Bunhill

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The Independent Online
LET us now turn to the subject of computer sex. I was leafing through the first issue of Games Review, a computer games magazine launched last week, when, among endless graphics of kung-fu fighters, my eye fell upon a photograph of a real person. She was stark naked, sprawled on a bed with her legs in the air. Next to her yelled the headline 'You'll Go Blind]' above an account of a programme offering pictures on your computer screen of women 'so naked you can see their. . . you know. . . their 'things'.'

'2,300 juicy photos. . . and there's even an interactive bit to really get you dribbling,' slavered the article with convincing adolescent enthusiasm.

Which was only appropriate in the circumstances, since the biggest consumers of computer games and computer magazines are boys aged between 10 and 15 - as the article in question was well aware. The programme, it warned, 'is only available for those over 18'. The solution? 'Get your older brother to buy it.'

A few pages on was an advert offering a computer phone-link supplying soft porn pictures from Penthouse, Readers Wives, Forum and Big Ones, to name but a few.

The publisher, Keith Eden of Retail Revolution - part-owned by Northern & Shell, which itself publishes some of the porn titles involved - clearly has no qualms about tempting pre-teenagers to tap into this sort of stuff. 'Me and my sister got hold of the Kinsey report at the age of nine,' he boasts. Apparently this experience did not send him mad - or even blind.

In any case, he argues, you can't stop the kids since there is no equivalent in the computer industry of the newsagent's top shelf. 'Inquiring teenagers will always pursue their interests in the broadest sense, and anyone capable of operating a computer can get access to this material.'

And since boys will be boys, I'm sure they do.

(Photograph omitted)

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