I was nine or ten years old when I looked into her eyes and our worlds collided. Mine; the abstract arena of electrons and colors pulled together to form a new age of entertainment with limitless possibilities. Hers; the realization that dodgy graphics and limited memory couldn't get in the way of cheap erotica. She was Blue Angel 69, an astute example of how the chase is often better than the goal.
The expectation that the videogames industry would at some point deliver promises of truly interactive sex (but not with a real woman) remained with me throughout my teenage years - right up to the point where I installed a 14.4k modem and loaded up the internet for the first time. The need was no longer there for games to satiate my pubescent fantasies, it seemed. Here was a utopia where the floodgates of information had been thrown open, resulting in the widespread availability of pictures of naked women. The fact it neatly sidestepped both the disapproving shop owner I'd had to buy jizz-mags from previously, as well as the U.K. censors, meant it was all the more accessible.
Videogames? They were for shooting people in the face.
It was, then, with some trepidation that I eventually installed Lula: the Sexy Empire. I'd certainly been aware of the sex in games issue before this: Leisure Suit Larry, DreamWeb and a plethora of other titles had either attacked the issue head on or featured controversial elements. But Lula purported to be something different; you could directly interact with this woman and make her do things. Sometimes with friends.
Obviously, it was a disappointment that amounted to far less than the many hentai titles that emerge from the East on a weekly basis. It did make me realize, however, that there was a potential there that could exceed the lures of IRC and "OMG! Got n e pix of J-Lo?" Sure, I never reached Lula's climax, but the possibility of her followers giving me greater satisfaction was clear. And the adult industry is always on the crest of any technological wave, right? Those guys and gals are like the space race of yesteryear; poking technological boundaries just to see how far they can shoot next time out.
Unfortunately, they seem to have gotten distracted by DVDs and the continued explosion of internet usage. Multiple viewing angles, "Virtual Sex" titles that let you control the action by selecting chapters, and cheap-to-manufacture and distribute discs have all meant the activities of our favorite stars and starlets have remained in the living room or on the web in all their moaning, writhing glory. High definition is the next big movement, but I'm uncertain just how much detail I need to see. But I digress.