July 19, 2004

I only play them for the branching narratives


In the August issue of Playboy, on newstands any day now, I have a short, amusing article on bishoujo games. (It started out as a longer, funnier article for Radar, but it was getting moldy wating for Maer to collect his $15 mil).

Bishoujo means "pretty girl," and as the gentle name implies, these are games in which the object is to have raunchy, hardcore sex with as many women as possible. The piece, which may be the first in a series on Japanese weirdness we're calling "Occidental Tourist," is on page 22. It's not available online, sorry, but feel free to enjoy this photograph of Miss August modeling an iPod Mini.

The young lady at the top of this post is from a game translated as Do You Like Horny Bunnies?, the review of which was cut from the Playboy version of the article because, I swear, the lawyers did not want the magazine to endorse any infringement of its copyright. This picture sort of hints at how unintentionally hilarious these games are, but for the full effect you need to see an actual screen grab (but not at work).

For a much more in-depth article about bisjoujo (aka hentai) games, click here. Not quite as funny as mine, but far more informative and pretty interesting. I don't especially recommend buying any of these. As games, they're little more than choose-your-own adventure comic books. As pornography, they're too removed from the context of ordinary human psychology to be genuinely erotic. For instance, you might look at this picture and think, "Two chicks. That's hot."


But if I told you that one of the chicks is actually you after you've been turned into a girl (NSFW) in a science class mishap, that the other chick is your stepsister, teaching you how to wear a bra, and that you'll spend the rest of the game being groped on the bus and raped by your gym teacher, you'll probably be too creeped out or laughing too hard to get very turned on.

But bishoujo games are pretty fascinating as cultural artifacts, so if you must have one (or if you just want to see more uncensored screen grabs), J-List is your source.

Posted by Daniel Radosh

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