25 March 2012

Sunday Free Game - dys4ia

The last game I played by Anna Anthropy (also known as auntie pixelante) was Mighty Jill Off, which was most notable for combining 8-bit-style platforming with kinky leather sex-wear. It wasn't the worst, but it didn't do much for me.

dys4ia keeps the pixel art and overt sexuality, but it gives it a purpose. Where Mighty Jill Off was a traditional, challenging platformer, dys4ia drops almost almost all pretense of playing like a game (despite its impeccable design), and instead leverages the abstraction and interactivity of the medium to tell an intensely personal story. It's not a game, but I've never seen a movie or read an essay that gave me such a clear understanding of the challenges and motivations of a transgendered person. This is a brilliant and engrossing use of the form, and a story that could not be so eloquently expressed in any other way.

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