WHAT IS MAHJONG?
Mahjong is a classic tile-base game that originated in China during the late 1800's. Today it has become quite a popular and widespread game with several different variations around the world including Chinese, Japanese, European, and Taiwanese mahjong. While the game has become global, much of its popularity still resides mainly in Asia. Outside of Asia, particularly in the US, the game is still far off from the mainstream which is one reason for all the negativity proclaimed by some people concerning these form of games in MAME.

Mahjong is ideally played with 4-people. At the beginning of the game, each player receives a certain amount of tiles. How much depends on what variation of mahjong you play. Turns alternate from one player to the next. Typically, a turn begins when a player draws a new tile. It ends when that player discards one of his or her own. Once a player's turn ends, the next player's turn begins. The game continues in this fashion until someone wins the round by declaring mahjong. To win in mahjong, your goal is to transform your hand of tiles into a scoring hand before anyone else can do the same.

And please do not confuse yourself with mahjong and solitaire mahjong. The two are completely different games. Solitaire mahjong is not real mahjong. The only relation it has to mahjong is that it uses mahjong tiles for playing the game. In this game, you have a pile of mahjong tiles stacked up and against one another in a particular layout. The goal of this game is to clear the board of tiles by eliminating tiles pair by pair until there are no more tiles left. The structure of the game, I guess, is similar to solitaire played with playing cards, which is how it got its name. It's a nice game and all, but it's just not mahjong and it should not be though of as true mahjong. The fact that various game companies that make these games label them simply as mahjong and not as solitaire mahjong still baffles me to this day. When are they going to get it right?

 
WHAT IS VIDEO MAHJONG?
Video mahjong is simply a digitalize version of the game. Instead of playing on a table against real opponents, you are playing on a video screen against a digital opponent. Also, instead of the traditional 4-player arrangement, most video mahjong games are played by only two players: you and the opponent on screen. Over a hundred of these video mahjong games are available for play in MAME or Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator.

The majority of these games were made and developed in Japan. As a result, most of them closely resemble and play just like the Japanese variation of real-life mahjong. Special rules that apply only to the Japanese variation like Reach and Doras are also featured in video mahjong as well. The Japanese variation of mahjong is known as Riichi mahjong or Reach mahjong. Because most of these games are based on the Japanese variation, this site will focus only on the rules of Japanese mahjong with slight rule changes as found from game to game.

Of course, the similarities between the two are only fundamentally. While video mahjong is similar, it is leagues away from the depth, complexity, and tension found in real mahjong. Playing against AI, who can only follow patterns and guidelines programmed by the makers, can never compare to playing against an actually human opponent, who can think and adjust their game at will. Real-life poker and video poker is another example of this. Even so, video mahjong is a deep and very-much intense game, just not as much as its real-life counterpart.

As you know by now, playing and enjoying the game of mahjong isn't the main attraction of these games. If it was, then there wouldn't be so many of them. This site probably wouldn't exist as well to tell you the truth. The main attraction of video mahjong is, of course, the girls of the game. Not only are they good looking, well not all of them, but they strip for you as well. For the majority of mahjong games in MAME, your opponents are all females. Usually when you win a round against them, a cut-scene would start in which your opponent would remove an article of clothing from her body. The match is basically won when she can strip no more. Pretty sweet, isn't it. They don't call it strip mahjong for nothing. As a result, nudity is a feature of these games. That's the reason why so many of them are labeled as mature or adult. Even though there is nudity in the majority of the mahjong games found in MAME, everything is kept clean. There isn't anything that is dirty or disturbing that comes to mind.

By far one of the most important elements of many mahjong games is the addition of humor as a way to remind us to not take the game too seriously. Like any other games of the past and today, this is just a game. If you are offended by it, simply do not play it. If you enjoy mahjong, but are offended by the nudity, simply bypass the cut scenes or play the ones without it. If you enjoy the whole product, enjoy the game and have fun. Having fun is all that matters in the end. That is all.