Porn & Pong: How Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider and Other Sexy Games Changed Our Culture
Brown, a journalist for Playboy and The New York Post, maps the course of sex in video games from the Atari era to the present in this slim, fun read. Asserting that video games fulfill the cultural need for ""dark sexual thrills,"" Brown's roving (occasionally rambling) exploration looks at the young medium in context and finds that, even in its infancy, video games were already as influential, potentially dangerous, and worthy of dissection as any other art. The first mainstream porno game, 1982's ""Custer's Revenge"" for the Atari 2600, spurred debate over the non-consensual nature of its crudely depicted virtual sex, culminating in crowds of protesters, lawsuits against the publisher, and the sexual assault of a Native American woman by thugs verbally invoking the game. Despite his graphic description of games many may find abhorrent, Brown comes off as neither a libertarian geek nor a moral custodian, and he keeps his history lively with personalities like Toby Gard, designer of video gaming's all-time ""It Girl,"" Lara Croft. The talented programmer's admission that ""maybe subconsciously, Lara Croft was my sister"" is just one of the quirky insights Brown unearths, revealing the digital artistry and skewed lust that fuel the industry's ever-expanding reach: in erotic content, artistic merit and culture at large.