About a week or so ago, I was having a conversation with my friend Hazel about the stigma that comes with adult video games. Why they’re so frequently dismissed and mocked to hell and back. I think I’ve got a pretty good idea why, and seeing as how this is my web site, I’ll go ahead and present my argument here.
Fifty percent of why porn games are looked at with scorn is that, as an American living in America, it’s not hard to notice that we live in a society (yeah, I know, lol) that is hypocritically hypersexualized, and overwhelmingly puritanical. Every check-out line at a grocery store has some magazine with a woman barely covering her titties on the cover. Commercials with some model bending over while eating a burger or some shit. Ads on so many websites telling you that YOU WILL NOT LAST FIVE MINUTES PLAYING THIS FUCK SEX GAME. But also, society will look down on the women who are involved with this, as if using your body to make a bit of money is this heinous act. People will have entire hard drives full of porn, then go onto Twitter or Instagram and call the performers disease-ridden whores right to their digital faces. It’s totally cool to go to a strip club, but you’re looked at as less of a man if your partner works at one. The entire existence of the term, “turning a ho into a housewife.” My high school sex-ed was Abstinence-only bull shit, and I’m pretty sure that’s still the case for schools today. Sex before marriage? You’ll go to hell! You get the ludicrous idea drilled into your head that you can get a girl pregnant by so much as looking at her too hard, and not even the world’s strongest condom will help you.
And this is just the hetero side of things! Looking at gay material, pornographic or not, is referred to as “sinning.” As in, “oh, I’m totally sinning” when looking at something as benign as fanart of two dudes kissing. Sinning. Evil. I can think of at least two trans sex workers who were singled out and accused of preying on minors in 2020, not for actually committing any acts against children, but for the crime of making porn and oh my god, what if a child runs across it? As if nobody underage has ever gotten access to adult materials at any point in recorded history until those goddamn trannies came along. As if HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime never existed. I came of age (no pun intended) during the height of peer-to-peer software. Things like Kazaa, Morpheus, Limewire. You didn’t have to try to find porn, it would find you. It would show up in completely unrelated search queries. I’m not about to write a call-out post on Jenna Jameson, Belladonna, or Danielle Foxxx, though. The world of straight porn is dominated by “step-sibling” themed scenes where the girl involved is dressed up like Misty from Pokemon or some shit, yet some 30-something jacking it in front of her webcam is the height of degeneracy.
This whirlwind of horseshit hypocrisy can and is doing potentially irreparable damage to a new generation. It’s concerning how often you see some completely unhinged take from some 16 year old on Twitter who will threaten sex workers with, “if I find your work, it is your fault, and you are a predator, because you did not protect me from myself.” An entire generation getting closer to or at their early-20s espousing these extremely shitty, conservative views about a woman’s bodily autonomy. As easy as it is to fob all this off as “these goddamned kids these days,” we have to ask ourselves: who taught them this shit? The answer is us. We fucked up, and failed this generation, the same way the generation before failed us, and the generation before failed them. A decade ago, allegedly fully grown adults on Tumblr and other fandom hell holes putting forth these us vs them ultimatums and call-outs against those that were different. They learned it from watching us, okay?
This should all be obvious to anyone reading this, but I just wanted to take a moment to complain.
The other fifty percent of why porn games are so looked down upon is because most of them are dog shit. This is The Yakyuuken Special- Kon’ya Wa 12-kaisen!! It is no different.
What is The Yakyuuken Special? It is a Sega Saturn game where you play rock-paper-scissors with a girl. Every time you win, she takes an article of clothing off, until she is naked. That’s the whole game. There is not much meat to it. However, the AI fucking cheats. The game will pull off some SNK boss bull shit to ensure these women keep their clothes on. Any lewd screenshots you see are the result of me using savestates until I could beat the CPU. So much effort, for resulting nudity that is honestly pretty disappointing.
And maybe that’s another issue with adult games: you have to work for it. When people are in the mood, they can simply watch a video or look at some images, or even dial up a phone number. The last twenty years of the digital age have made this easier than ever. You could sift through reams and reams of badly formatted text, play through a bad platformer, a bad fighting game, or a brutally difficult rock-paper-scissors session to get some goods, or you could simply remove all the bull shit and log onto a web site or open up a media player. An actually good adult game, such as Hardcoded, has to compete not only within an already competitive video game scene, but with multiple forms of other media. A bad one like this can easily be discarded.
Doesn’t help that whoever put this game together went out of their way to make the women involved look as unappealing as possible. Please do not take this as me bodyshaming, because these are not ugly women by any stretch. But you would be hard-pressed to think otherwise when you’re presented with porn starring people who look like someone’s mom. And I don’t mean a “mom,” I mean an actual, PTA meeting attending, sitting on the bench at the playground Mother. Like, how do you take adult actors in their 20s, and make them look like the gossip group at church??
It’s yet another example of taking a unique, interesting concept (the concept of an erotic video game), and completely fucking it up by making it look like shit. Nothing is helped by the women dancing with all the passion and energy of feeling like there is someone off-camera holding a gun.
It took me about ten minutes of saving and loading over and over to see a half-naked woman on my Sega Saturn emulator. That is a lot of fucking work. Maybe if you’re the kind of person with a denial fetish, this will work for you. But for everyone else, this is just some cynically made bull shit. It is not impossible to combine erotica and video games. The problem, is that developers just don’t want to try. Fuck it, they already got your money, you can eat shit and like it. It’s honestly a bit frustrating. Another one for the trash pile, I suppose.
Anyways, here’s your “reward:”