Let”s get one thing out of the way first. I don”t believe porn, or pornography as people in weird grey-ish clothing tend to call it, is evil. Or inappropriate. Or even inherently sexist. What I actually do believe is that -in all its varied guises- porn is both interesting and a frankly under-explored medium; or is that genre? Also, I quite love the idea behind it, and if you don”t or have anything against mankind, sex, having fun and/or life in general, and thus feel offended, well, that”s not my fault. I”m a bloody misanthrope too, you know (especially on Mondays).
Whether I (or anyone else) is actually stimulated is another matter altogether. It”s the creator”s -perceived or actual- intention I care about, in a way not dissimilar to what I would use to classify a horror movie. Or game.
Proper porn movies, on the other hand, the garden variety of dirty flicks if you wish, usually fail on everything else besides the sex scenes, and one could even argue that most of them aren”t that good or varied to begin with. It was Clive Barker I believe who actually tried to define quality porn, as something that manages to captivate its audience even after said audience has climaxed and, sad as this sounds, the only porn movie I think managed to achieve such a lofty goal was Deep Throat with its -at times- brilliant humour (mind you, humour and porn do work quite well together it seems).
Thankfully though, quality porn is more than a theoretical construct or merely a wish. It can be found -among other places I”m sure- in literature, and as most should be familiar with Marquis/Citoyen De Sade”s works, indulge me while I go on and briefly focus on Andreas Embirikos. Embirikos, you see, besides being my favorite surrealist poet, a pioneer in Greek psychoanalysis, a photographer of beautiful girls, an excellent writer and, when in the mood, a socialist, was also a great pornographer. And an immensely proud one too. His greatest contribution to porn, Megas Anatolikos (The Great Eastern), was an epic novel spanning one hundred chapters, taking place on the titular cruise ship and eloquently showcasing the glory of almost every imaginable perversion.
Let us now move from literature to video games (a humongous leap indeed), where the story so far is rather sad. Pathetic even. To begin with, sex, let alone pure gratuitous porn, is virtually absent in the mainstream and to such a degree that a semi-naked woman is easily considered scandalous, whereas -say- a mutilated corpse goes largely unnoticed. Standard puritanic medium-wide ethics aside, even when sex is present, it usually is presented in a ridiculously sexist/immature way and lazily treated as a reward for gamers. Interactive sex, truly arousing scenes playing on the medium”s strengths and thus proper video game porn is, for the time, nigh-on unthinkable.
Cataloging every attempt at sexy games is of course beyond this article”s scope, but briefly discussing a few of the niches in porn games most definitely is not. First of all, we have the virtual dollhouse games a la 3D SexVilla or the less germanic Virtually Jenna, that besides their grotesque attempt at realistic graphics don”t offer much of a gaming experience either. Pathetic and marginally more fun than undressing your children”s dolls or something is what they are. Then, we have more or less proper games that tend to vaguely stick to a genre or another, while cunningly introducing an erotic theme and a few sex scenes, just like the that eventually spawned the atrocious Lula 3D, or a variety of Tetris-clones and chess games that sort of reward the player with the odd video of a tit being all titty.
Slightly better are the Japanese choose-your-own story offerings, which aren”t totally unlike watching a hentai porn DVD with a marginally less than obvious chapter selection feature. Finally, and after ignoring such bizarre masterpieces as the wonderfully nonsensical Sex Station 7, we do have games (in name only) that are nothing more than glorified adult chatrooms. Oh, yes, and a myriad of games like Leisure Suit Larry that never claimed to be pornographic, never tried to, but were still horribly misunderstood by the sex-starved gaming audience (and this of course does not include our readers; male or female). In a nutshell: video gaming porn is and has always been in dire straits. At best.
The only exception that springs to mind is the 2010 release , but the question remains: Could it work? Could there actually be a video game that manages to be arousing? Well, I”d say yes, but only in theory and in the realm of the indie scene, as I just can”t see anything interesting happening in the world of children focused consoles or mainstream PC gaming. Quite obviously an erotic text-adventure/piece of interactive-fiction would be a nice start, and a rather easy one too, especially if one were to follow -as is rather typical for this kind of games- classic literally rules while adding a touch of interactivity. Interestingly, and that could be a positive sign indeed, women have been -up to now- more interested in the sexier side of gaming (have a look at the )… This could probably spare us the sexist bits.
Oh, and on an absolutely unrelated and definitively closing note, let me remind everyone that Woody Allen (I think) was correct: being punctual is a very lonely experience indeed. On the other hand, I”m absolutely positive Mr. Allen was the one to also insightfully notice that sex between two people is a beautiful thing. Between five, it”s fantastic.