With award categories such as "Cyber Vixen of the Year," Spike TV's recently held second annual Video Game Awards (VGA) show perfectly illustrated the evolution of video gaming into more "adult" oriented markets. As an Associated Press reporter covering the show put it, "The show literally tried to sex-up the technical side of gaming. In segments titled 'Hot Girls Read Cheat Codes,' models in lingerie purred 'Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Left ...,' which are programs entered on the controller pad to skip levels, gain extra lives or bypass obstacles."
The night's big winner, "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," blends a mixture of car-jacking gang violence, motorized mayhem, and sexual titillation in a visually stunning gaming 'masterpiece' that is sure to impress those of us old enough to have been awed by the introduction of "Pong" so many year's ago... Or as my 13 year old step son put it, "That's a really cool game!"
Beyond the controversy of targeting such mature themes to such a young audience (despite the gaming community's tobacco company style protestations of "We'd NEVER do that!"), lies a glimpse at the future of adult entertainment; a future that will be targeting a new wave of technically savvy consumers raised to expect fast-paced action, high production values – and a $50 price tag for an immersive and interactive entertainment experience.
Rated 'M' For "Mature"
In order to examine the current state of affairs with the blending of video games and adult entertainment, XBiz World recently took a closer look at the growing trend of M-rated games that cater to the adult entertainment market and the major players who are capitalizing on the growing demand for more explicit gaming content.
XBiz World: Do you see a growing trend in people wanting to play adult video games?
Anh Tran, founder of WantedList.com: "I do. Video games are getting racier and racier every day. Playboy: 'The Mansion' and the newest version of 'Leisure Suit Larry' are two of the more highly anticipated games of the year. Though not completely adult in the hardcore sense, they do cover very adult-like topics."
XBiz World: Do you think adding games to your business would be a good idea?
Anh Tran: "We would absolutely add PC games. Any time you can satiate consumer demand, you're probably going to make money."
XBiz World: Do you think there is an increase in the sexually oriented video game market?
Dave Spohn, one of the resident experts on video games at Internetgames.about.com: "Yes. Sex sells, and I think we will see it used more frequently to sell video games than we have in the past."
XBiz World: In your opinion, would this be a good time for owners of adult stores and websites to begin carrying these kinds of games?
Dave Spohn: "Well, I really don't think that too many people go to an adult store looking for games at this point, but that may change. I'm sure that every possible outlet for these games, online or offline, will eventually be explored to see if they are financially viable. I predict that there will be more adult-rated titles, but I doubt that sex alone will be enough to make them successful."
Leading The Way
One of the companies at the forefront of merging video game technology with adult entertainment is VirtualHottie.com, which currently offers virtual online sex games and interactive videos, and provides a glimpse towards the future with a variety of intriguing offers.
Time will tell how the market will embrace these technologies, or if they will be replaced by something even bigger and better before realizing their true potential – but if I was a betting man, I'd wager that the best is yet to come, and just like Hollywood, Porn Valley will steadily increase their adoption of increasingly sophisticated virtual starlets for a variety of productions.
Regardless of what the future holds, XBiz will lead the way in bringing you news about the latest technological innovations and their applicability to adult entertainment. Stick around, it'll be a fun ride!