Trans Games

Pronoun cards 2016-01

For this week, I decided to brainstorm ideas for serious games based on issues transgender people face. I did some research as well because, even though I’m a demiguy, I obviously do not know all there is to know about trans stuff. I focused the bulk of my research on pronouns and dysphoria since my ideas revolved around the subjects.

Pronouns are a lot simpler than they appear to be. Basically, if someone tells you what their pronouns are, use them. Don’t misgender anyone. It’s okay to mess up, but apologize, use the correct pronoun, and move on. There are a lot of pronouns so it may seem confusing, but just use the ones that person asks you to. Pronoun sets include: she/her, they/them, he/him, ze/hir, ne/nem, and more.

For dysphoria, it was hard to find research that was inclusive or didn’t misgender the examples they were talking about. A good definition of dysphoria is “an experience of discomfort or disconnect with one’s assigned gender, often accompanied by a strong desire to change one’s sex to better match their identity or to be called the correct gendered language.” Dysphoria can happen with binary as well as non-binary people.

One idea I had for a game was something simple, a Sims like game that is more more inclusive. In this game for customization, you can choose whatever pronouns you want and not be locked into gendered body or clothing options. Once you have your character you can talk to other characters. You get options for conversations like “ask about pronouns” or “talk about hormones.” In the world of this game, there is no transphobia or transmisogyny

For another idea, I thought of a world that was the opposite of that. From the outside, this game would seem like a normal action game. You go into character creation, but get basic options for the character, only two genders to choose from. This game is designed for cisgender people to play, but there will be trigger warnings for misgendering and dysphoria because throughout the game, most of the other characters will misgender the player character. Basically, the game will show cisgender people how it feels to constantly be referred to as a gender they are not.

The last idea, which may be my favorite, is a game about dysphoria in the shower. Bathing time is when trans people who have not transitioned basically have to stare at the bodies they are uncomfortable with which can lead to long, depressing showers. This isn’t the case for everyone though and dysphoria in general varies from person to person. This game will focus on one person with dysphoria. The player will see a silhouette behind a shower curtain and thought bubbles from time to time from the character. The player has to manage the character’s shower time, have them accomplish washing their hair and other hygiene based tasks, but the character can reject what the player wants and just stand there, thinking or staring at the wall.

 

Sources:

http://www.citylab.com/navigator/2015/09/ze-or-they-a-guide-to-using-gender-neutral-pronouns/407167/

http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Dysphoria

 

 

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