Anna Anthropy – 2012

A graphic shows a lot of grey persons and one pink person, above that there are three eyes

In her autobiographical flash game »Dys4ia« designer Anna Anthropy focuses on the hormone treatment she received in preparation for her gender reassignment surgery.

Anna Anthropy was born a man and she made her sexuality and the search for her identity the topic of a series of essays in the form of daily journal entries of brief mini-dramas. Using four game levels, Anna Anthropy tells the story of her therapy.[…] Anthropy knows how to focus her gaze on details that gradually accumulate into a complex psychological profile of her protagonist. As a game designer, she makes use of certain metaphors within gameplay to tell her story: Firstly, she uses a non-standard Tetris block which simply won’t fit into any row, no matter how it is twisted or turned. Anna Antrhopy comments pn this game action by saying, »I feel weird about my body«. On the third level, when Anthropy begins to take sex hormones for the first time, the game reprises this motif with the sentence, »I feel weirder about my body than I ever have«. Again, the player has no chance of fitting the Tetris Block into the row. »Dys4ia« resists any conventional game strategy. At moments like these, it brings the game’s flow to a halt and thus takes a counter position to the conventional games market in more than just content. […]

Text by Sophie Rau und Stephan Schwingeler, published in »Games and Politics. An interactive exhibition by the Goethe-Institute in cooperation with ZKM I Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe«, exhibition catalogue, Goethe-Institute, Munich 2016.