Dys4ia

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4.7/5 (229 votes)
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Dys4ia is a retro arcade-y piece of interactive art by transsexual author Anna Anthropy about her six-month experience with hormonal therapy. Raw and emotional, but surprisingly humorous, for good or for bad, this is the kind of game that will get people thinking and talking.

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21 Comments

Usually when I play experimental/art games I am left saying either "Mmm, it makes you think" or "Wow... pretentiousness overload". This game, however, was awesome! I know a lot of t-girls and I've even been there to see one person start their transition and see another friend decide to undo their transition.

I'm glad for the disclaimer at the start about it being a personal journey and not commentary on all transgendered people. But that said, all of this rang true and I couldn't help but laugh when the 'May I help you Sir?' became 'MA'AM!'. The most gorgeous girl I know is a trans and you would never guess to look at her. Her kryptonite though is telemarketers who say, 'Good afternoon Sir, I have a great offer for you'. It's horrible to see someone who I think is more 'woman' than most of the biogirls I know, reduced to self loathing over semantics.

I give this game 5 lasered off Adam's apples.

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Yay, butterfly!

Loved the humor and an interesting experience. On a game note, anybody find any easter eggs? This seems like one that would be ripe with them.

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One of the things that I was most surprised about this is I first played this on newgrounds, and after I finished it I had a fit of masochism and decided to look at the comments. This is not a good idea when you are looking at anything that has to deal with queer topics, especially trans* ones.

Of the twenty pages of comments I went through, there were approximately three posts which were hurtful. And people replied to those telling them as such. It was probably the most shocking and awesome thing.

Anyway, yeah, the game. Adore it, love it. The imagery explains that really hard-to-describe feeling of dysphoria beautifully -- the tetris-like misshapen blocks that can't quite fit through the space is just exactly that feeling. And I applaud Anna Anthropy for sharing this story with us, cause that sorta thing is real hard to do, sometimes.

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Schippor Author Profile Page March 15, 2012 6:51 PM

mmm.... I don't understand if she loves girls or boys

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Asthanius Author Profile Page March 15, 2012 8:23 PM

@Schippor: That doesn't really matter, now does it?

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This was heartbreaking and uplifting. As someone who has constantly struggled with finding a firm sense of identity, and battling what people expect of me, this was so encouraging. I love the style of gameplay, it's so sweet and simple. The struggle and turmoil to be yourself is beautiful. Completely beautiful. The most touching for me,

is wandering through the hall of mirrors, and feeling like you are finally seeing what your girlfriend sees when she looks at you. It made me tear up. It's so rare to find someone in life that not only loves you for who you are, but also who you don't realize you are.

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Schippor Author Profile Page March 16, 2012 6:51 AM

@Asthanius: yes, but if she loves a girl I can't understand why she becames a girl. I've never heard of men who become lesbians, it's so weird.

I come from a small town in Italy, and these things do not happen here

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With all due respect, Schippor, I think you're thinking about this too hard and too clinically. :) Sometimes what you need to feel complete isn't what everyone else needs, but as long as that's what works for you, that's all that matters. Personally, I think there's too much of a desire to fit everyone into a neat little box, and it doesn't always work that way.

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I suggest you read up on gender dysphoria. It has nothing to do with the gender one is attracted to and everything to do with the gender one identifies as.

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Lol, I was legitimately thinking the day before I saw this game that somebody needed to make a game about dysphoria.
One of those pretentious art games that I love. Shared it with my boyfriend, he wasn't so enamoured. Great topic, but the medium isn't for everyone. If you like short pixellated games without traditional gameplay style then you should love this.
I thought it was skillfully crafted and rang true to my own experiences with gender. Particularly the part where she has a hard time getting through the door/ hole in the brick wall at the beginning of the game, and by the end she feels more comfortable with herself but can't fit through it (society's perceptions of gender) at all because she's constantly in flux.

That part may have been to subtle for some cisgender audience members, so I thought I should bring up how brilliant it was.

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LVL. 99 Shiny Magicarp Author Profile Page March 17, 2012 11:12 AM

This made me cry. My boyfriend is a female-to-male transgender, and I know this is very akin to what he is going through. I wish I could thank Anna personally.

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LVL. 99 Shiny Magicarp Author Profile Page March 17, 2012 11:21 AM

Oh, another note, the feminism thing at the beginning is actually a huge issue. I've noticed that women for gender equality tend to view any transsexuals as the enemy while this is simply not the case. Society in general seems to be against transsexuals, and it's heartbreaking.

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LVL. 99 Shiny Magicarp,

While I can't speak for the painful experiences your boyfriend or Anna Anthropy went through, I have to disagree with the generalization that feminists do not accept transsexuals as "real" men or women. As a feminist, I think that gender equality means exactly that - equality for all genders.

It is my core belief as a supporter of gender equality that human beings should be treated not as a woman, or a man, or a transsexual, but as a person. That belief is not in any way threatened by any other person's gender, lifestyle, or sexuality, and it certainly does not make transsexuals "the enemy". Truly, what right would I have as a feminist to tell a transsexual who they are or who they are not, and in the same breath declare that I should be immune to such categorization?

There are still many in society, including some feminists, who are ignorant or unaccepting of transsexuals, and that is a tragic reality. However, I hope you can share my understanding that there are also many of us out there (feminist or not) who pursue the tolerance and equal treatment for all people, and that acceptance cannot be gained if we still hold each other in such contempt.

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rincewindsw Author Profile Page March 18, 2012 3:04 PM

@Trinn - I totally agree with you in principle, that is exactly what feminism should be. However, I've heard accounts of transgender women who have felt less supported by feminists, perhaps because some feminists tend to use female sexual organs as a means of empowerment (cf The Vagina Monologues), and male sex organs as a point of disparagement, at the unintentional expense of trans women. I interpreted that as the issue which Anthropy's game touches upon.

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That was beautiful.

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This is the second time I have tried this game, and I cannot get this to start. I have pressed the "down arrow", the number 2 (with "Num lock" off), the "Page down" key, the keys "d-o-w-n", the space bar, and mousing and clicking over the word "down", and the down arrow.

What am I missing?

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Down arrow is working for me in a variety of browsers on Mac OS X and Windows 7. If you'll tell me what browser, OS and Flash Player versions you're using I'll try to reproduce the issue.

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Windows Vista 32-bit, Flash version 11.1.102.63, Google Chrome. Thanks!

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Hi hamfist, we tried to reproduce your issue on Vista with Chrome and could not. So, it might be due to a conflict with a browser extension you have installed. Try disabling all that you have installed to see if that's the problem. You might also try different browsers, too.

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Thanks for the assistance! (For the record, it still didn't work in Chrome for me, even after disabling all extensions, but I did get it to work in IE.)

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlNyh_5Y7hGsbdzIQDu6yOwovbSXpVJy2Q Author Profile Page April 25, 2012 8:13 AM

I don't get why my comment was deleted :/

I think this game is really cool, maybe it's not very interactive, but it is enough for it to work, and anyway what's important here is the story.

I like that the way the story is told is realistic, neither 100% depressing nor happy, just genuine frustration or hope or expectations. It really is different when a person of the LGBT community creates a game that talks about LGBT issues, than when a cisgender straight person does: it shows that Anna knows what she's talking about.

@Schippor: I also came from a very small town in Italy, and "these things" DO happen there, thankyouverymuch, since I'm a bisexual transboy myself.

[While I don't know why your previous comment was deleted, please take a look at our commenting policies for reasons why it may have been deleted. We have very strict rules about some things, and your comment must have broken one of them. -Mod.]

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