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Gaming's Guilty Pleasures: Hentai games

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[Editor's note: I, along with shipero here, was wondering when someone would do a Hentai game. Well, shipero finally got tired of waiting and took it upon himself to tell us why this is a Guilty Pleasure for April's Monthly Musings. -- CTZ]

When this Monthly Musings theme was announced, I was sure I’d see at least one blog about the subject I chose to look at today. As the month continued on I saw blogs pour in for some interesting, yet relatively tame, subjects. While most of these were great reads, I was just waiting for some someone to step up and write about one of the seedier sides of gaming but alas, no one seemed to want to stick their neck out.

I can’t really blame them. It’s a hard thing to admit to doing but I’ll go ahead, stand up and not only admit to playing Hentai games before but also take a look at why they appealed to me and those like me.


Don’t worry, it’s cool, the manual says she’s eighteen.

I first started my journey into the dark underbelly of steamy, electronic sex back when I was but a wee lad of twelve years. My family had just gotten the Internet and I took it upon myself to explore every nook and cranny and discover what the online world had to offer. During my travels across the World Wide Web, I stumbled across a GeoCities site that had a bunch of DOS games available for download. One of the games that was there was Three Sisters’ Story and after eight hours of watching a progress bar, the game was mine and I was hooked.


What can I say? Bitches love me.

There are many reasons that someone would enjoy these types of games. Of course, there’s the obvious pornographic angle as this is what draws most people in. I know for certain a few choice screenshots is what persuaded prepubescent me to spend my Saturday nights downloading them from the Internet. There’s also something to be said about fantasy fulfillment. These games are full of situations that normal people, let alone those that are drawn to games like this, will ever experience. No matter how much of a virile, sexual conquistador you fancy yourself to be, chances are you’ll never see as much action as the protagonist of one of these games.

Some claim to like the stories. I can’t personally vouch for this as the ones I’ve played had emotional depth hovering somewhere between Porky’s and a late-night Skinemax flick. Who knows, there might be the Hentai equivalent of Citizen Kane floating around in the erotic ether. I do admit to enjoying the writing in some of the games but it’s in the same way that I love cheesy porn dialog. It’s better than that though. It's poorly translated, cheesy porn dialog.

Others, especially those from America, seem to like these games because they offer something that’s uniquely Japanese. Sure there are tons of pornographic games from various nations of origin but none of them are quite like the Hentai games. These appeal to the anime watching, manga reading Japanophile. The kind of person that talk about wanting to learn Japanese so they don’t have to wait for someone else to translate the latest episode of Naruto. This was my main reason for playing these games; they were such an odd novelty that I became enamored by them. At least that’s what I tell myself so I can sleep at night.


Getting caught is kind of like this but less “anime awkward” and more “soul-crushingly embarrassing”.

When I played these games I wouldn’t stop until I’d done everything and everybody. It’s just in my nature, when playing a game I feel a need to accomplish every task and achieve any extra goals. In games like this, that amounts to having sex with everyone that will let you (and a few people that won’t). In some of the titles I could accomplish this in one playthough but on many others I’d have to replay them multiple times focusing on a different character each time. Either way, this usually stretched my time with each game out for about a week.

This was fine back when I was a broke college student with nothing better to do. But later on when I started working full-time jobs I no longer had the time or desire to put so much time trying to get in an imaginary girl’s pants so I quit playing them altogether. Not to mention the fact that I was embarrassed to play them also was part of the reason I stopped. It wasn’t too bad when someone caught you playing during a regular dialog sequence, it just looked like a quirky Japanese game but there’s no worse feeling than getting caught during a sex scene. I was lucky enough to only get caught twice. Once by my roommate, which resulted in about a week of mockery and a few disturbing desktop wallpapers put on my computer when I wasn’t looking. The other time, though, was when I first started and my mom caught me playing Three Sisters’ Story. I had to un-install the game, I was grounded for a month, and she unsuccessfully tried to install Net Nanny on our computer.

Hentai games are definitely one of the true definitions of a guilty pleasure. A lot of people really enjoy them but not many will ever admit to it. How many people would honestly admit to playing games with titles like Bazooka Café and Do You Like Horny Bunnies? Well I, for one, will hold my head high and say “I used to play Hentai games and I don’t care who knows about it.” Well, except for my grandma, if we could leave her out of the loop that’d be fantastic.

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