You know what really turns me on? Microtransactions.
I know I’m not alone. There must be dozens out there for whom the mere thought of blowing $9 on a virtual hat gets us dripping below the waist. Oh yeah, we say. Charge it right to my card, you saucy minx. Give me those abstracted gem-based currencies with which I may buy ways to make this game slightly easier.
NSFW Warning: This post contains NSFW imagery.
If any of that resonates with you, perhaps you’d like to check out Pocket Waifu, available for free on Nutaku. The game takes the dating sim concept of putting Kindness Coins into a woman until ice-cold cans of Sex come out the bottom, and shamelessly reduces it into a Tamagotchi-style girl-babysitting experience in which your—sigh—”waifu” requires sleep, snacks, showers, and video games to fall in love with you. You can also spend real world money on gifts, toys, furniture and outfits for your collection of waifus.
On top of all that, you’ve been cursed by a nude demon woman (with a painful-looking clitoral hood piercing) who takes your soul in exchange for the power to... make women come over to your house? Unwillingly? It’s not entirely clear.
Pocket Waifu is a massive ball of contradictions and nonsense. It’s clearly shameless enough to not care that it’s portraying women as helpless babes who are unable to shower themselves without your help, or to get food out of the fridge without posing like a porn star.
And yet, from time to time, the aforementioned nude demon berates you for thinking that women are mere vending machines for sex.
Shortly after saying this, I managed to poke a woman into showing me her labia. And I literally mean “poke,” here: the word “poke” comes up every time you click her, and her ample bosom (because it’s never not ample) bounces like a 7.5 on the Richter scale.
I don’t want to seem prudish—I’m completely down with sex games being contrived and silly. Just as it’s completely fine to have lashings of poetic license in things like Twilight—”I love you because I’m a vampire and your blood smells delicious”—I don’t particularly care if sex games need to tell me that women are only swarming around me because I’m cursed. Sure, I can get down with that.
But to tell me that this game isn’t about kindness coins? I can literally buy an item called “Lust Dust,” or spend Gacha tickets on gifts that I can give to various women to make me like them more. There’s even a meter at the top that tells me how much they like me. Just be honest in your grubbiness. It’s not like I can judge, anyway—anyone who clicks on “Pocket Waifu” is probably not in any position to judge.
Perhaps I’m blaming Pocket Waifu for the failings of sex games in general, but I’m finding it difficult to discover many sex games that don’t have a base level of disrespect for both their players, and the games themselves. It’s honestly fine if you enjoy grubby sex games. Everyone has their personal preferences, and as long as no one’s getting hurt, feel free to get your rocks off however you like.
But when almost all sex games feature the exact same level of grubbiness, the exact same skinny-but-big-boobed women, and the exact same treatment of women as hopeless, shy creatures that nevertheless whap their baps out at the slightest provocation, I have to ask: is this really what the majority of people are into? Or is it just that it’s the only thing available, and therefore ends up shaping the fetishes of those who play games like this?
I can see the argument that sex games don’t need to be a higher form of art, or to have greater respect for themselves. As long as they have the required effect of getting people off, who cares? But why shouldn’t we hold these games to a higher standard? Sex is something that a majority of the population does, or at least thinks about, and there should be more options, in the same way that you can buy furniture from IKEA, or you can buy a one-of-a-kind hand-crafted dining table made from rainforest hardwood. IKEA is great, but sometimes, don’t you want something a little… special? Or even something in a comfortable middle zone, between completely basic and totally unique?
Pocket Waifu, I apologise for making you the target of this rant. You’ve not really done anything wrong, apart from being pretty tacky. But having played so many sex games that seem like repackaged versions of the same damn thing—virginal women with sizeable racks and a penchant for blushing all the damn time—I want more. I want to see artisan sex games. I want an industry that respects its consumers enough to give them something more substantial. I want the developers to realise that there is next to no market for anyone who’s into men, or even just smaller-boobed women, but that’s an argument for another day.
If we can accept women as more complex beings than Pocket Waifu offers, which I hope we can, then perhaps we can accept men as more complex beings than Pocket Waifu caters to.