The videogame legacy of Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy

His economic and social heritage will remain in history, no doubt, as well as his links to the world of video games. Like every figure of such media importance, Hugh Hefner has been quoted, honored, taken as a source of inspiration in a plethora of entertainment works.

As for our industry, the character who most embodies the “playboy style” of the deceased American publisher lost is surely Larry Laffer (who read the assonance with Hugh Hefner), protagonist of the series of erotic Leisure Game Video Suit Larry. 

The origin of the series is assigned to Softporn Adventure , a textbook adventure of 1981 that Chuck Benton will evolve to turn it into the first game with Larry, orLeisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards .

In each episode of the series, Larry Laffer attempts to convince an endless variety of young girls dancing the horizontal mambo with him. The common theme of each adventure is the exploration of lush environments between incredible hotels, transatlantic beaches, resorts, casinos, and all those playboy-like structures and environments made famous by Hefner’s work and his magazine.

The games of the Leisure Suit Larry series have never exceeded the limit of pornography, though they did not disdain to show female nakedness in case the player was able to get Larry into the pit.

The series also tried the spin-off route with Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, an adventure whose main character was Larry Lovage, the nephew of the original Larry. The story took place inside a college where, among a series of classic American comedy situations, young Larry was engaged in the same “anatomical” activities of his uncle.

About some special locations, maybe you did not know that Playboy Mansion – a dream villa and reality that contains, among other things, a legitimate zoo legally recognized by the United States of America – has a close connection with the world of video games.

This legendary architectural tribute to sensuality was developed Playboy: The Mansion

, a video game released in 2005 for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC. Today, such a story would not be scandalous because there are so many non-videogame brands ending up in consoles and PCs around the world, but at the time things were different.

“It looks like a lucrative industry that we are entering,” said Hugh Hefner at the time. “It’s a logical step. Someone might say it’s a gamble. The video game industry is huge right now and games are enjoyed by many people reading Playboy. ” The step was really logical indeed, but the outcome of the operation was not the same.

Playboy: The Mansion was basically a clone of The Simswhere she fell into the dressing-gown of Playboy’s patron, with the purpose of managing and enhancing the finances and the structure of the villa, the Mansion. Surprisingly, no scene of nakedness of any kind was present in the game, which makes us smile if we think about the series of Leisure Suit Larry mentioned earlier.

The motive of such modesty was the scandal generated by the atmospheric BMX XXX, from which the gaming sector was recovering. In the title, past the honors of video play history, inseparably put into the scene of striptease strips of quart’ordine. The association between bicycles and tits, removed the final assonance, is still difficult to interpret today. The game caused a real dust at the time because this feature (we call it so …) was not sponsored in any way (obviously) and caught up with players and critics surprise.

Unwanted promise aside, Playboy: The Mansion was an atrocious game developed with laziness, which ultimately sold very little and was abandoned to the impetuous fate of so many productions of this kind: bargain basket and very little historical memory.