Originally Posted by relentlessflame
Well, part of this is because, technically, most eroge would actually be classed as AVG (Adventure Games) and not "Visual Novels" because of the sprites. In English fandom, we've appropriated Visual Novel as a catch-all for the whole medium, mostly because it's a useful separation (since many Western gamers have a problem calling these "games" due to the limited "gameplay") that is also less loaded than "eroge" (precisely because some people immediately think porn).
This gets complicated though, because there are always all-ages works (such as some of those by Key) that don't have any erotic content. When people mistakenly call that "eroge" (at least around here), they get swiftly corrected. And likewise, some people hesitate to call everything eroge just by virtual of having a few adult scenes because of the bad association.
So... basically all the common definitions are flawed in some way.
It's Key because when I mention eroge to my peers in Japan, the first word that flies to their minds....Extacy? That or Kud?
Or Air. Although that generally comprises more of Tori no Uta. I say it in the secret "conspiratorial" tone at first but usually teenagers and the like will nod in understanding seeing as they play themselves apparently...just hidden as you mentioned.