Innovation

Redditor Finds Ancient Porn 'Mac Playmate' on Junked Mac SE

The used computer had floor plans, old files, and ... a smut program called Mac Playmate.

Wikimedia / MagicTom13

A Reddit user found a surprise on a Mac SE he recently purchased: A strange old erotica program called Mac Playmate, app that claims a controversial history.

Mac Playmate was released in 1985. It features a pixellated woman called “Maxie” and a group of “toys” that can be used on her. Keep in mind that this was on the low-resolution display available back in the ‘80s — this was about as scintillating as watching someone draw nude portraits on an Etch-a-Sketch. But unlike those ephemeral drawings, this program is apparently forever, otherwise, it would never have been found.

And people loved it: a 1988 profile of Mac Playmate (headline: “Macplaymate: Is It Software Or Hard Porn?”) in the Los Angeles Times by Patt Morrison describes men going crazy over the game: “At a San Francisco computer trade show, it brought out the vice squad — and a 10-deep ‘feeding frenzy’ of men frantically waving wads of money, ‘begging’ to buy it,” she reported then.

Just about the only safe for work image of MacPlaymate we can shareImgur / wowbobwow

Hell, even the New York Times claimed in 1988 that some office workers chose to use Macs instead of IBM computers because of Mac Playmate. That’s how novel a game that featured a naked woman and a box of sex toys was back then.

Just in case you want to see what all the fuss was about, here’s a decidedly not-safe-for-work walkthrough of Mac Playmate:

Now Redditor “wowbobwow” has unearthed a piece of pornographic history. The Mac SE was purchased off Craigslist, and he documents all the interesting features of the computer in this Imgur gallery. The computer would have cost $3,900 in ‘87, not including the Ethernet card. The seller allegedly told him: “And listen, wowbobwow, I know this will sound like I’m crazy, but… when it turned on, it talked to me. Really.”

Maybe he was talking about Mac Playmate: It was buried in a folder called “AOL.” Remember, this is pre- incognito mode, so whoever owned this Mac had to be careful to hide it.

Luckily for its apparently fanatical enthusiasts, MacPlaymate was designed with privacy in mind: It includes a “panic” button that makes a spreadsheet appear in case of emergency.

The spreadsheet displayed when someone hits MacPlaymate's panic buttonImgur / wowbobwow
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