Re: Val Has Another Curious Question That Has Been Killing Him, it is About Isekai.

#21

TKWelkin Wrote:
TenThousandSuns Wrote: Is it subjective? Many people think the world is flat. Does that make it subjective? Disagreement doesn't equate to subjectivity. You are a bit ambiguous as well. Was this an Isekai website or an Isekai/Portal Fantasy website? If it was just an Isekai website you probably wouldn't count portal fantasy. SAO is clearly virtual world and not Isekai. 


You could argue that Starcraft is a 4X game because you explore, exploit, expand, and exterminate but no one would actually say that outside of being a rules lawyer. It certainly wasn't intended by the coiner of the genre.

We have virtual reality games now, although not really full immersion? Does that mean we will live in a real life Isekai? If SAO is an Isekai we can and will all be Isekai protagonists soon if we desire.

When it comes to categorizations, yes. I believe them to be subjective. The flat earth argument is different because we can arrive at the truth through empirical data. There is little in the way of empirical data when it comes to categorization of fictional genres. Blurred lines are everywhere in categorization even in scientific realms like biology, and thus subjectivity with regards to category definition is likely more commonplace than playing host to a rigid structure. The very fact that we're having this difference of opinion is very much evidence (albeit anecdotal) that it might as well be subjective.

The example of Starcraft is further evidence of subjectivity, however. Certainly you could call it 4x. I'm sure some do. I personally categorize it as an RTS, but neither is explicitly incorrect. Maintaining a rigid definition of such genres ultimately falls into semantics. What I think doesn't matter to others, and if someone wants to classify something as an isekai, although I might not personally agree, in the end it doesn't.

Isekai and Portal Fantasy, IMO, are two names for the same genre. Both describe a "fish out of water" story, and include a disjunction in the narrative of the protagonist. And since no single authority has specifically outlined what Isekai *is*, to my knowledge, other than the translation "Another World," it's up for interpretation.
Well in that case I'm pretty hyped to start going onto websites and listing True Names as an Isekai. I mean their VR tech is specifically called a portal. The breaking of the brains must commence.

Re: Val Has Another Curious Question That Has Been Killing Him, it is About Isekai.

#23

Sake Wrote: there was one scooby doo movie in 1990's where they were trapped in a game, lmao


And it goes back farther than that - TRON was from 1982, and was apparently partially inspired by Pong. Apparently the first thing some people thought of when seeing one of the first video games was 'getting trapped in there would make a cool story', to the point where they founded an animation studio to tell the world about it.

As for what is/isn't in a specific genre... I particularly like Damon Knight's definition of science fiction, which is 'Science fiction is what we point to when we say it.' Genres are tools for finding fiction that's similar to what you like, and trying to pin down what is/isn't in a particular genre is difficult at best. I mean, 'mystery' is a genre, but I can't tell you how many fantasy books I've read with mystery-style plots in them. Is Terry Pratchett's 'Thud' a mystery? Yes. Does it belong in the mystery genre? Not according to my library.

People want to call SAO isekai? Sure. People who say SAO isn't isekai? Also sure. There are arguments to be made both for and against, and there's no 'genre authority' to draw a dividing line - and I'm fine with that.

These things don't need to be cut and dry, it's alright to have some ambiguity. Anyone who tries to pin down specific genre rules is always going to run into stories that don't fit nicely into the mold, and if there isn't one yet, just put the rules out there and wait for someone to write one.

Re: Val Has Another Curious Question That Has Been Killing Him, it is About Isekai.

#24

MarikoRawralton Wrote: I feel like one of the quintessential Isekai tropes or rules or whatever is that you can't just go back whenever you want.

That's why SAO is an isekai and like... Inuyasha and dotHack arent.
That rule could exclude the latter two stories but it doesn't qualify SAO just because it doesn't involve another world. Is there something I am missing? Is the SAO world one of those worlds where it pretends to be a videogame but isn't?

Re: Val Has Another Curious Question That Has Been Killing Him, it is About Isekai.

