That Time a Porn Star Appeared in a Video Game About Giant Space CatsLike anyone else who played PC games in the early 1990s, I was, and still am, madly in love with Wing Commander III, perhaps the finest moment of the period's fixation with using real actors.

One thing always seemed a little weird to me though: why was there a porn star on the ship?

Yes, among the other luminaries of the silver screen appearing in the game, like Mark Hamill, Jonathan Rhys Davies and Malcolm McDowell, a starring role was set aside for Ginger Lynn Allen. Otherwise known as Ginger Lynn. Otherwise known as one of the biggest porn stars of the 1980s.

She played the role of down-to-earth maintenance worker Rachel Coriolis, one of two possible love interests for the player character (the other being the unbearable Jennifer MacDonald).

Any young men hoping that opting with Lynn would result in some hot, compressed FMV action were of course left bitterly disappointed, as romantic scenes were relegated to the odd kiss and some light petting, though given the fact any sex scenes would have also involved Mark Hamill, maybe we should be thankful for that. Or despondent! Up to you.

That Time a Porn Star Appeared in a Video Game About Giant Space Cats

Lynn, who in the mid-80s emerged as one of the biggest porn stars in America (she made, um, 69 movies in all), left the adult business behind in 1986 to try and break into mainstream cinema. Despite a brief appearance in Young Guns II and...Wing Commander III, she mostly failed in this attempt, resulting in a brief return to porn around the turn of the millennium.

What's interesting about Lynn's appearance in the game, one of the real blockbusters of its time, is that her previous job was used almost as a selling point. I remember even as a 12-13 year-old, reading up on the game's development, that alongside "Luke Skywalker", "the asshole from Back to the Future", "the fat guy from Indiana Jones" and "Malcolm McDowell" would be this porn star.

Not that she was ever used as sexy marketing; like I said, the cast spends almost the entire game over-dressed. The video to the left (featuring Lynn) is about as racy as Wing Commander III gets. Her past was mentioned, then just...left there. Like a bullet-point.

Which now I look back was pretty cool. I mean, yeah, it would have been easy to make a big deal out of it, but director Chris Roberts took his games very (some might say too) seriously. Bringing a former porn star onboard in the middle of his epic sci-fi tale just to sex things up wouldn't have been his style. So like everyone else involved, their prior - and often embarassing - track records were brought up then thrown in the pot, so all involved could get on with enjoying a story not about washed-up actors working for a paycheque, but about giant space cats trying to kill us all.