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Bishōjo games are similar to Choose Your Own Adventure books in the way of narrative, in which the game tells a story but the player may make choices to change how the story flows. Bishōjo games began to appear in Japan in the beginning days of personal computers.
The first bishōjo game commercialized in Japan appeared in 1982 as Night Life by Koei.
The first bishōjo games were not too popular, At the beginning of the genre almost all the games were pornographic.
(The game's title originates from the number of the Japanese law criminalizing rape.) 177 was not actually the first game designed around this premise, but it was unusually explicit.The game caused debate in the Japanese parliament and was eventually recalled and re-released with the most controversial scenes removed.The industry gradually moved away from proprietary Japanese hardware to the burgeoning DOS platform, and then later in the decade to Windows.Throughout the nineties, bishōjo games underwent an evolution from being one of the most technologically demanding types of games (because their detailed 2D graphics required a large amount of storage space by the standards of early computers) to one of the least (they rarely use 3D graphics).Thus, more than regular games, the main employees required by bishōjo game companies today are not programmers but artists and writers.
In the early nineties the atmosphere in Japan became more and more hostile towards bishōjo games.