#25

Not_A_Hat Wrote:
Sake Wrote: there was one scooby doo movie in 1990's where they were trapped in a game, lmao


And it goes back farther than that - TRON was from 1982, and was apparently partially inspired by Pong. Apparently the first thing some people thought of when seeing one of the first video games was 'getting trapped in there would make a cool story', to the point where they founded an animation studio to tell the world about it.

As for what is/isn't in a specific genre... I particularly like Damon Knight's definition of science fiction, which is 'Science fiction is what we point to when we say it.' Genres are tools for finding fiction that's similar to what you like, and trying to pin down what is/isn't in a particular genre is difficult at best. I mean, 'mystery' is a genre, but I can't tell you how many fantasy books I've read with mystery-style plots in them. Is Terry Pratchett's 'Thud' a mystery? Yes. Does it belong in the mystery genre? Not according to my library.

People want to call SAO isekai? Sure. People who say SAO isn't isekai? Also sure. There are arguments to be made both for and against, and there's no 'genre authority' to draw a dividing line - and I'm fine with that.

These things don't need to be cut and dry, it's alright to have some ambiguity. Anyone who tries to pin down specific genre rules is always going to run into stories that don't fit nicely into the mold, and if there isn't one yet, just put the rules out there and wait for someone to write one.
True Names was pusblished in 1981. It wasn't even a pong thing like Tron. It essentially predicted muds and mmos. And the concept of cyberspace in general. Also the users entered through a portal and referred to themselves as Warlocks. Probably my favorite virtual world story of all time. And I'm in the triple digits.

Re: Val Has Another Curious Question That Has Been Killing Him, it is About Isekai.

#27

TheRottingBard Wrote: Isekai is a japanese sub-category. I generally never refer to any stories as Isekai unless they are from an eastern Culture. 

Seeing how Narnia was written as a Portal Fantasy, a genre thats been around much much longer than Isekai, thats what I will call it along with many other stories not from or inspired by eastern isekai.
Yeah but the uncultured masses have never heard the term portal fantasy. So we'll be all alone with our western cultural history.

Re: Val Has Another Curious Question That Has Been Killing Him, it is About Isekai.

#29
If Harry Potter and Sword Art Online are isekai then Is Breaking Bad an isekai? Walter White technically comes from the regular world where he's weak and powerless, but then gets introduced to the somewhat hidden parallel world of crime and drugs where his unique skillset allows him to thrive and pave a path of acclaim and fortune for himself. Which is technically what happens in Harry Potter as well, that's if you switch crime and drugs with magic and wands. 

Re: Val Has Another Curious Question That Has Been Killing Him, it is About Isekai.

#31
I'm curious if anyone would consider my book an isekai or not. 

The players have digital clones created inside the game world and live out their entire lives in there. The players and clones sync their memories while sleeping so that when the player wakes up he remembers everything his clone did as if he did it himself, and the clone remembers everything the player did in the real world. Essentially, 1 person living 2 separate lives simultaneously.

What do you think? Isekai or no?

Re: Val Has Another Curious Question That Has Been Killing Him, it is About Isekai.

#32

Patrick Wrote: I'm curious if anyone would consider my book an isekai or not. 

The players have digital clones created inside the game world and live out their entire lives in there. The players and clones sync their memories while sleeping so that when the player wakes up he remembers everything his clone did as if he did it himself, and the clone remembers everything the player did in the real world. Essentially, 1 person living 2 separate lives simultaneously.

What do you think? Isekai or no?
Like the people living in The Matrix?

Re: Val Has Another Curious Question That Has Been Killing Him, it is About Isekai.

#33

Kiebahow Wrote:
Patrick Wrote: I'm curious if anyone would consider my book an isekai or not. 

The players have digital clones created inside the game world and live out their entire lives in there. The players and clones sync their memories while sleeping so that when the player wakes up he remembers everything his clone did as if he did it himself, and the clone remembers everything the player did in the real world. Essentially, 1 person living 2 separate lives simultaneously.

