The odd history of the first erotic computer game


#1

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#2

One person’s dystopia is another’s paradise.


#3

Adventure had the same sort of paradigm. I had been playing infocom adventures for some time, and when I purchased a box set of the classics–LIFE, ELIZA, ADVENTURE, and one other who’s name escapes me, I found Adventures explanation of who I was as a player rather tedious.


#4

On the far right is Roberta Williams (Kings Quest and many other games)!


#5

I wonder why “ero-games” are so very popular in porn-obsessed Japan, but not in porn-obsessed America.


#6

This is true. Softporn also largely formed the rough basis and plot of the first Leisure Suit Larry game.


#7

There were a number of similar games. Leather Goddesses of Phobos was another. Could never get through any of them before boredom set in. (Too busy getting frustrated with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.)


#8

First off they are not “so very popular” here nor is this country “porn-obsessed”. Different cultures have different attitudes towards erotica is all. If there was sarcasm in your post it was not obvious.


#9

Christmas in heaven


#10

Oddly enough, there was apparently a Japan-exclusive, pre-Leisure Suit Larry remake of Softporn Adventure that went by the name of Las Vegas for the old PC-88. It’s still a text-based parser, but with graphics added:
http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/lsl/lsl.htm

There’s also a rather thoughtful in-depth look at the gameplay of Softporn at http://www.filfre.net/2012/02/softporn/ .


#11

I am 100% convinced that the hot tub in the illustration was actually at the address on the box. 36575 Mudge Ranch Road in Coarsegold is literally yards outside of Yosemite National Park.

Must have been some hairy-chested good times back then.

Ha! And then I went and RTFA:

The game’s visual lacquer, that hot tub photo better remembered today than the game itself, was all Ken’s idea—it was even staged in the Williamses’ redwood paneled hot tub on the ground floor of their family home. The female models were all company employees: Diane Siegal, On-Line’s production manager, holds a half-eaten apple in a coy pun on Wozniak’s forbidden fruit; in the middle, Susan Davis, On-Line’s bookkeeper and wife of programmer Bob Davis; and on the right was Roberta herself, looking as if she had all eternity to meet your gaze. The gentleman in the photo is Rick Chipman, a waiter from The Broken Bit, a restaurant just down the road on California State Route 41.

Now I feel all clever for figuring out something you already know.


#12

Oh, man! But the materials that came with some of these games! A Mind Forever Voyaging was particularly great, the fealies were awesome. Just remember, the JoyBooths are not the problem.


#13

I doubt it was this, but I do remember a text porn game I tried out a few times when I was about 11-12.

Actually, I don’t really remember much about it (I have a feeling that I read it as green text on a black screen, and that you could input details like age or hair color to your preference, but even then I’m not sure), except one phrase that, for no good reason, has stuck with me all these years: “Diamond-cutter lead the way!”


#14

I remember seeing that game, and wondering if Timothy Hutton was actually in it. Also worth noting: “A mind forever voyaging” is also found on the original Apple Computer logo, and the game’s designer went on to do Leather Goddesses of Phobos.


#15

Worth noting that at this point Ken Williams has posted a comment in response to the article. Not a whole lot of new info added, apart from some insight into his vision of the future of games at the time. Still, nice to see him chime in.


#16

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