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Despite the efforts of publishers like Atari, Nintendo and Apple, there has always been sex on videogame consoles. Because of these companies' efforts, however, sex games have been constantly stifled in the past two decades. So far, the iPhone has been just another step in the tangled, murky and mostly dead-end relationship that gaming has long had with adult entertainment; but it has the potential to be much more.
Apple has been pretty strict about what's allowed on the iPhone, requiring developers to submit their products for the company's approval before they're listed on the App Store. No full-frontal nudity or displays of sex are allowed, and Apple isn't afraid to crack down on violators, such as when they recently banned the app Hottest Girls from their App Store due to its inclusion of pictures of naked and topless women.
This is far from the first time a publisher has taken a direct role in regulating sexual content on its platform. In the 1980s, a company named Mystique made a name for itself peddling some infamously sleazy games for the Atari 2600. These games were generally versions of older titles such as Kaboom! or Pong, but with the player controlling pixelated versions of naked men and women.
Spooked by Mystique's antics, Nintendo would later carefully scrutinize every game made for the NES. Much like Apple today, the company rigorously censored each game before granting an "Official Nintendo Seal of Quality." This still didn't stop a publisher called Panesian from releasing titles like Peek-A-Boo Poker, which featured 8-bit lasses with names like "Full-House Francine" who were more than willing to reward players with some skin depending on how skilled a card shark they were. All of Mystique and Panesian's games were considered bootlegs, unauthorized by either Atari or Nintendo.
Unlike Mystique and Panesian's titles, there are adult games available on the iPhone that aren't bootlegs, but legitimately released pieces of software. Today, any iPhone owner can log on to the App Store and freely purchase several different types of strip poker (though again, without nudity) as well as other games with titillating content.
Take iGirl, for example. Subtitled "She Obeys," iGirl lets you put a 3-D model of your dream girl in the palm of your hand. You begin by customizing your lady friend's appearance however you wish; after that, you can push a button to make her dance, or blow on the iPhone's microphone to make her strike Marilyn Monroe's famous pose. It's more creepy than titillating; your iGirl mostly just stands there and recites the occasional quip, more in line with The Stepford Wives than Weird Science.