Developers Aim to Lure Women to Adult Games, A Little More Hesitant About the Gay Dudes

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

The article Developers aim to lure women to adult games starts off like any other article about attracting women to videogames, with the usual talk of the problems inherent in games designed for a specific demographic, namely the white straight techo-savvy male.

The first sign that it’s not like most articles about the gender imbalance in gaming is the admission of a truth that anyone who’s ever worked at a bar (George and I did in college) knows: if you want to lure the men, you’ve got to lure the women.

Then, after the halfway point, the article — either intentionally or not — just gets sillier. First, there’s the explanation by the creators of the Jenna Jameson [link safe for work] game Virtually Jenna [link not safe for work] of how they made their game more appealing to women by emphasizing the story aspects of the game:

We’re evolving [the] story like Penthouse Forum, and you finish it off, so it gets more cerebral.

Having read heard about some Penthouse Forum letters myself, I cannot recall any cerebral aspects.

When presented with the question of why gay men are underserved by adult games, out come the weasel words:

Several participants in the discussion said that gay men and women are also underserved. And one main reason, it was agreed, is that because straight couples have different body movements when having sex than do gay men or women, there’s often too much animation work required to satisfy those markets.

“Everything we want people to be able to do has to be animated separately,” Dudley said. The way that men interact with men differs from how men interact with women. So if we’re going to deal with gay sex, which we do, then the amount of work we have to do” skyrockets.

Working in an area of Toronto that is known for the number of offices for adult web sites and knowing some of their employees, I’ve heard graphic artists and animators boast of the long hours they spend toiling over their beloved craft. I think that they’re just making excuses — these guys, faced with the prospect of long sessions of animating hot man-on-man action, are simply looking for a (ahem) back door. Surely they can find some gay animators who’d love doing that work as much as their straight counterparts enjoy working on the Jenna kinematics.

After all, they boasted about a certain feature in the straight-male-oriented Virtually Jenna that sounded it required a lot of extra work:

Abram said that Virtually Jenna allows players to highly customize their characters, including giving those wanting men with different size genitalia the ability to get what they want.

The same goes for what Abram called “ass physics,” essentially the firmness of the male buttocks.

“I guarantee you, ‘ass physics’ has never been said at GDC before,” Brathwaite said.

I can guarantee that it’s never been said at Global Nerdy until just now.