September 26, 2000 09:00pm
Pornography Vendors Target Sony's Next-Generation Gaming Console
Source: Fox News
by: Adam Pasick
The PS2, as it's known, will be introduced in the United States on October 26. And because the new games will be released on digital video disks (DVDs), Sony designed the console to play DVD movies as well.
That could let enterprising pornographers design games for the PS2 without authorization from Sony or a video games rating board that identifies products with overly violent or sexual content to keep them out of the hands of youngsters.
'There's very much a crossover — a huge link between video game and porn fans,' — Andrew Drake, Pixis Interactive
The ability to market porno video games is a demographic match made in heaven for electronic smut merchants.
"There's very much a crossover — a huge link between video game and porn fans," said Andrew Drake of Pixis Interactive. His company is making a PS2-compatible game called Ultravixen III: Y3K.
Other adult titles slated for the PS2 include Vivid Entertainment's Interactive Mind Teaser. Spanish Private Media anticipated releasing 10 adult DVDs per month; the company says it's also looking to looking to take advantage of the PS2's DVD-playing ability.
Sony did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But anti-pornography advocates are not surprised by the industry's entry into interactive video games.
"The pornography industry is making every effort to mainstream their product," said J. Robert Flores of the National Law Center for Children and Families, a group that fights for stricter enforcement of anti-porn laws. "And any claim that they're not interested in attracting minors is ludicrous. The tobacco industry said the same thing."
Interactive porn can be even more insidious than regular videos and magazines, Flores argued.
"The level of interactivity enhances fantasy, so you can customize it to fit your fantasy," he said. "It's incredibly destructive.... What you have is an effort by the industry to turn sexual exploitation into a game."
The adult entertainment industry has always catered to early adopters of new technology, like VCRs and the Internet, and even unauthorized adult video games are nothing new. Recent auctions on eBay have offered underground games for the original PlayStation — like Playboy: The Private Collection and Sextasy Volumes 1 & 2.
How It Works
DVD players can function like a VCR, but they allow far more interactivity. Non-PlayStation porn DVDs already offer multiple camera angles, story lines and zoom buttons.
On start-up, the PS2 will offer users the choice of a video-game or DVD movie playback mode. Once they choose the DVD mode and run Ultravixen, Drake said, "they won't know the difference" — the DVD will be just like a normal PS2 video game. He claims his company has deals to sell Ultravixen at mainstream retailers like Tower Records and Virgin Megastores, as well as through the Pixis Web site.
Amid a recent backlash against sex- and violence-laden video games, the electronic entertainment industry has adopted voluntary labeling standards: Titles rated "Mature (M)" have "content suitable for persons ages 17 and older," according to the Entertainment Software Rating Board, and "may also include mature sexual themes." Titles labeled "Adults Only" are "not intended to be sold or rented to persons under the age of 18," and "may include graphic depictions of sex and/or violence."
The effect of the ratings system on Ultravixens? Nil — for the very reason the games can exist in the first place.
"We haven't been able to use the video game rating system," Drake said, because the games will be sold in stores' DVD section, not with other computer games.
But they will end up in the same living rooms — if companies like Pixis are successful.