The narrative of adult games

Adult games are at a unique position, they simultaneously have erotic scenes which can bolster narrative based stories; yet, they at a cost of societal acceptance. Now, games like “Cyberpunk 2077” and The Witcher 3" have adult-like features. Those games utilize erotic scenes in a narrative focus which can ultimately boost the gaming experience. To me, this begs the question: why don’t more adult games attempt at narrative based story telling.

“[It’s an ends to a mean” is what I tell myself when I ask this question; most adult games are visual novels with loose story telling that comes off as hacky, it serves the purpose of getting to the sex scene. My stance on this is as so: I don’t mind sex scenes, but without reason its just tedium to experience a brief sense of dopamine.

Another thing is adult games with ‘grind’ in them. ‘Grinding’ is a self explanatory term, but I will explain it anyways for clarity. ‘Grinding’ refers to playing a video game and farming for points, experience, etcetera etcetera. With that out of the way, I will now explain why grinding is actually a very important part of a narrative. In the first place, story telling is about immersion, “The story-maker proves a successful ‘sub-creator’. He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is ‘true’: it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed.” This quote from J.R.R Tolkien explains a fundamental of immersion in storytelling, and in this explanation it can be found that, what is immersive is what is proven to be a “Truth” in a story. So, ‘Grinding’ as it were serves as a connection between the game and the player (you), as it serves as a “True” medium between the world of the game and the player.

Yet, most games use grinding as a way to run hours of content for no other reason than to extend the run time. This is what breaks the “Truth” of those games. Thusly, it comes at a fact wherein there must also be a reason for grinding: a sort of Pavlovian response. Yet, if a player comes to question their decision for grinding, the “Truth” is broken and immersion is ruined. So there must be a fine line between the story of an adult game, and the grinding of it.

This is the meat of this Topic, “what is a fine line to the narrative of an adult game”. The possibilities are endless, in my unprofessional opinion, I believe that a game like “Elden Ring” does the grinding aspect right (but it is a tad ambiguous in the narrative function), and a book (which is what visual novels like to be) which is really immersive is the Agatha Christine novel “And Then There Were None”.

Anyways, what are some adult (or non) that scratch that narrative or otherwise gameplay itch?

Choose your own adventure books with or without stats.

I only had two, back when I was a kid.

I owned a physical copy of the Zelda (crystal trap) and found it quite fun and wanted to try out the other one in the series too.

Thankfully, I finally just now found them archived on the Internet while searching for the one I had, but pretty sure the feeling of flipping pages of a handheld has it’s own experience.

The other one was more mature and closer to Dungeon & Dragons feel.
I was too young at the time to properly understand and appreciate it.
I don’t remember the name and I can’t look for it as it’s currently at my other house in a different country. But once I go back, I should give it another spin, now that I’m older and more aware.

I want to say Bioshock, nice story.