Warning: This article contains discussions of mental health, self-harm and suicide, as well as spoilers for Doki Doki Literature Club.
Combining a cutesy veneer with a meta-textual horror elements, Team Salvato's visual novel, Doki Doki Literature Club, has developed a reputation as a subversive visual novel that takes the tropes of the genre and turns them on their head to provide a sharp takedown of its medium.
Be it in Steam reviews for the game, YouTube videos, or chatter on major gaming sites, Doki Doki Literature Club garnered a strong reputation for subverting its audience's expectations. But while its dark twists might have been effective, the reaction to it frustrated me for the way it often dismissed the genre's history and the lineage of the meta elements it employs.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/kzp7gy/doki-doki-literature-club-history-visual-novels