Visual Novels as Educational Resources
Think about all the presentations you've ever heard or made yourself, it may have been school presentations or even business ones but chances are they all shared one thing: the software and tools used to create them.
Every time you see someone making a presentation, you usually find the same tools: Power Point, Keynote, Prezi, Google Slides and so on. Pretty much since Power Point came to be (I'm not old enough to remember something before that), all the tools on this subject have been made to work and look in a similar manner and that's what we all are used to but how about using visual novels instead?
Using visual novels for this purpose allows us to even integrate resources such as gamification and, if done right it can become a fun resource to use for teachers, students and other people alike but of course, the effort you'll need to create one is quite a lot more than just building a simple slideshow. Depending on what the subject is, creating a really amazing visual novel can take you quite some time but it may as well be worth it, a visual novel used for this purpose is always something fresh and may look far more interesting than your usual presentations.
As a student, I've been looking to actually take this approach and here are some of the visual novels I've come up with:
I really have to write a post just for this one, Filosopolis is a Visual Novel I made for my Philosophy class where you can learn about some of the contents of that course. This one was made in Ren'py and it's available for Desktop and Android but sadly it's just available in Spanish.
The next ones were made in Monogatari and thus can be played directly in your browser:
A simple tutorial on basic commands for the Bash command line (terminal) available in most Linux distributions and macOS (It can be installed on Windows as well!)
Sums up a chapter of a book about Multi Agent Intelligent Systems, this one, just as Filosopolis is sadly just available in Spanish but you can get the idea just by going over it.
Teaches some of the basics about git. This one is still missing most of the annotations (dialogs) it needs but was meant just to be explained by someone.
As you can see, there are several advantages here. First of all, thanks to its Choose Your Own Adventure nature, you can make students pick what they want to learn as demonstrated in the Git slides by using a simple choice:
Presenting choices as this one, can be used as chapters on a book or even to create interactive quizzes. Also, thanks to the saving function on visual novels, you can save your current state or even use this functionality in order to create bookmarks for later reference.
The other 3 vns/slides show that they are not meant to be just a live presentation. Most of the times, if you miss the presentation (as in when someone is presenting it), you end up trying to decipher the slides by yourself and thus miss a lot of important information that may not even be on them but that the presenter said during the presentation. With visual novels, you can use the dialogs as if it was a guide. This way even when someone wasn't there at the moment, they will have no problem following your presentation and having enough context to fully understand it. These are slides meant to work and be meaningful with and without a presenter on any given time.
Wrapping it up
Not many people are familiar with visual novels, they are widely regarded as simple games but as seen in this post, they can become much more, students all over the world are hoping for something fresh and not the usual plain old boring slides, this is the time to create something different. Why not give Visual Novels a try?