand that bullying can make them responsible for a person’s death. As a gameplay mechanic, this would prevent the player from abusing/exploiting one method to effortlessly beat the game. Also, having students talk about recent events (such as suicides) would make the game world feel more “alive”. In the end, I gained a few potential ideas that might improve the game!

While Anastasia’s article was critical of the game, it was also respectful, so I appreciated it.

I’m interested in hearing what you think, too! Do you personally believe that Yandere Simulator takes anything too far? (I’m not going to cut any features from the game because someone finds those features to be distasteful, but I still want to hear your opinions on the matter anyway.)

114 thoughts on “A thoughtful article about Yandere Simulator

  1. don’t worry about anything this guy is saying, I, myself, have experienced bullying and the spreading of terrible rumors in real life, and I do not feel like my experiences are being trivialized by this game, and the entire point of the article is on the real world impact of this game on the players, and their argument is as flimsy as the video games causing real world violence one

    if the author is so hellbent on proving that this game somehow causes people to stop taking victims of bullying seriously, maybe they should actually try to find proof of their claims by having people play the game then write out their opinions on bullying

    if somehow it warped their minds into “bullying is ok if they deserved it” then clearly there’s a problem

  2. I was glad to see you respond to this thoughtfully and not in a “damn SJW’s get off my lawn” way. While I don’t believe in creative censorship, I think creators do have a responsibility to consider whether they send a message that contributes to harmful paradigms. While the game is a bit too early in development to say whether it takes something too far, here are some of my thoughts:

    To be honest the murder in this game seems very tame as compared to other games, partially because of the anime style, so I don’t want to dwell on that very long. I also feel that while it explores the dark nature of the yandere archetype, the narrative doesn’t frame her actions as romanticized.

    Bullying is a sensitive topic. I think your solution about making the students – and potentially the player – feel guilty about causing the suicide is very good, and I don’t really have any complaints with it.

    The panty-shots are something I am on the fence about. While they can be written off as “just another anime trope,” I can’t think of any other game that casually uses sexual exploitation as a core mechanic. If the player is meant to laugh along with it, it sort of does become about trivialization. At the same time, it can evoke a feeling of “oh no, this is creepy.”
    One question I do have: Are there not going to be any consequences if you don’t get caught? It does seem a bit unrealistic to pretend that this panty-shot black-market takes place in a vacuum. The images you take are being sold and circulated, and even if you don’t get caught they could potentially be leaked and linked back to the school. If that happens, not only would the girls involved feel disgusted, the school would probably increase efforts to prevent sexual harassment. Students might be more wary which would also make it harder to take future panty-shots if you take too many. Do you have any plans to implement something like that?

    Anyway, I’m glad you’re keeping an open mind about this. Also thanks if you read all that!

    • If you’re looking for messages where there are none, that’s your problem. Even the creator is using their creation as a shameless soapbox, there’s this little thing called “free will”. Everyone is responsible for their own actions and no one responsible for being society’s nanny. That’s not an opinion, it’s an objective fact. Whether its The Turner Diaries, Tropes Versus Women, or Catcher in the Rye, no one deserves a free pass just because because they blame their actions on media giving them the idea.

    • I’ve never taken any panty shots in the game so far, so I’m not sure what the game itself says about the mechanic, but does anyone besides info-chan even get their hands on these images? I’ve always imagined Info-chan to be this hikikomori weirdo girl, that specialises in gathering information on people and has a panty shot fetish, since she’s a hikikomori and never leaves her house, she just can’t experience the joy of looking at other girls’ panties while in the school’s dressing room, which is why she has this huge, private collection of panty shots and will give out favours to you if you give her new stuff, but since it’s Info-chan’s greatest treasure, she’d never share it with anyone.

      (Also, one should keep in mind that these are pictures of underwear, comparable to wearing a bikini or the school’s swimwear, which is still invasive, since the students aren’t willingly showing you their underwear nor want you to take the picture – but in no way comparable to nude pictures or pictures depicting sexual acts being spread without consent, like the author of the article does. I personally couldn’t care less if someone is staring at a picture of my ass / crotch covered by my panties and with no way of seeing who that panty belongs to….)

