GameLit Genre Confusion

#1
Recently I have received a considerate critique about the genre of my story--that I am using game-like elements even though it is not GameLit.
I am certain my genre is romantic fantasy with clear progression elements, and the progression piece is where I started to stray....

Story Information
I figured that charts were a good way to visually display character development, so I made some blue box character sheets that are hidden in spoiler boxes at the end of chapters where they learned something new. Also, characters centralize their power by giving their abilities names. For example, I could write "Val invoked her power to smite the offender." or "Val cast Divine Judgement." The latter is definitely more Pokemon-ish but a lot more concise. That was my intent behind giving the abilities names in the first place so that I can call on them for quick reference after the initial, more detailed description. I am considering editing it to read less like Pokemon but on second thought... I do like Pokemon (the old games specifically).

My head cannon for my own story is that the omnipotent entity that has only been name-dropped so far (main character will meet it later) is like the game master of the system, and it bestows power to either mortals or demigods if it so chooses. The story is not a litRPG because I would spend an insane amount of time working on formulas for levels and damage output and perk points.... Then I would start coding my own calculator to make my math easier, and before I know it, I'd become an indie game dev instead of a writer! :D

I don't know if this next part is relevant, but there is also some sense of going through a simulation in the story. The universe is quasi-determinist in the sense that fate is based on the most statistically probable outcome, which is perceivable to characters who have abilities to sense the threads of fate. Actors within the system have a very small influence on their destiny, but it takes a lot to actually change the future. Events with a high probability of happening are functionally set in stone. (Again, I do not go into this with numbers or anything--I can't math.)

Questions
Does it sound like my suppressed game-elements are still coming through strong enough to warrant a GameLit tag? I don't want to overtag and get bombed on my ratings because I don't do stats or system notifications even though GameLit doesn't require that....

Should I remove the game elements all the way so that it's just a fantasy about gods and demigods? (Would I need to remove the named powers to do that?)

Was this question unnecessary, and I should just figure that a number of readers will like the story regardless? (If anyone is genuinely annoyed by the blue boxes in spoiler tags, then those people annoy me because... just don't look at them. I made them for people who might like them. With that said, I do have a poll planned once I finish my rewrite to Book 1 to see if people actually like the charts / if they want to see more of them since I always tend to get behind on making them.)

Did I ask too many questions?

Anyway, thank you to anyone who read all of this. I appreciate any and all thoughts that might help me become less confused. :)

Re: GameLit Genre Confusion

#2
Using game elements makes it gamelit. Litrpg is a more specific subgenre, but if it's at all recognizable as gamelike then it still qualifies as gamelit.

Don't go changing everything because of one commenter's preferences. You know your story, you know what you're trying to do, and it sounds plenty gamelit to me. Try not to worry about it and you'll be fine. :)

Re: GameLit Genre Confusion

#3
Suppose somebody wrote a hard science fiction story, and kept all the information they used to calculate things, and provided it to the reader; the fact that the pilot of the ship has a mass of 76 kg matters to whether or not their maneuvers work.  This braking maneuver reduces their velocity by 19 m/s but costs 12 kg of fuel.  Other number nonsense, I'm tired of making stuff up; the point I'm kind of coming around to here is that you could present all this information in a game-lit style as easily as you could present it as hard science fiction, because when you get down to it, the "game elements" are really just the physics of the world.

It's all down to reader perception and reader expectation, and a large part of whether or not something comes across as game-lit comes down to two things: Style and information.

You bring up named abilities as a stylistic element; named abilities can definitely push style in particular directions.  However, I'll note that they show up in genres besides game-lit, such as martial arts, and even some traditional fantasy; presentation is important, because 'this is a technique somebody invented' feels less game-like than 'this is a one of a finite set of expressions of aspects of the universe, which behaves in this specific and weirdly uniform and convenient way, which I have learned to invoke'; a big difference is uniformity, whether you have learned "the fire spell", or "a fire spell", and whether or not it can be adjusted to fit particular circumstances.  Tiered but otherwise identical named abilities can definitely create game vibes; a fire spell that can be empowered to the desired degree feels far less game-ified than Fire 1, Fire 2, and Fire 3; but you can even get away with this if you frame it as a limitation of the construction, say, only so much magic can be contained in a given framework, and Fire 2 is not just quantitatively different but qualitatively different than Fire 1 (But also don't name the abilities Fire 1 and Fire 2).

Information is probably the big thing here, however; just knowing that you have character stats written down somewhere can change the way some readers perceive a story.  Can't offer much advice there; personally I'd say leave it, however, and not to worry too much about what goes on in other people's heads.

Re: GameLit Genre Confusion

#4
You say yourself that there is a god-like creature that created the "System". And they use abilities like, in your own words, a video-game (Pokemon). It's clearly gameLit in my opinion, you don't need damage numbers or levels for that.

There's no need to supress it or try even harder to hide it, there's nothing wrong with gameLit. 

Re: GameLit Genre Confusion

#5
There's probably no harm in adding the tag. I've rarely seen complaints about overtagging around here, and that's mostly stuff like putting a tag on when nothing related to it has shown up in the story yet. If people have commented about it feeling GameLit, that probably doesn't apply; you'd likely be better served by adding it then leaving it off.

Also, it's worth erring on the side of caution - better to give the readers too much info instead of having them feel they didn't know what they were getting into. If they don't care about GameLit, they'll still read it, and if they viscerally hate GameLit, you've avoided displeasing them. If they like GameLit, it sounds like they'll probably like your story, even if the elements only look like GameLit when you squint at them funny.

TLDR: Don't worry about overtagging. The expectation of GameLit is probably more useful to you than the opposite, even if you don't have much.

Re: GameLit Genre Confusion

#6
Everyone has said things that definitely have given me something to think about, so thank you for all of the responses.  peoapproval

AdirianSoan, I think that you made a really good point about what information is available and its presentation. I'm definitely worried that my particular presentation reads more like general fantasy with named attacks rather than a game, as you said that can happen in more than just games. Basically, only GameLit if you squint your eyes funny.
Not_A_Hat's point about who it will attract vs. drive away and how over-tagging *generally* isn't a concern has me leaning towards the other way, along with everyone else's positive responses.... I would presume that people with heavy expectations on the game elements would be searching for litRPG anyway.

So, I think that I am going to *try* putting on the tag and see what happens. If I get comments / reviews going the other way saying that it is not game-like enough or I see an alarming drop in new ratings, then that will be a pretty strong answer on the contrary!

I will probably update this thread after a while for... I don't know... the sake of posterity and information if anyone happens to come across the thread and are wondering a similar thing for their own story? Something like that. :)