What do you think? Isekai or no?
Like the people living in The Matrix?
Nope, more like a digital copy is created of the players mind and is stored on the game server. While the 'player' goes about his daily life in the real world, he doesn't ever actually interact with the game itself. When his digital clone is created it has all of the players memories, but now only exists in the game world and can never interact with the real world ever again. However when the player goes to sleep at night, their memories sync up and each can now 'remember' what the other one did as if they did it themselves.

Re: Val Has Another Curious Question That Has Been Killing Him, it is About Isekai.

#34

Patrick Wrote: Nope, more like a digital copy is created of the players mind and is stored on the game server. While the 'player' goes about his daily life in the real world, he doesn't ever actually interact with the game itself. When his digital clone is created it has all of the players memories, but now only exists in the game world and can never interact with the real world ever again. However when the player goes to sleep at night, their memories sync up and each can now 'remember' what the other one did as if they did it themselves.
I think first you would have to consider what the general line for an Isekai is. Which a lot would consider it, transferred to another world. Usually by a means not of their choice, where it is very difficult to get back. If the players go about their real lives, then they aren’t technically going anywhere. So, it wouldn’t be an Isekai. It however now leaves the minds of the player confused. So, believing they are in another world? Still probably not, since they are technically not going anywhere. When they sync up, this gets a bit more messy. Though, I still believe the bottom line is that, no one really goes anywhere, and if they remember, then they know.

Just always remember, the term relates to a world not of their own. Unless the game world is in another realm itself, then probably not…

Still, I think this is how the whole debate on SAO goes either way. 


Mine is more of a Portal Fantasy, but does contain some Isekai that the average person would recognize. Though, this happens only at two points in the first book. Two points in the second book, and two points in the third.


Book 1, it happens in a battle. When the main is forcefully transferred to the world in between the living and the dead. They are unable to escape until they kill three enemies. The second time is in the finale, where they are forcefully transferred to the realm of the heavens, and naturally no escape until it has been included. It is also Portal Fantasy in the commonly recognizable sense, in where, they go to different worlds themselves. Though, this is more or less done through past events to show how they got to their current point. With the exception of one point in the sixth chapter.

Book 2, it is when they are sent to the world in between the living and the dead. This is when they go there the first time. They are more or less unable to leave until they pass a trial. The second time is the finale, where they are transferred to that world again, behind a forbidden gate. Portal Fantasy, in which it is mostly the past events showing going to different worlds and whatnot.

Book 3

More or less, when their body gets hijacked. Their soul is sent to a realm which is known as Gate of Memories. They cannot escape until they defeat the one taking over their body, which that one was sent to the same realm due to well, no spoilers. The final time is in the finale, where the main antagonist transferred them to another world. Where the final phase takes place. Naturally, no escape until a conclusion is set. This one both shows the Portal Fantasy element from the past and present. 

Re: Val Has Another Curious Question That Has Been Killing Him, it is About Isekai.

#35

Edge Wrote: 1. SAO, do you consider it an Isekai?
—> Take note, there is a game world, and a real world, but technically not going anywhere.

2. Narnia, do you consider this one an Isekai?
—> New world and all, but can return pretty easy last I remember.

3. Are multiple worlds an Isekai?
—> Meaning they can travel between worlds. 
Edit: —> This can also be Portal Fantasy.

4. Is Harry Potter an Isekai?
—> You know, he technically goes to a new world.
My two cents:
  1. Quasi - because it has real life effects and they cannot go home (at least originally)
  2. No - because they can move back and forth between worlds, at least some of the time at their own volition.
  3. Depends. Are they initially transported to another world with different rules where they cannot come back to their original world for at least a significant period of time? Or is it more like Stargate and other sci-fi stories? 
  4. No. Harry Potter can and does go back and forth between 'worlds'. As do many other characters.
Patrick Wrote: I'm curious if anyone would consider my book an isekai or not. 

The players have digital clones created inside the game world and live out their entire lives in there. The players and clones sync their memories while sleeping so that when the player wakes up he remembers everything his clone did as if he did it himself, and the clone remembers everything the player did in the real world. Essentially, 1 person living 2 separate lives simultaneously.

What do you think? Isekai or no?
No, because if someone can travel to one 'world' they can travel back.