Since the inception of adult content in video games, there have been people who loved it, and an equal amount of those that simply loathed it. The second group of people being prudes, wearing buckles on their hats and shoes. Maybe not literally, but their ideals were stuck in puritan times, even if their fashions weren’t. Much like today, most of the top advancements in erotic video games took place in Japan. Evil American censorship has been keeping digitized boobies away from us for over 3 decades now.
This isn’t about controversy in video games, it’s about hot sex! Oh yeah. But seriously, the current generation is a bit spoiled with their God of Wars and their Skyrims. When it all began, it was much closer to trying to catch a glimpse of a nipple on scrambled late-night Skinemax than it was the 1080p high-definition images we are used to seeing today. Now I sound like an old man…”We had to masturbate in three feet of snow, uphill, both ways!”
Sex and nudity in gaming goes back much further than people realize and has been an integral part of the industry since the very early 80s. I’m going to chronicle what I find to be the most important, successful, or just really cool nudity and sex-based games from 1980-2000 so strap-in.
Not Safe For Work ~ Nudity
It’s widely regarded that the first game to feature sexual themes was Softporn Adventure. Released in 1981, this text-based adventure game published by On-Line Systems ran on the revolutionary Apple II. I know I said the Japanese were more inclined to make adult-gaming strides, but just wait, you’ll see. I never heard of this until I was much older because I was approximately negative 3 when it was released. In a day when piracy still ruled all computer gaming due to no restrictions by developers or any companies for that matter, the game still managed to sell 25,000 copies. In 1981, that equated to roughly 25% of all Apple II’s users. Hey kiddies, go ask your dad if he owned an Apple II. Then, you can roll the devil’s dice and realize there’s a 1 in 4 chance he whacked it to this very game. If you have the balls to ask him if he ever played the game, all power to you. I hope you sleep well tonight.
Now the game itself wouldn’t induce insta-boners, but everything new in technology has a beginning. and sometimes it sucks. Maybe I’m desensitized by gang bangs, tentacles, and facials all over the landscape today. As you can see in the video above, a gracious YouTuber showed us what exactly this was all about. You could ask a “funky hooker” you meet in a seedy bar to “use the toilet” and she’d tell you about her “constipation blues.” Now this was just a small part, it’s mostly about sex, but it’s pretty obvious the developers had a great sense of humor…or a really sick fetish for poop.
In an article for Time Magazine, On-Line Systems shared that they were in the early stages of making a sequel to Softporn Adventures, this time for straight women. If you look skin-deep, this seems like an awful idea because only men are perverts right? This may have backfired because as most people know, guys are usually more visual that women. A text-based porn game for them might sell well right now as an app for smartphones. I can see ladies downloading something like this for $9.99 from the Apple or Android Marketplace. Fifty Shades of Grey showed us the kinky and nasty side that lies within the loins of most soccer moms. If someone steals that idea and makes a ton of money, buy me a beer…and you’re welcome.
Now we get to actually see something for the first time! A company synonymous with success and sexuality in gaming now, dipped its feet into the grimy hot tub back for the first time in 1982. Japanese publisher Koei, founded by husband-and-wife team Yoichi and Keiko Erikawa, released the first erotic computer game with sexually explicit images. The graphics here leave a lot to be desired, the cover is much more appealing. Night Life was an early adventure game for the NEC PC-8801 released only in the land of the rising sun. We never got to see it in the United States. The world seemed much larger back then and you couldn’t just jump on the internet and find it somewhere to download.
Players were given a limited set of options to tinker with. These options ranged from determining the date of a woman’s period (to avoid pregnancy), deciding on which sexual positions to include, and how much time should be allotted for each one. The resulting sexual intercourse was then displayed on screen with a “Let’s Fuck!!” option, which outlined the graphics in white. A sex diary option was also available for players to record their gameplay experiences. Dear Diary…
This was a precursor to a lot of the cheap flash games you can find online today, though I still haven’t seen much in the way of coinciding intercourse with a woman’s least fertile time of the month. This is also known as the “rhythm method.” I guess you have to be creative in games when you can’t see much. Math scores here in the U.S. are on the decline, so you better just stick to condoms and pulling out. That always works right?
That same year, Koei also released another erotic title, Danci Tsuma no Yuwaku (Seduction of the Condominium Wife). This was a role-playing/adventure game using full color this time around, or close to it. The eight colors that the NEC PC-8001 could handle were showcased here in a technological leap forward. I failed to find any visual evidence that this exists, so I gave the gift of nudity. The gameplay itself was similar to Night Life, but with a deeper story before and after the sexy-time fun. This was what they wanted to make in the first place, and now they had the graphical capability and money to do so. With this, Koei stepped towards what the gaming industry knows them for today, quality role-playing and adventure games.
Somewhere along the way they dropped the hardcore stuff though. Koei will only admit to making this game today with a little prodding. No adult games are officially listed in its company history anymore. They distanced themselves from the adult entertainment industry in the early 90’s to try and preserve their public image. Kou Shibusawa, a company producer, nervously chuckled when asked about these games in 2008 and remarked, “Gotta try everything in life once,” before dropping the topic.
Building on the success of the first, Danci Tsuma no Yuwaku ended up being a big hit in Japan, helping to propel Koei to software super-stardom. Humble beginnings…
– David Chaney