The term ASCII porn –sometimes typographically euphemized as "ASCII pr0n"– describes pornographic images consisting of ASCII art. ASCII porn was the world's first Internet pornography, and was popular (among the then fewer computer users) before the invention of the World-Wide Web, and often found on BBSes and other text mode terminal-based systems that could be reached via direct modem dial-up. It was also exchanged via Fidonet and sneakernet and on the early Internet using pre-WWW services such as email, telnet, usenet and gopher.
A contributing factor to the relative popularity of ASCII porn in its time was high compatibility: the standard ASCII character set could be displayed on most computer monitors –even on early desktops/terminals incapable of displaying digital images– and could be printed on most printers. Also, ASCII porn could be composed by hand using nothing more than a text editor, without the need for a model or camera. With the advent of the World-Wide Web, ASCII porn largely slipped into obscurity.
Net artists in the late 1990s returned to the form, for instance in the work Deep ASCII, a rendering of the movie Deep Throat, created by Vuk Ćosić of the ASCII Art Ensemble. Concrete poet Florian Cramer also produced ASCII work based on sexually explicit images.
- Kerstin Mey, Art and Obscenity, I.B.Tauris, 2007, p155. ISBN 1-84511-235-0
- Annalee Newitz, On-the-go porn, salon.com, July 4, 2001.
- such as for instance original IBM PCs with MDA cards
- Many early computer printers were either incapable of printing graphical images or required custom software support in every program to do so, which was not always implemented.
- Kornelia Freitag, Katharina Vester, Another Language, LIT Verlag Berlin-Hamburg-Münster, 2008, pp. 102-3. ISBN 3-8258-1210-3
- asciipr0n.com - a website featuring a large ASCII porn archive
- The textfiles.com ASCII art archive also contains a significant amount of ASCII porn (including a mirror of asciipr0n.com).
- asciiporn.us - a blog-style website dedicated to ASCII porn
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