      I mean, this is a game based on quirky japanese anime tropes & stereotypes, no one (in their right mind) would ever relate that to actual real life, right? In real life you’d never think it’s okay to crawl around, sneak under people’s skirts and take a picture of their underwear… unless you’re a kid, because little children tend to think this kind of stuff is funny, I should know, I’m a Mum. 😉 But then you tell them that this is not appropriate behaviour and teach them what’s right and wrong. And in the best case you do your job right and they understand and learn from their own experiences. My son has dealt with bullying in school, as did I (I dropped out of school with 15, because of bullying) and we both don’t feel like this game triggers any bad memories or presents it as something one should be doing. There’s actually a certain humour to taking the role of the bully in a game, if you’ve been on the receiving end before. 😉

      I really like the idea of bullying someone into suicide having a greater effect on the student who did the bullying and maybe even affecting Yandere too (lose sanity or something), would definitely give the characters a more real feeling (but then it would also be nice to see the other side of the coin as well, where the student enjoys this feeling of power they got over the life & death of their fellow students and is even more willing to bully others in the future). It would also be cool if there were other, less creepy stalker ways to get panty shots, like blackmailing someone into letting you take a panty shot, or being so skilled in Language and Psychology that you can charm them into willingly letting you take the picture, which would still be evil, since you’d of course promise to not share it with anyone and send it over to Info-chan the next second. 😉 I’m all for diversity in the ways of dealing with Senpai’s admirers, since that gives a lot more replayability to a game like this, which is always a good thing. 🙂

  3. While I can see how some aspects in the game could potentially cause controversy, I myself do not believe you’re taking anything too far and I believe much of the targeted audience feels the same.

  4. Personally I would like to see you push morality boundaries with Yandere Simulator. It’s coming along very nicely, I’m looking forward to the next update!

  5. I have a suggestion.
    Getting a higher cooking/biology point will let Yandere-chan cook bentos.
    She can then gift others these yummy bento boxes filled with either, needles, poison, bugs, etc.

    • If this feature was added, then, here are it’s outcomes:

      (1) If Y-Chan DID give bentoes filled with those, the student will go away and tell the others that Y-Chan is crazy and would/can ruin her reputation, although, putting a chemical in the created bentoes, it’s fine for me, eat a bentou with your love rival with drugs, or some chemicals causing your love rival to die someday. Good one.

      (2) In any case, the outlook of your suggestion putting this to the game will give Y-Chan ONLY bad reputation, except for the fact you can put chemicals or drugs there.

      • It’s all logical, you have a good strategic mid. But… I think player should have some wrong choices to do. Like you can make something, that goes wrong, it’s life. So players should have wrong options too, i guess. Not everything should work for you, or at least not always)

      • Phillip isn’t an SJW(well, I think so. I mean, he was really nice in the article and stuff — something SJWs tend to lack. I think.)

        But there definitely is SJW hate coming already. I forgot where, but there was a YanSim article on a website somewhere, and the comments were just full of them…

    • Obviously, since you’re here you must support the game. And since you support the game, it’d be no wonder if you felt slight hostility towards critiques of the game. It’s a natural process… Also, I know very well how SJW works, I’ve been on Tumblr long enough.

  6. I feel that you have a wide range presented in order to achieve the main goal. Do I HAVE to kill/bully a girl to get her to leave Senpai alone? No. You’ve presented non-violent alternates (e.g. setting them up with someone else) for players that may not wish to murder everyone on screen.
    I’ve played Hitman and I try to leave everyone alone. The game provides ways around killing anyone and rewards you for finding them. I think as long as you don’t push the player into only killing or only bullying as their only option, then you will have people come up with unique ways to win Sempai’s heart~~!

  7. After hours of playing recent build i can say, that this article misses the point of the game.
    At first, when i entered the game i was like “Wow, katana, schoolgirls, anime! Let’s kill them all!”
    Then i saw all the blood, music became insane and my character looked like a psycho. Finaly, gameover because of police.
    And next time, after week reset, i became like “Ok, lets live through this like a shoolgirl, so noone knows who i am.”

