Dys.4.ia is a short game by Anna Anthropy about her 6 month venture through hormone therapy. Throughout the story you will hear the the inner thoughts of someone being plagued by their own dysphoria. The game’s creator and designer, Anna Anthropy, has used the mechanics of this game further the capture the emotion of her story. The mechanics in this game are used to create not only the game play but enhance the emotions behind the story. The only controls used are the arrow keys and all “level” objectives are achieved through movement of an object or player sprite. The first screen in the story, as seen in the image above, is a simple tetris like puzzle. Through using the direction keys the player can manoeuvre the piece through the wall. You’ll soon quickly learn that it is just not going to happen. All through the game the mechanics are used like metaphors. Just when the you think you have failed the first level, the game will progress. This will happen on every stage of the game, voiding the game of any real challenge. This, as stated by Anna Anthropy in an interview with Josh Spirro, was done intentionally. She uses this to make the player feel “as though the game has failed to validate their masculinity in some essential way”(Spirro, 2016).
Play the game: http://images.jayisgames.com/dys4ia.swf
Grieg, G. (2015). Videogames: Theory and Culture Class Blog 2015. [online] Available at: https://videogamesftvms2015.wordpress.com/author/georgiothe3rd/ [Accessed 2 Mar. 2016].
Spirro, J. (2016). Anna Anthropy: Games should share an idea, not rob us of time and money | Games for Change. [online] Gamesforchange.org. Available at: http://www.gamesforchange.org/2012/03/anna-anthropy-interview/ [Accessed 2 Mar. 2016].