It can be hard to separate the sheer erotic energy of a nice rare nude scene you just unlocked in Armor Blitz from the many real world hours it may have taken to organize its delivery. After all, if somebody just wanted to see naked anime babes, there doesn't need to be hours of strategic role playing framed around it in order to validate it.
Even still, as Krafft-Ebing says in his Psychopathia Sexualis, “Man puts himself at once on a level with the beast if he seeks to gratify lust alone, but he elevates his superior position when by curbing the animal desire he combines with the sexual functions ideas of morality, of the sublime, and the beautiful”1. In this vein, it becomes obvious that the combination of erotic media with video games is one of great depth and potential value to the healthy sexual exploration of those who engage in it.
With the emergence of internet pornography and its sudden climb to prominence, there has been a new wave of academic material dealing with the prevalence of internet pornography and its various effects on the human sexual psyche. We can see many academics such as Peter & Valkenburg (2008B) observing that pornography seems to create sexual uncertainty in adolescents, for example2. Others still, such as Löfgren-Mårtenson & Månsson (2010) find that adolescents are perfectly capable of distinguishing between fantastical and realistic portrayals of sexuality within a pornographic context3.
The important distinction of pornographic video games is that game theory and voluptuous character art do not necessarily combine into a compulsive sexual behaviour. That is, even though both games and porn are shown to influence compulsive behaviour, the combination of the two engenders a more well-rounded experience than many may expect.
This can be observed in the phenomenon of popular hentai game titles having a large amount of non-erotic content. Indeed, Kingdoms of Lust, for example, enjoys significant popularity. The introduction of the game brings the player into a vibrant world of war and scandal, complete with beautiful artwork, before dropping them into the tutorial to learn about the game's mechanics. That isn't to say that the game lacks its fair share of steamy character art and nude scenes, it just demonstrates how eroticism need not erode quality.
In the world of pornography, the obvious argument for healthy sexual exploration transfers from the age old hypothesis. That is, engaging sexual fantasy in a controlled and safe way can allow people to explore their sexuality to their own benefit without inducing or exacerbating unhealthy sexual behaviour; much in the same way that engaging in video-game fantasy allows one to attempt dragon slaying or battling in a controlled and safe way to their own benefit.
The relationship between pornography and unhealthy sexual behaviour has been observed by some such as Ferguson & Hartley (2009) to be unsupported by controlled studies4. It goes to show that the same prejudices suffered by erotic video games in the popular eye have always been quite pervasive with erotic media, despite a lack of well researched causal links between boobies and behaviour.
As most players will realize, living out the fantasy of banging the hot warrior princess is less of a simulated sexual experience than a nice, tastefully lewd break from the strategic gameplay that surrounds it. Furthermore, playing through the non-erotic sections of the game before unlocking erotic content allows the player to be introduced to the characters and their various cute quirks before engaging in sexual fantasy developed around them. This gradual introduction to sexual content gives developers direct control over the player's appreciation for their character, from their signature moves to their catch phrases, as well as from their boobs to their butt. The threat of insanity no longer lingers over onanistic gamers. So go ahead, there are heaps of harems just waiting for you to get started!
1 Von Krafft-Ebing, R. Psychopathia Sexualis (1894) Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company
2 Peter, J. & Valkenburg, P.M., “The Use of Sexually Explicit Internet Material and Its Antecedents: A Longitudinal Comparison of Adolescents and Adults” Archives of Sexual Behavior (2008) Amsterdam, NL: Springer Science+Business Media
3 Löfgren-Mårtenson, L. & Månsson, S.A. “Lust, love, and life: a qualitative study of Swedish adolescents' perceptions and experiences with pornography” Journal of Sex Research (2010) Routledge
4 Ferguson, C.J. & Hartley, R.D. “The influence of pornography on rape and sexual assault” Aggression And Violent Behavior (2009) Elsevier