Sunday, March 20, 2016

Dys4ia vs. Win/Loss States

For this analysis I chose Dys4ia. I would argue that the game goes against counter narratives by providing an autobiographical account of a trans person's life, something which you certainly don't see too often in popular media (particularly games). The telling of this story is the main focus of the game, and it utilizes game mechanics in order to engage the player in similar experiences to those of the developer. This is something that you certainly don't see in many games, as there are a lot of games that are not really "experiences" as they are arcade-y games (which isn't a bad thing, but games have struggled to generate meaningful experiences even when they try to). The story presented in this game is certainly one that is not seen in many pieces of media, and also presents trans people as more than jokes, like many "comedy" films or even GTA seem to do.

One thing that stood out to me, especially considering the article "Games You Can't Win," is that this game does not really focus on win/loss states (though you still have to "progress" through the game in some manner). Rather, the game presents a series of vignettes that the player "experiences" interactively. It is interesting that many people, including my brother, consider this a bad thing, and say that it makes the product "not a game." But that sentiment is incredibly exclusive in terms of what games are allowed to be and do. Games can do more that stick to spacial genres (driving, shooting, platforming, etc.). Developers are now figuring out how to take the mechanics of the game and turn them into something that the player experiences, much in the same way that a movie can make a character seem isolated based on their position in the frame. In this way, Dys4ia continues to go against dominant media by generating an emotional experience for players rather than a spacial one (and uses space to further this, as well).

Digression: there are two pretty great videos on the question of "what is a game" if anyone is interested: - Extra Credits - Errant Signal

No comments:

Post a Comment