Game Review #5: A neon-bright Trans Experience

Dys4ia main


Dys4ia is a game unlike any other. In fact, I’m not even sure whether it fits the common definition of a “game”– I guess it would be closer to an art game.

This game is, in short, a storytelling in neon 8-bit art. Game developer Anna Anthropy tells of her own story, her transgender experience as she went through estrogen prescription.


The game is comprised of several “pages”- that has its own story and an illustration. It’s basically the same thing as an illustrated storybook, except for the fact that, of course, the illustrations are interactive. The player follows the narrator as she slowly gains confidence as a woman.

There really isn’t something much of a gameplay to “win”, rather than a gameplay to help understand the narrator better. While in every “page” there is  a goal to be achieved (shaving all the hair, going through a wall, etc..) even if the player fails to do so the game simply moves on. The “game” here, in this sense, serves simply to be a part of a story.

Dys4ia-2 (2)
Everyone should definitely try out this game. I feel that in this world where LGBT rights are often ignored,  sharing transgender experience is crucial. Who said 8-bit games couldn’t be memorable?

4 responses to “Game Review #5: A neon-bright Trans Experience

    • Just read it. That’s terrible, but I think it’s important to know that not all gamers are quite intelligent… But I’m always surprised at how polite internet gaming communities are, when I know a plenty of ghetto gamers. I find people in game forums more polite than those in political forums

      • Yea, I wanted to point out this part:

        “The outpouring of support I received — large amounts from female and gay fans — was incredibly heartening,” she said. “I got hundreds of messages from people who had been deeply moved by characters and scenes that I wrote and who had made positive changes in their real lives because of it. Without the negativity, I’m not sure that I would ever have heard from all of these people confirming that there is a need for characters that tackle touchy social issues, for characters who are untraditional or even unlikeable. It has definitely strengthened my desire to continue to make games that strive for inclusivity and that use fiction and fantasy to explore difficult, uncomfortable real-world issues.”

        … and that nontraditional approaches to games seems to bring out hostility in people, if they are forced to confront it. Whereas minorities are forced to confront the norms of the majority regularly..

      • I guess that’s true not only with games but also with everything else: positive change always has its own backlash. That’s why I admire Anna Anthropy so much for making this, despite the stats showing that 40% of people are uncomfortable with genderqueer people. I wonder if there were any negative/prejudiced backlash against this game?

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