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The NSFW tale of ‘MacPlaymate,’ the first interactive porn game for Mac

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MacPlaymate started as a joke, one that Mike Saenz told 30 years ago at a friend’s birthday party in New York City. A joke that appeared as a pixelated woman named Maxine in the confines of an Apple Macintosh. It was funny and everyone loved it, but that joke would become the most complicated relationship in Saenz’s life.

In MacPlaymate you would take Maxine’s clothes off, because the goal of MacPlaymate — if you could call it a goal — was a to pleasure Maxine with sex toys like the “Mighty Mo Throbber,” “Deep Plunger” or “Anal Explorer.”

You could dress Maxine in stockings, a bondage outfit or “a full fetish ensemble” while commanding her to masturbate in one of six different ways — complete with moaning sounds, of course. You could also add a female sex partner named Lola. Another feature of the game was an innovative “Panic” button that hid gameplay behind a spreadsheet. You know, for the NSFW crowd.

Before it came 1982’s Custer’s Revenge for Atari — where you, playing General George Armstrong Custer, tried to rape a naked Native American woman tied to a pole. Then in 1983 came Stroker for the Commodore 64, which involved 8-bit penises and the ability to masturbate them. In 1986, MacPlaymate took the Apple Macintosh’s simple black-and white-palette and turned it into a pornography playground.

Some might assume only a truly depraved person could create something like MacPlaymate, but as Saenz explains from his home in Sarasota, Fla., over Skype, that was not the case.

“I don’t look back at my childhood and go, ‘How did that affect me and turn me into this son of a bitch who made MacPlaymate?’”

Like any prepubescent boy, Saenz would peruse his grandfather’s Playboy magazines—though as a child he was mostly into fireworks, burning model cars and melting plastic Army men. He also fell in love with Creepy and Eerie, two horror comic book series first published in 1964 and 1966, respectively.

Saenz enrolled at the prestigious Lane Technical College Prep High School to study art, and by the time he was 18, he was working for Marvel Comics and Warren Publishing. Saenz spent two years grinding away at Marvel’s Epic Illustrated anthology, but eventually he needed to make more money. He painted on the side and took on freelance illustrations, like record sleeves for Chicago punk bands The Effigies and Naked Raygun.