Virtual Reality, VR for short, is groundbreaking but hardly new. The idea of completely immersive entertainment has been around for decades but has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years with innovations like the HTC Vive and the Oculus/Meta Quest.
In what was once Science Fiction, the average person can now wander into Target and pick up a portal to a whole new world. Anyone can experience the thrill of piloting a spaceship or mowing down a horde of Zombies from their living room, but the thought at the forefront of everyone’s mind is:
“This is cool, but how can I use this to masturbate?”
Welcome to the world of Adult VR gaming.
Here, the only limit to what you can have sex with is your imagination. No matter your kink or preferences, there’s something for you thanks to some dedicated Developers and a thriving Internet community. Just slip on a headset and you can plow an alien on a spaceship or get busy with your dream partner between hordes of Zombies.
These games are truly works of art that require months of hard work and innovation, and in some cases they’re created entirely by one person.
Along with VR Porn Sites – which feature regular porn filmed with VR technology for a 360-degree experience – VR Porn Games seem like the next evolution in Adult Content.
Better VR Tech Leads to… Porn?
Within the past decade, VR has hit lightspeed in its advancements. Only about 10 years ago, VR headsets required a powerful and dedicated computer and were horrendously uncomfortable thanks to their neck-crunching weight and stomach-churning framerates.
Now for higher-end VR devices, all you need is a decent home PC to plug into and room enough for tracking nodes. For the Oculus Quest VR Headset, you don’t even need the desktop or trackers since it is an all-in-one device.
Virtual Reality has never been more accessible or affordable.
One unsavory reason for the surprisingly cheap Oculus Quest Headset, the latest generation costing only around $300, is everyone’s favorite dumpster fire: Facebook. The Headset is actually manufactured by Facebook Technologies, a division of Meta.
An often proposed theory for the cheap cost, which is less than half of other VR headsets on the market, was FaceBook’s well-known habit of selling users’ data. Yikes.
At 2021’s FaceBook Connect event, where the company rebranded, the newly-minted Meta announced their intention to create a virtual world, currently dubbed The Metaverse, for everyone to work and play in. The idea of a virtual plane of reality owned and operated by a giant corporation should be met with caution by anyone who has ever seen a SciFi movie.
Technically, they ban porn on their VR MetaVerse platform.
Thankfully, the software behind most VR headsets is open source, so anyone can make a game. For Quest users that don’t have a PC to hook into, games can be installed through a process called “sideloading” where you download a game to your computer then install it onto your device. One Indie Developer, MyHTML5Game, has made all of their content browser-based using WebXR.
No downloading is needed, just open the Quest browser and enjoy.
Solo VR Porn Game Developer MyHTML5Game, who prefers to keep their real name private, started as a B2B (Business-to-Business) programer, and after 12 years moved over to game development for another 7 years before retiring. Their content is made up of Anime-style short narrative stories, static interactive models, and quick games.
When asked why they moved into the field of VR porn games, the answer was simple:
“The necessity to survive. I was forced to try this platform, and it turned out very good, lucky for me. I am a programmer from the early 2010s game industry when almost all game companies used their own 3D engines. I took over the “maptool” (also known as a “level design tool”) everywhere I went. The core of the maptool program is as good as my life. I wanted to keep using my techniques in maptool programming.”
Hosting a browser-based business was a smart decision. The Quest 2 is by far the most popular VR device on the market.
“These days, only [Meta] Quest has any meaning in the VR market. The reason cannot be simpler. Adult games cannot make it to the official [Meta] Quest store. Currently, WebXR is the only way to market games in an easy and affordable manner. The worst restriction it may get will be the parental control of [Meta] Browser – it’ll be no problem.
Most VR Porn Game developers are one-person operations, as you may have guessed.
There are very few big companies that are making Adult VR games, and the ones that do exist are stationed in Japan. That should not come as a surprise, considering Japan is the capital of Video Games and Gamer culture. Most games, including Indie games, carry a heavy Anime aesthetic and tone.
Many of the offerings available feature an adorable and submissive young girl with the typical high-pitched moan of pleasure.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the Anime villain who dominates and humiliates you as she laughs. Furries are also a staple of these games, allowing members of the Furry community to indulge their kink without the hefty dry cleaning bill.
Besides the popularity of the Uwu/Anime/Furry genre, another reason so many of these games exist is they are just plain easier to make. The characters require less visual detail since realism is not a concern. The JRPG/Dating Sim style allows for a simplistic level and gameplay design. Making a Video Game is a massive undertaking that requires knowledge of programming, physics, architecture, a wealth of artistic creativity, and time. Even massive Triple-A companies with an army of employees take years to make a console game like GTA 5 or Halo.
