Get Your Game Off
lmfao, it pays to take the internets seriously i guess.By Regina Lynn
Story location: http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,67224,00.html
02:00 AM Apr. 15, 2005 PT If you've ever fantasized about having sex with Jenna Jameson, your dream is virtually within your grasp.
XStream3D Multimedia has released VirtuallyJenna, the first iteration of a sex-simulation game that will eventually feature a number of adult contract stars from Club Jenna and Vivid. The game has a deceptively simple goal: Bring Jenna to orgasm. You have several tools to help you achieve this, ranging from sex toys to male and female sex partners to a disembodied hand reminiscent of Thing from The Addams Family.
You can dress Jenna in a limited selection of outfits (or nothing at all), pose her for solo or partner sex, and bring her into the studio for an intimate photo shoot.
It's not as easy to "win" as it sounds. Like real women, Jenna's arousal level rises and falls with little apparent connection to what you're doing.
I started by stroking her with the hand while stimulating her with a sex toy. Then I tried directing her in several compromising positions with the male character. Despite her repeatedly claiming "I'm almost there," her Excite-O-Meter never climbed all the way to the top.
I suppose that's part of the realism.
And realism is one of the developer's main priorities for VirtuallyJenna, according to xStream3D President Brad Abram. "Right now we have to back off on the quality of rendering Jenna so it will look good on an 18-month-old PC," says Abram. "But in another year or 18 months, we can crank it up, get more photorealistic, because new PCs have such hot graphics cards (as standard equipment)."
The current graphics quality will still wow casual gamers, although I presume hard-core gamers are accustomed to this level of motion and appearance. Personally, I'm impressed. An extreme close-up of the animated Jenna's naughty bits reveals a striking resemblance to the real-life Jameson's parts, down to the shadow that proves she waxes rather than shaves.
For now, the gameplay is fairly basic. But Abram has big plans. "We needed a starting point, and we wanted to get to market," he says. "As we move forward, we are investing the money (we make from subscriptions) into more advanced motion capture and building in the back story and more traditional game challenges."
XStream3D depends on subscriber feedback for direction as the game evolves. "That way we don't waste money developing features no one wants," says Abram.
So what do people want?
"You'd be surprised at how many subscribers tell us they want smells in the game," he says, musing on the possibilities offered by the Scent Dome.
He also cites development of "a digital Kama Sutra" that will offer myriad options for positioning and pleasuring Jenna.
You'll eventually be able to put yourself into the game using the same "photo personalization technology" used to create the 3-D model of Jameson, and to order customized audio so Jenna can call out your name. Adding real sex toys -- for the player, not for Jenna -- is another feature on the list.
Abram sees VirtuallyJenna as the perfect complement to console games, even if Xbox and PlayStation developers would not touch content this explicit. "In Grand Theft Auto, for example, you can go into a strip club," he says. "Now you can go online (to VirtuallyJenna) and do whatever you do in the back room that you can't do in the other games."
But VirtuallyJenna is not just an adjunct to "real" games, nor is it a novelty that will quickly lose its appeal. It is the foundation for a complex action game that combines elements of James Bond, The X-Files and lots and lots of sex.
XStream3D plans to deliver this game, tentatively titled Jenna Jameson's Secret Online Service, incrementally each month, so subscribers always have something to look forward to.
The demand for high-quality adult games definitely exists. When I saw the prototype at the Adult Entertainment Expo in January, I stood among a crowd that practically vibrated with excitement during the demo. Everyone wanted to try it out.
And during a live beta test, when a Norwegian blogger linked to the test site, Abram's server logs showed more than 75,000 unique IDs within hours of the blog post. "We weren't even taking credit card payments yet," he says. "I had to refund 240 people!"
My own reaction to VirtuallyJenna surprised me more than anything within the game itself.
It turns out that my sexual orientation gets in the way of my ability to bring Jenna to climax. I have an aversion to sliding dildos into her various orifices, and moving the hand over her breasts gives me the willies. Bringing the male character in didn't help much, as you can only touch Jenna; the hand and toys do not work on him.
I've always said that I am 93 percent straight. I couldn't care less who people sleep with or pair off with, and I appreciate female beauty as much as anyone. That I had such a hard time stroking animated breasts is testament to how powerful the fantasy can be.
That's why I think that of all the enhancements planned for VirtuallyJenna, the fetish room will be the biggest hit. Abram describes it as a place to explore fantasies you would not enact in real life, or that you are too shy or afraid to suggest to a partner.
In that sense, it will be like cybersex: a safe place to play that is realistic enough to engage the imagination and convince the mind that you are indeed having the experience.
Being a trouper, I continued with the game despite my hang-ups about participating in girl-on-girl sex. Pretty soon I wanted to do things that you can't do yet, like use the hand to deliver a spanking rather than just a gentle stroke. I wanted the dildos to vibrate as well as pump, and most of all, I wanted Jenna to have more to say than "oh oh oh" and "I'm almost there."
But despite these drawbacks, the longer I poked around, the more convinced I became that this title could be the one that raises adult games into the realm of true gaming.
It's about time someone created a sex game with such a well-rendered environment and beautifully modeled characters. And it's about time we had a game that devotes as much detail and screen time to sex as other games grant to violence.
"The world is ready for something like this. In games like Grand Theft Auto, the women are not empowered, they're kind of secondary citizens and have low-class roles," Abram says. "In this game, the women are the stars. They're powerful."
See you next Friday,
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