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Erotic Photo Hunt

One of the creators of Erotic Photo Hunt finally explains its ineffable charms

By John Teti • June 27, 2013

Emily Guendelsberger—the arts editor at Philadelphia City Paper and an occasional contributor to The A.V. Clubposted an interview today with one of the top creative minds behind Erotic Photo Hunt. In case you’re not familiar, Erotic Photo Hunt is one of the most popular games for Megatouch’s line of bartop touchscreen game consoles. It’s a weird hybrid of fast-food placemat puzzles and softcore porn: The object is to find the differences in near-identical photos of scantily clad women. (Megatouch also produces a game with images of male Chippendale’s models to appeal to straight women, but Emily reports that the Chippendale’s edition isn’t as good, so most women end up playing the version with babes anyway.)

In her thoroughly entertaining interview, Emily asks Megatouch’s head writer, Jim Hartman, to explain the process behind the crude Photoshop wizardry used to create visual differences in Erotic Photo Hunt.

CP: I only ever saw this once, but I did see one with three nipples.

JH: I’m sure if we saw it we all laughed at it or something. But we don’t do stuff like that very often. We could take eyes out or all sorts of weird stuff especially when we started to partner with Penthouse, I wasn’t sure what they would think if we changed what the model actually looked like. So we stayed away from that sort of thing. I’m sure in the older version there’s more of that sort of thing. Sometimes if they’re not wearing anything, you just have to do what you have to do.

If you want to know more about the company behind the game, Steve Heisler wrote a longform feature about Megatouch—which dominates the bartop games field—in April 2012. Behind-the-scenes fact: After the story was published, an aggrieved Megatouch honcho contacted us and made a vague threat to cripple Gameological by spreading the word within the games industry that we were not to be trusted. Somehow, we have survived, and so have they, and the shaky détente continues.

(Photo: Neal Santos for Philadelphia City Paper)

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16 Responses to “One of the creators of Erotic Photo Hunt finally explains its ineffable charms”

  1. His_Space_Holiness says:

    You don’t want to make an enemy of the drunk-horndog game industry, Teti. Don’t go thinking you’re unmegatouchable.

  2. Fluka says:

    I can’t believe I missed a Gameological feature with copious references to Tastykake and Yuengling.

    And I’m so glad that Gameological survived being intimidated by the cutthroat bar-games lobby.  (John, do you know what they objected to?  The intimation that their games were designed to be manipulative and addictive, which, duh?)

    • John Teti says:

      Well, there was one quote in the piece that they insisted we had improperly contextualized. Steve listened to his tapes and determined that, while the context was confusing and indefinite, their interpretation of the quote was plausible. I decided it was only fair to give them the benefit of the doubt and issue a correction (which you can find at the end of the piece).

      They also were unhappy that Steve compared Megatouch products to gambling machines, in particular the bit where he described them as existing in a gray area between a jukebox and a slot machine. I can understand why they’re touchy about being perceived as a gambling outfit, but c’mon.

      The weird thing is, if you read the story, you can see that it’s puckish and skeptical, but it’s hardly a hit piece. The most unflattering statements are the ones that Megatouch staffers made themselves, on the record, and even those were clearly said with a sense of humor about themselves. Somehow that sense of humor went away after we published the article.

      It was weird. I think they just panicked. As Emily noted in an email exchange with me today, the guy she interviewed had a great sense of humor about his work.

  3. WaxTom says:

    Look out Japan, your monopoly on perverted games may be over!

    *Japan responds by making a bullet hell game where every bullet is a nipple and every target is a underage anime girl*

  4. Jason Reich says:

    Playing Erotic Photo Hunt in dive bars was my can’t-miss “we’re going to end up making out before this night is over” first date activity. You’re welcome, youngsters.

  5. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    I really only play Erotic Photo Hunt for the game play.

  6. Alex Hidalgo says:

    I will challenge any and all people to a photo hunt contest. I haven’t played in a long time and I don’t play the porn version (not a fan of objectifying women) but I am still certain I can beat any and all challengers. I promise I’ve only played a handful of times in the last decade; this is certainly not about memorization. I’m just really good at this.

    Pick any bar in NYC.

  7. Halloween_Jack says:

    I used to play the Erotic version in bars because it was a little more challenging to concentrate on the non-prurient details, as it were, and because it was pretty mild (topless only, and not even in every picture). But the newer machines have the Penthouse version, and bare vulva seems a bit risque for the average bar, particularly in one that is more of a bar and grill frequented fairly often by families. It might be a bit different if, you know, just about everyone in the bar couldn’t see it coming in.

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