    As i see it now, game will be providing a lot of non-lethal options and ways. And in this case – it depends on player whom to be. That’s just great!

    Here are some ideas:

    – What do you think about hacking options for Yandere? Like through learning at school computer club she can hack someones account to discredit him/her with violent messages to Senpai. Or something like that.
    – Thievery. Steal something from other girls to drop it near dead body. But you can be catched on thievery.
    – Medical cards at nurse office. You need to distract Nurse somehow to gain access for a limited time. Some information about allergies or diseases can be found there, for poisoning or discrediting.

    • Your Option 1:

      Y-Chan sending offensive messages to Senpai, Y-Chan won’t allow it since SHE is in love with Senpai, if she sent one, indeed, she would feel guilty for what she’d done, even if she is posing as someone else, however, she can write or send some non-offensive mails to Senpai posing as someone, like…

      “Senpai, sorry, I can’t hang out with you anymore” (A friend whose in love with Senpai)

      “Senpai, I have to go to class early and getting home really early because of some urgent matters”

      So, I think that non-offensive mails for Senpai for Y-Chan to send is fine, I support your idea for hacking options 😛 and for the other 2 options as well, good choices

    -Second to last week would have a male yandere wanting to kill your senpai to hook up with you, so you have to kill/capture him before that happens.
    -Last week’s rival would be a female yandere trying to capture/kill you throught the week, so you have to kill/capture her before she does the same to you.

    • Very good, although,

      Your Option 1, Second to last week, male Yandere wanting to kill Senpai is probably based off on what ShanaRanna said >.> (That’s me in Youtube), well, but I do hope that YandereDev adds things like those.

      Although, you haven’t noticed yet that when I said my story of a guy whose in love with you, I sent that idea to YandereDev, however, he rejected it because he already ‘planned’ the game so he stopped at receiving suggestions and to plan the game to have a feature like that…

      But those options of yours, good, I do hope for a Yandere school mate in love with Senpai, well, for the end, let’s go have a “Yandere VS. Yandere Match! Kill her before she kills YOU!”

      • Huh, i haven’t watched a “ShanaRanna” video in my life. Anyway, if the whole game is pretty much written, then fine. I must say i haven’t been this excited to see a final product of a game since i first started watching minecraft videos (then i realied that the stuff those videos WAS pretty much the final product and i was disappointed).

  9. OMG! I would never expected that a game were you play a psycho obsessed stalker that would kill anyone between her and her love could be something that would not teach important values about friendship and respect for the people and stuff. How can something like this exist? Scrap this dangerous idea and make some kind of good guy simulator.

  10. Have you considered adding a splash screen stating it’s a work of fiction, do not recreate elements seen in-game, etc. etc., as well as maybe a recommendation to seek professional help if you find yourself relating to activities found in-game?

    I don’t know, maybe it might deflect a -bit- of the backlash. Not much, but maybe a tiny bit.

  11. I think Yandere Simulator is pretty great. It’s unique, and fun, and etc, and while I know that I’m going to get a whole lot of “SJW!!!!” for making the suggestions I’m about to I’m honestly making them because I think it will make the game better as well as protect you from a lot of the vitriol that is undeniably going to come at the game in the future – some of it will be senseless, but some of it will be honest critique.

    The panty shots mechanic, while making sense, also make me uncomfortable. Mainly because there isn’t really an equivalent you can do to the males. I understand that the goal is for Yandere-chan to take out her rivals (and she uses these pictures to do so), therefore a lot of her abuse is directed at the girls, if there was some way to balance this out towards the men in the school that’d be great. For all I know, this is already part of your plans, and as it stands now I don’t believe your game is sexist, but if Yandere-chan doesn’t eventually have the ability to do creepy things like it towards boys, specifically Senpai, it will start to feel that way. She’s a Yandere, I get it. She doesn’t care about other boys because they’re not rivals for her Senpai’s affections… but what if a few of them are? His close friends, maybe, who think she’s weird and tell him bad things or gossip about her? (Kidnap them! Maybe she can find out details about Senpai from them or something through blackmail or torture or wherever the kidnapping mechanic is leading.)

