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November 29, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

It seems EW editors were in a bit of a bind recently. There was a new videogame they wanted reviewed, and it demanded the skills of a writer not easily offended. Titled BMX XXX, this game apparently features strippers, hookers, and pimps, as well as numerous other unsavory types. Somehow, my name popped up. While one is always reluctant to become known around office corridors as the ”porn-videogame guy,” an assignment is an assignment. Duty calls.

Which explains why I brought the game home one weekend and waited patiently for the rest of the family to doze off so I could immerse myself in an orgy of dirt bikes and dirty minds. You see, BMX XXX started out as a plain old biking game — that is, before some genius decided to add a few naked ladies to class up the joint. The game I am now playing is nothing more than a raunchy version of Grand Theft Auto (Grand Theft Bicycle, perhaps?), in which you ride around performing risque stunts for no apparent reason. Forgoing already supplied personalities like Rave and Amish Boy, I begin my odyssey by creating my own rider, a babe decked out in nothing more than a pair of suspenders and a thong. I dub her Sweet Cheeks.

I begin the game by hopping on the bike and trying to perfect a few tricks. Alas, Sweet Cheeks is not a very accomplished cyclist. After some very basic midair spins, I set off for my first challenge. Out of nowhere, a hooker jumps on my bike and tells me to take her to her pimp — fast! As I near the drop-off point, I hear my 2-year-old son crying in the next room. I pause the game, but then stop myself. What if he wanders in and notices the frozen image of two half-naked women on a bicycle? (Even worse, what if my wife sees it?) I move into stealth mode, turning the TV screen off, but leaving the game on: I’ve got to deliver my ho, or else! After calming junior, and assuring wifey that I’m hard at work, I return to my den of debauchery.

I fail the streetwalker task, and confusion sets in. First, I still don’t understand the connection between bicycles and bee-yotches. (More puzzling are the physics of Sweet Cheeks’ attire: If she’s wearing a thong, what could possibly be holding up her suspenders?) In the interests of journalism, I press on. Finally, after earning five gold tokens, Sweet Cheeks is invited up to the VIP room of a strip club, where she is treated to a brief video clip in which a dancer named Samantha shakes her money-makers and promises to remove all her clothes. Of course, before she can seal the deal, an intrusive message appears telling me that if I want to see more, I have to complete additional stupid challenges. Frankly, this would involve way too much work for way too little reward. I look up at the clock. It’s past midnight. Hmmmmm, I wonder what’s on Cinemax?

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