Getting Some Play: Personal gaming

Welcome to Getting Some Play — the spiritual successor to Sarah Warn’s excellent Good Game column — where we’ll take a look at the latest releases, news and developments in the world of video games.

Express Yourself

When you think of “videogames,” it’s likely that your mind goes to one of two places: massive, big-budget Hollywood-style experiences, or ultra-quirky indie games that feature impossibly weird characters and scenarios. Think Halo or Call of Duty for the former, Super Meat Boy or the upcoming Fez for the latter. Rarely do we think of games as being personal – or personal statements.

Enter Anna Anthropy, a transwoman who has consistently been making small, personal (and provocative) games. She’s just released Dys4ia, an autobiographical game specifically about her experiences with hormone replacement therapy, and you should play it.

Go on and play, I’ll wait. It takes only a few minutes (and it’s browser-based, so don’t worry about downloading anything). What awaits you is one of the most genuinely touching game experiences I’ve ever had. This is the 8-bit equivalent of a personal documentary – a small and poignant window into someone’s experiences.

From the game portal:

dys4ia is an autobiographical game about the period in my life when I started hormone replacement therapy. it’s a story about me, and is certainly not meant to represent the experience of every trans person.

The game will also be featured at the Trans Day of Visibility on March 31, at San Jose’s Billy Defrank LGBT Center.

Anthropy is a huge proponent of personal games, and the idea of creating a “Youtube of games,” where everyone can contribute their own visions to the space. Gaming can be personal, it can be expressive, and it can be powerful – and Dys4ia is proof positive of this.


The second half of March isn’t exactly jam-packed, but there are several potential highlights. If you like horror, March 13 is your day: Both Silent Hill: Downpour (360) and Yakuza: Dead Souls (PS3) are landing. Downpour is more of a traditional survival-horror title, while Dead Souls is a zombie-infested spinoff of the Japanese crimelord sim series, so expect new (and creepy) twists from both.


Also on the scary side: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City arrives on the PS3 and 360 on March 20. On the same day, the Silent Hill HD collection drops (again, for the 360 and PS3). If that wasn’t enough, Silent Hill: Book of Memories is set to launch on the March 27, for the Vita.


Ninja Gaiden 3 arrives on March 20, on both the 360 and the PS3. Each of the previous games was an exercise in precise, ultra-violent action, and this game promises both multiplayer and a “casual” mode, opening up the action for the skill-challenged.

On the downloadable side, heavy hitter Journey is set to arrive on PSN on March 13. One of the highlights of Sony’s booth at E3 last year, it’s the latest offbeat title from ThatGameCompany (Fl0w, Flower), and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Also on March 13 (and also on PSN) is Warp, described on IGN as “a unique stealth action game that feature a top-down sci-fi world with a distinctive art style, addicting levels, hazardous traps and challenging puzzles.” I’ve not heard much about the game, but I have a soft spot for sci-fi puzzlers.

Finally, if you still fancy yourself a citizen of the Danger Zone and can’t get rid of those visions of sweaty Navy pilots playing volleyball, the gayest film of all time is getting a new game adaptation in Top Gun: Hard Lock (PC and 360). You’ve been warned.