visual (adj.): - attained or maintained by sight - producing mental images
Gothic (adj., pejorative): - barbaric - lacking refined taste, the vulgar
The definition of 'visual' includes that which is attained or maintained by sight, as well as that which produces mental images. At first sight, the term 'Gothic' entails no such contradiction, yet the definition fails to mention the fact that Gothic has always been popular, despite its pejorative meaning.
Thus, Visual Gothic is named after the duality that is inherent in both these definitions, namely, perception and imagination, abhorrence and fascination.
It is the interplay between the scientific and supernatural, fact and fiction, the relation between the tangible and intangible that Visual Gothic aims to investigate while inheriting from Gothic writing the shameless artistic freedom to disregard historical accuracy, established standards or—god beware—refined taste, in favour of affect.
Visual- and Gothic Novel
It has been mere years since digital media consumption has begun to permeat entire populations thus making Visual Novels available to large audiences. Similarly, the birth of the Gothic Novel coincided with significant improvements in printing and mass distribution and therefore the birth of popular- or pulp fiction.
As a popular and escapist medium the Visual Novel naturally draws upon the same archetypes and tropes that were born in the Gothic Novel, namely: Demons, persecuted maidens, sadistic villains, femmes fatales, lesbian predators, medieval settings, and the virtuous hero, who is no longer guaranteed to make it in time.
Yet, the most important parallel is that even among all popular genres, it is the Gothic- and Visual Novels that are the most pre-occupied with the breaking of taboos. Horror, incest, fetishes, and death are defining features of these stories.