    Maybe she perves on him while he’s wearing his gym shorts? Maybe she peeps in the showers to try and get pictures of him naked/partially nude, or just getting changed?

    Those are all things Yandere’s do that Yandere-chan hasn’t done yet. If you’re going to make a game where you can allow perving on school girls this way and it’s honestly not to sexualize them or what have you, why not go the full 9 yards and have the boys in the game get similar treatment?

    Good luck with development!

  12. I think once the game is completed and matured, you could alway make the “good” twin of the game, maybe a dating simulator that does the opposite of what this whole game does. But then again we would be replicating the NEC PC98 games all over again, so in a way this might be a little to repetitive. (I just think it would be awesome to have a dating sim in the format this game is setup, and in English.).

  13. The “distasteful”, “filthy”, “vomit-provoking” scenes should definitely be in the final release. It’s a the face of the game after all.

  14. I don’t know if any one will believe me but if any one has a problem like this please let me know
    so the school bell sound that plays when you enter the school played when my game was not on, then a little while later yandere-chan’s minimum giggle played. I checked the volume mixer and the sound is coming from the internet explorer. I was looking up some stuff about yandere simulator so it might be a yandere sim. related virus. I was also messing with the game files earlier so it might be yandere dev’s revenge. it changed, this time the laugh went to the max giggle thing and the attack on titan thing played too, it freaked me out. sorry for messing with the game files… how can I stop this if any one knows?

  15. I don’t think you’re taking anything too far.
    Oh, and what if Senpai would after the first incident with a rival, actually defend any new victims?

  16. Issues such as jumping are trivial, people know they can’t do them it’s just something humorous and a necessary action for speed. This is the same with murder, it’s widely known that it is wrong, and therefore, the general population don’t do it.
    However these social issues aren’t seen as widely wrong and they still continue when they’re made fun of, where people don’t understand that they’re not acceptable, whether it be sexism or suicide or the many other issues that some people get tormented over on a daily basis.
    This is why many take offence to the game, and the other games like it.

  17. I read the article and while I also don’t agree with it, she was, indeed, very neutral about it and realistic about the fact that creativity should not me censored just because someone doesn’t agree with it.
    I’m a woman and during my whole school years, especially in my 11 and 12years old (the worst years), I was bullied by students AND teachers, humiliated, every single person refused to try a friendship with me because I was the “gamer/nerd”, girls spread trash talk, at 11/12 years old a classmate actually tried to strangle me with his bare hands in front of the whole class and everyone cheered him on, and when I told the teacher, she was happy about it and took the boy’s side, the list goes on.
    As an adult, I love this game and in no way does it hurt me or opens any old wounds, if anything, I love the fact that the game lets me kill an entire school, since the years of bullying did build up a desire for all those people to die, so this game is a good escape for vengeance and gives me a nice rush to finally be “the bad guy” and not the victim. Video games do not make a person violent or go on a killing spree, but they make great escapes. I love your game and am looking to see it finished and your progress.

    • I’m only replying to comment on how messed up it is that your classmates and teacher were okay with the boy pretty much trying to kill you.

      • Agreed. I hope that teacher lost his/her job for that, especially if they are a repeat offender.

  18. I’ve actually been the victim of several dozen people, from both genders who could qualify as Yandere. Not exactly a good thing for someone who doesn’t swing either way. I’m not phased at all by the game. I just pretend everyone in it was one of those people, and exact virtual revenge, while never having to hurt any of the real ones. In the end, nobody dies.

  19. Has anyone got the same problem where u try to run the new build of Yandere simulator July 13th and it said “PC protected ur PC U are about to run an unrecognized app and coulod put ur PC at risk” It only comes up with Dont run ?!?! Can anyone help and the picture is different and i downloaded it off yandereredev,s blog PLZ help

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