For these X-rated VR games, many are created by a small team or just one person.
The 3 Main Types of Adult VR Game
The type of gameplay is as much of a factor as the design when talking about the challenges of creating a game. Typically, Adult VR games fall into the following 3 categories:
- Voyeuristic Experience: The player walks around a setting like a sex club or party where they can watch digital characters have sex with each other in looped animations. These games normally allow for minimal interaction, usually moving props like dildos and other sex toys around.
- Sex/Dating Simulator: Like an RPG, you are part of the story and sometimes have dialogue options to seduce your date before having sex in a series of pre-set positions. It’s usually a brief but fun experience.
- Sandbox Scene Creators: These games are suited to those who like to take control. Characters are highly customizable in body type and clothes. The setting can also be customized how the player likes with furniture and lighting. Then the player moves the characters how they want and record the animations to create a personalized porno. Think The Nightmare Before Christmas but with a sexy Jack Skellington. Okay. A sexier Jack.
Each option comes with its own challenges. If you’re making a Voyeuristic Experience, designing the set to feel immersive and a variety of activities can make or break the game. It’s like planning the ultimate orgy – the vibe needs to be right so everyone is comfortable and has a good time.
A Sex/Dating Simulator is like what High Fidelity teaches us about making a mixtape, a delicate art. There needs to be a compelling flow and progression from scene to scene but you don’t want to blow your wad too soon, so to speak. Sex Simulators can get away with less player interaction but do need to make up for that in style and character design.
Sandbox Scene Creators, such as Virt-a-Mate and Captain Hardcore, have a lot of heavy lifting to do.
Having the ability to create your own digital performers and customize them from head to toe means the underlying program needs to know how to handle the physics of different body types. If the player creates a thicc lady with heavy breasts, those tits need to move differently than the other character in the scene who might be built like a tiny and toned gymnast. If a character has a penis, the player can usually customize how erect it is and that will affect how said boner will react when touched.
On top of all that, considerations need to be made for things like hair, skin tone, sweat, clothes, all needing to behave realistically and naturally. Don’t even get me started on fluid physics and interaction.
Cum is, like, wicked hard to work with.
The Community Spirit Of “Captain Hardcore” and Other Games
One of the medium’s most popular games, Captain Hardcore, is a Sandbox Scene Creator set in a Cyberpunk world where you create and animate characters on a spaceship, a weightless void, and an alien world. It is a truly impressive piece of work with insane detail and fidelity.
The creator AntiZero, who prefers to keep their real name private, started their journey as an ordinary fan. They would use modifying tools to create new levels for their favorite games.
“My first experience with game development was creating levels for classic games like Quake and Half-Life. Years later I discovered Unreal Engine and taught myself how to code and use Blueprints. I was amazed at what could be achieved by one person and eventually learned every aspect of the engine. I worked on Indie games for a few years before realizing I could do this on my own and that’s when I had the idea for Captain Hardcore.”
AntiZero was inspired by the power Virtual Reality had to offer the gaming world and wanted to create something new.
“I was really inspired by the use of VR for adult gaming, the level of interaction and immersion is far beyond what’s possible with regular flat screen games. After checking out what games were available I couldn’t find anyone that was creating anything quite like what I had in mind. … My main goal was to create something unique, so I’d say I was mainly influenced by what could be done differently to existing games rather than taking a lot of influence from them.”
There are other creators, such as Holodexxx, Virt-a-Mate, ZnelArts, and Devient Tech that AntiZero admires. The greatest influence has always been the user community. AntiZero is very active on Discord and listens to fans.
“The community really helps guide development. I receive a lot of suggestions, feedback, and bug reports that let me know what people like, what they don’t like, and what they want to see more of. This really helps to create a better experience and I always take note of good suggestions and feedback. To be honest, I never expected to have such a large following, sometimes it’s a little overwhelming how much support there is for the game!”
AntiZero has even devoted a serious amount of time and energy to creating a version of the game that would work on the less-powerful Quest.
“Desktop and VR have been developed in parallel from day one, but so many people were requesting a standalone version I decided to give it a go. I had to cut back on a lot of things and change to a different renderer and engine version but in the end, it was worth it. The character model, animation, and physics are almost identical to the PC version and I was really surprised by how well it runs on a device with such limited power. I also learned a lot of optimization tricks that might help with the PC version in the future.”
