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Digital Playground Inc. is an American pornographic movie studio, headquartered in Burbank, California. It has been called one of the five biggest porn studios and, in 2006, was described by Reuters as one of the handful of studios that dominate the U.S. porn industry. The studio has been at the forefront of introducing new communications technology, as it emerges, into porn.
Adult director Joone founded the company in 1993, originally making adult CD-ROM computer games. Commenting on the transition of the pornography industry from the underground economy to mainstream corporate acceptance, the company's founder said: "I look at the porn business where Vegas and gambling was in the 70's". "Vegas was still mob-owned and they were making the transition between these small groups of people to being corporate owned". "I feel the same exact thing is going to happen with adult". The company became an innovator in making pornography available on personal computers. In 2003 DP began working with a company specializing in hologram technology, with the aim of bringing the actress "into the viewer's living room". DP began filming in high-definition in 2005. In January 2006 the company chose Blu-ray Disc over rival format HD DVD because Joone felt Blu-ray Disc was more future-proofed. DP initially had difficulty finding a company prepared to produce its films in the Blu-ray Disc format, as companies that replicated DVDs were reluctant to deal with the pornography industry.
The Digital Playground studios have been labeled as "trailblazers" for iPads, HD and three-dimension technology for cinema and television into the porn industry. Digital's former chief executive Samantha Lewis, who also produced and/or directed DP films, has claimed that "many technology brands [have] used the adult industry [and DP, in particular,] to test new markets" because of "the sheer scale of the [porn] industry".
Digital Playground pioneered the top-selling virtual sex genre of CD-ROMs and DVDs, in which the viewer can "command" a famous pornographic actress by selecting from a menu of explicit scenes. The first film in the series was released in 1998. In the series the actress looks directly at the camera, and appears to talk directly to the viewer. According to Joone, "It's the closest you'll ever get to having sex with our girls without really having sex with them". "When you're watching a regular porn movie, you're watching it in the third person". "You're basically a voyeur". "This way it's a first-person experience". "If the girl is in the missionary position, the camera is looking down at her as you would be if you were actually there with her". "You're the god of your world at that moment". Virtual Sex with Jenna Jameson is one of the top-selling adult DVDs of all time according to adultdvdempire.com sales charts. The viewer is able to choose the camera angles, the sexual position of the selected actress and her demeanor – either "innocent" or "nasty".
In 2005, the company released Pirates, a film that billed itself as "offering all of the production values of any Hollywood box office film" and a "monumental step towards the eminent [sic] merging of the entertainment industries". RogReviews called it "the most talked about adult movie of the year".
Digital Playground released Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge in 2008. Written and directed by Joone and once again starring Jesse Jane, Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge also featured Stoya, Riley Steele, Katsuni, Sasha Grey, Belladonna, and Gabriella Fox. "The production values were very high (you can see every penny on the screen too), the movie having twice as many special effect shots as the original, an even better cast, and the kind of package that you just don't see every day," wrote Don Houston of Xcritic.com. The movie was also released in an R-rated version.
