The history of sex in video games is an interesting one. It's a kind of irony that from gaming's humble origins on gigantic mainframes to their current positions in most homes in the nation, the public's perception of video games has trended downward, with the prevailing idea that games are for children and teenagers. But the earlier games were certainly geared toward adults, if for no other reason than only adults had access to them.
So as home computers evolved to the point where games became more and more sophisticated, their subject matter also evolved to include more thematically adult issues. Far from the relatively tame fare seen in Mass Effect and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas are the great porn games of yesteryear -- titles like Softporn Adventures, by the then-named On-Line Systems, which would later become Sierra On-Line. People took their sex games seriously in those days. What happened?
This is a shame for fans of the old-style sex games, as many of these titles were funny, creative endeavors by people who weren't just providing prurient content -- they were entertaining in many ways. Consider the original Leisure Suit Larry point and click adventure series. One could almost say that the sex was secondary, with the main part going to writer Al Lowe's humor. These days you're more likely to see a lot of bare flesh in a Strip Poker game, but a corresponding lack of inventiveness -- in either setting, delivery, or storyline. It seems like the industry doesn't even remember how to do it right anymore; reviews of the latest Leisure Suit Larry game, Box Office Bust, depict a title that tries far too hard to be raunchy, with the jokes coming across as mean-spirited, rather than clever. It's not enough to just use sexual terms and situations; there has to be some kind of heart behind it all.