As someone who has played the game through several versions on the stand-alone headset, it is incredible. What is truly mind-blowing is they are churning out constant updates of this complex experience on two different devices by themselves. Doing all of this while staying in touch with the user base, implementing their suggestions, and working towards finishing a full narrative game must take an unimaginable amount of perseverance and passion.
Even if you don’t have a VR setup, there is a 2D desktop version and I highly recommend checking it out and supporting AntiZero on Patreon.
Community interaction is paramount to the success of Indie games, especially when it comes to Adult VR. The medium is all about exploring fantasies and kinks. There are plenty of BDSM-type games, Furry-centric titles as mentioned above, and user-based character creations that allow for a wild array of indulgences. However, there is a lack of Queer or Female centered titles. When it comes to Trans representation, it tends to run into the same problematic labeling as mainstream porn.
However, when the user community gets involved, that changes.
Captain Hardcore added Male characters after many requests and is working on Trans characters as well. Games like Virt-a-Mate, another Sandbox Scene Creator/Sex Simulator, are being made by a small but talented team that is supported by a thriving community. Users create custom characters, settings, and plugins that allow for a more inclusive experience and creative expression. All body types and genders are represented thanks to these boards, even some that can exist only in fiction.
We love to see it.
Uncomfortable Reality – When VR Takes A Problematic Turn
Virtual Reality is meant to be better than reality, where you can see and do anything without the limitations of everyday life. But, where are the limits? What about games that encourage violence or rape? Is it okay to indulge in racist fantasies? Would a game that allows sex with underage characters be allowed?
The short answer, thankfully, is no.
Platforms like Steam and Itch have policies that prevent such appalling content from being sold and communities are pretty vigilant about flagging that sort of content. There are some games that blur the line, however.
A popular example is Slaves of Rome from Biggus Dickus Games. Built originally for PCs only, it has been updated to allow limited VR playability. The player is a Roman citizen returning from war who purchases and “trains” slaves with punishing whips and rewards them with sex. The option to play as a man or woman is available as well as both male and female slaves for, according to Biggus Dickus Games, LGBTQ+ representation.
Thanks, I guess?
To be fair, the Patreon description emphasizes that all activities are consensual and the player can be a “kind” slave owner. The talent displayed by the creators is undeniable. The graphics and gameplay are well made, with layered characters in a fascinating world. But, it is understandable where the controversy begins. Intense BDSM is a good bit of fun for those who enjoy it, but consent is the cornerstone of that activity.
A slave, by definition, can not give consent. Regardless of the creative team’s assertions that everything done to the slaves is consensual, it isn’t difficult to imagine why sites like Pornhub won’t host the game trailer.
There are some Indie games that are more problematic and explicitly taboo than Slaves of Rome and I won’t be mentioning them by name. Despite how someone might feel about the darker side of VR games, does it matter? There are unsettlingly violent non-porn games that are very popular and fun to play. Who is it hurting to play out a dark fantasy in the privacy of your home? As we enter the new world of VR, the idea of ethics is rarely discussed openly.
One small studio, HDX Transmedia, takes this conversation seriously.
HDX Transmedia is the company behind Holodexxx, a cutting-edge VR game that covers all the genres previously mentioned. Real-life Adult stars like Riley Reid are photo-scanned to become virtual avatars of either themselves or the base model for players to modify. Holodexxx has released Sandbox versions, a virtual photography studio, and recently released two RPG-style narrative episodes. HDX is doing everything to push the technology and artform forward, but not without considering the consequences of this endeavor.
In a 2019 blog post, the creators discuss the ethical dilemmas of their project. The game would never allow physical or sexual violence, or as they put it:
Spanking? Cool. Punching? No.
The actors who have lent their image and performances are compensated and portrayed respectfully. Even more impressive is their consideration for the AI characters, encouraging players to see them as more than just a pile of code to masturbate to and ignore after. As the lines between the Virtual and Real get fuzzier, so will the distinction between Humanity and programs.
To Boldly Go… The Future of VR Adult Gaming
Where does the future of Virtual Reality adult games lead? What is next on the sexy horizon?
Advancements in peripheral equipment like haptic feedback and masturbation aides are progressing every day. The hardware and software available that seems revolutionary now may look like an Atari in just a few years.
There are too many questions to answer now, but one thing to be sure of is the Independent creators who devote themselves to creating cutting-edge content will continue and more will join them to bring much-needed diversity and ingenuity. The new frontier is here, so slap on a headset and dive in.
Oh, and bring some tissues. You’ll need them.