Most notable films released by Digital Playground are:
- Jack's Playground series of films (2003-2008)
- Pirates (2005)
- Babysitters (2007)
- Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge (2008)
- Cheerleaders (2008)
- XBIZ Award: 2006 Studio of the Year
- XBIZ Award: 2007 Studio of the Year
- XBIZ Award: 2009 Studio of the Year
- XBIZ Award: 2011 Studio of the Year
- XBIZ Award Nominee: 2013 Studio of the Year
Individual Awards and Recognition
- 2013 XBIZ Award Nomination - Robby D. for 'Director of the Year - Body of Work', 'Director of the Year - Feature Release' for Nurses 2 and 'Director of the Year - Non-Feature Release' for Bad Girls 7
Porn industry awards
The following is a non-exhaustive list of porn industry awards that DP films have won:
- 2001 AVN Award – 'Best Interactive DVD' for Virtual Sex With Tera Patrick
- 2002 NightMoves – 'Best Adult Production Company'
- 2002 AVN Award – 'Best Interactive DVD' for Virtual Sex with Devon
- 2002 AVN Award – 'Top Renting Release of the Year' for Island Fever
- 2003 AVN Award – 'Best Interactive DVD' for Virtual Sex with Janine
- 2004 NightMoves – 'Best Adult Production Company'
- 2005 AVN Award – 'Best Gonzo Series' for Jack's Playground
- 2005 NightMoves – Best Adult Production Company
- 2005 NightMoves – First Choice Award (Pirates)
- 2006 AVN Award – Best DVD (Pirates)
- 2006 AVN Award – Best Video Feature (Pirates)
- 2007 NightMoves – 'Best Adult production Company'
- 2007 AVN Award – 'Best POV Series' for Jack's POV
- 2007 AVN Award – Best Renting Title of the Year (Pirates)
- 2007 AVN Award – Best Selling Title of the Year (Pirates)
- 2007 AVN Award – 'Best Vignette Series' for Jack's Playground
- 2008 NightMoves – 'Best Adult Production Company'
- 2008 NightMoves – 'Best Feature Production' Cheerleaders
- 2008 AVN Award – 'Best Specialty Series, Other Genre' for Jack's Leg Show
- 2008 AVN Award – 'Best Vignette Release' for Babysitters
- 2008 AVN Award – Top Selling Title of the Year – 2007 (Pirates)
- 2009 NightMoves – Best Adult Film (Pirates II)
- 2009 AVN Award – Best High-Definition Production (Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge)
- 2009 AVN Award – 'Best POV Release' for Jack's POV 9
- 2009 AVN Award – 'Top Renting and Selling Release' for Cheerleaders
- 2009 AVN Award – Best Video Feature (Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge)
- 2009 AVN Award – 'Best Vignette Release' for Cheerleaders
- 2010 NightMoves – 'Best Adult Production Company'*
- 2012 XBIZ Award - 'Parody Release of the Year - Drama' for Top Guns
- 2012 XBIZ Award - 'All-Girl Release of the Year' for Cherry
- 2012 XBIZ Award - 'Best Special Effects' for Top Guns
- 2012 XBIZ Award - 'Best Editing' for Fighters
- 2015 XBIZ Award - 'Best Special Effects' for Apocalypse X
Site security breach
On March 12, 2012, it was reported that the website for Digital Playground was breached, resulting in customer information being compromised. Included in the information breached and portions made public were usernames, e-mail addresses, passwords, credit card numbers and expiration dates. The membership page on that date stated that their member services were "temporarily unavailable" and that "We are currently verifying the security parameters on this site and upgrading the entire system in order to better safeguard your information."
- Josh Lipton. "Coming Soon: XXX In 3D". Minyanville. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
- "Porn stars strut their stuff at awards". TVNZ. Archived from the original on March 28, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
- "digitalplayground.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- Dana Kennedy (August 17, 2003). "The Fantasy of Interactive Porn Becomes a Reality". New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
- Jeffreys, Sheila (2008). The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade. Taylor & Francis. p. 73. ISBN 0-415-41233-1.
- "Porn Production Company Picks Blu-Ray". Fox News. January 20, 2006. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
- Matt Richtel (January 22, 2007). "In Raw World of Sex Movies, High Definition Could Be a View Too Real". New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
- "Superbrands' success fuelled by sex, religion and gossip" BBC, May 16, 2011
- Pardon, Rhett (January 17, 2012). "Manwin Acquires Digital Playground - XBIZ Newswire". XBIZ Newswire. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Dines,Gail & Humez, Jean McMahon (2002). Gender, race, and class in media: a text-reader. SAGE. p. 50. ISBN 0-7619-2261-X.
- "Pirates, A Joone Film". Digital Playground. Retrieved August 2, 2007.
- "DVD Review Pirates". RogReviews.com. July 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2007.
- "Jesse Jane in Pirates 2 Stagnetti's Revenge". XCritic.com. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
- XBIZ Award Winners, XBIZ, February 2011
- XBIZ Nominees 2013 Archived January 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., XBIZ, January 2013
- "AVN AWARDS PAST WINNERS". AVN. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- "2008 AVN AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED". AVN. Archived from the original on February 28, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
- "THE 2009 AVN AWARDS WINNERS". AVN. Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved March 7, 2009.
- XBIZ Award Winners, XBIZ, January 2012
- XBIZ Award Winners, XBIZ, January 2015
- "Porn site breached in hack attack". BBC. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
- Porn site Digital Playground hacked, hackers say "too enticing to resist", March 11, 2012, Megan Geuss, Ars Technica