The iPhone could very well be the harbinger of a golden era of porn games - if only Apple would relax the standards on what can and what cannot be sold on its App Store.
Like many other things, sex is a very human need, and has shown up in pretty much every form of media known to man. With comic books came porno comics, with TV came porn-on-demand, and with videogames came... well, interactive porn. But even though sex-themed games have been released on platforms since the Atari 2600, and despite a massive potential market, they haven't evolved past the earliest of sex-game designs. As Robert Stoneback discussions in Issue 219 of The Escapist, despite the iPhone App Store theoretically allowing adult games to be sold directly to consumers - bypassing the restrictions on brick-and-mortar retailers - Apple's strict standards prevent a Golden Age of Porn Games from flourishing in your palm.
iGirl, lacking as it is in anything approaching nudity, is obviously much tamer than consumer demand may dictate, a necessary condition of its placement on the App Store. A lot of people, however, question the point of Apple keeping out the steamy stuff, since the iPhone's Safari browser allows unrestricted access to the internet. What's the point of censoring a naughty app if someone can log on to Booble.com anytime (and anywhere) they want?
Steven Weitz, an instructor of media arts at Pennsylvania's Lehigh Carbon Community College, sees this practice as "hypocritical." "The fact that you can get to [practically] any pornographic material on the web via the Safari browser ... completely contradicts Apple's 'no adult material' policy," he says.
Instead, to get adult-themed games that relish in every flash of uncensored skin, iPhone owners have to "jailbreak" their phone, meaning that an incredibly lucrative potential revenue stream for Apple is lost. With the iPhone and other smartphones putting the internet - and all its unlimited porn - in your hand, do these restrictions still make sense? To read the full story, check out "Apple's Forbidden Fruit" in Issue 219 of The Escapist.