The debate is raised on what seems like an annual basis as to whether or not adult themed games, and in particular, sexually charged games will ever be suitable on home consoles. The usual argument against the idea appears to be that conservatives think the games will easily get into the hands of children and provide young gamers with easily accessible pornography. Of course it’s always a possibility that games will get into the hands of consumers they are not suited for, but typically the ESRB’s ranking system prevents such things from happening. So what are the chances we’ll ever see a game that focuses on the act of “knocking boots” hit our consoles?
Based on the recent trend in sexually explicit titles hitting personal computers, there’s no reason why we couldn’t see some “T and A” on our home consoles. The real obstacle isn’t the ESRB, so much as the console manufacturers themselves. There is a stigma associated with pornography that keeps companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo from allowing these kinds of games on their consoles in the West. Yup, we say the West, because that’s not exactly the case in countries like Japan. While American gamers have only witnessed bare-breasts in a videogame by accidentally wondering too far from the family when they stopped at a truck stop for a bite to eat while traveling the US highways, Japanese gamers have had a variety of adult-themed games on their home consoles for years.
Japan has long enjoyed a genre of games known as bishōjo which often contains pornographic materials. The PC games in the genre usually contain a wide variety of hardcore pornography while the home consoles (Saturn and Playstation for example) have some, but generally lean towards what western gamers would call “softcore pornography”. Is it that the Japanese are that much more progressive than Americans when it comes to sex? It’s possible, although when you consider that their adult movies are still heavily censored, you might have to change your opinion.
So what is it about the naked body that has game companies so concerned in the United States and Europe? Even though it’s not a good thing, pornography is readily available to anyone with a computer and the ability to operate a search engine. This of course includes children who tend to know more about computers than their parents which results in little to no censorship on the home computer. Taking all of this into consideration, it seems like maybe adult games aren’t such a bad thing. What’s your opinion on the subject? Does Leisure Suit Larry go too far, or do we need truly adult games on our consoles?
Examples of adult games that made it to consoles:
- The Sopranos: Road to Respect (Adult-themed and contained mild nudity)
- Bachelor Party (Adult-themed Atari 2600 game - unlicensed)
- Bachelorette Party (Adult-themed Atari 2600 game - unlicensed)
- Custer's Revenge (Adult-themed Atari 2600 game - unlicensed)
- Bubble Bath Babes (Adult-themed NES game - unlicensed)
- Welcome to Pia Carrot (Adult-themed Sega Saturn game - licensed)
- Welcome to Pia Carrot 2 (Adult-themed Dreamcast - licensed)
- BMX XXX (Xbox, PS2, Gamecube - Licensed and horrible)