Bishojo in Japanese means “pretty young girl.” The Bishojo games center around interacting with largely 2D images of young girls. They could be an arcade game, a puzzle game, an adventure story, or similar game themes. The Bishojo aspect can be incorporated into any computer game and make it a part of the Bishojo game industry.
Examples of Bishojo games include – Gals Panic, Money Idol Exchanger, Strip Mahjong, Tokimeki Memorial, Galaxy Angels, To Heart, Kanon, etc.
Bishojo games became popular with the rise of the PC in the 80s in Japan. Beset with very explicit content, guidelines were set in the 90s leading to a more organized set up. The Games were translated into English, but did not enjoy widespread popularity. Many of these were hentai games with more explicit content. Examples include – True Love, Season of the Sakura, Three Siosters’ Story, etc.
Today Bishojo games are available in CD – ROMs and can be downloaded from the internet. Some of the popular games are Tokimeki Check In, X-change, and Megatokyo.
Some of the major companies in the west involved with Bishojo publishing are Jast USA, Peach Princess, G-Collections, etc.
Not all Bishojo games contain explicit scenes, though. The western publications however contain explicit themes and scenes.
A number of related terms are used with Bishojo and contain similar game themes and representation styles. These include – Eroge, Dating Sim, Renai games, Raiser sim, and visual novel.
The main impetus behind using cartoons and animations to represent adult content initially came from Japanese laws that did not allow real actors to be used, especially minors. A cursory look at Bishojo pictures would reveal young and pretty girls pampering to the tastes of adults.
The main stimulating aspect of Bishojo and other Hentai games appears to be the use of young girls and minors as objects of sexual fantasy. That is what seems to propel the sale, and the lack of widespread popularity in the west appears to be due to this aspect.
For more information on Bishojo games, visit Bishojo Games