DYSPHORIA CITY (Spanglypants)

dysphoria city

In particular, I wanted a game that went into heartwrenching emotional detail about the experience: rather than simply offering a mechanic that simulated dysphoria, I also wanted to portray it narratively and in a way that the player experiences as personal. [Author’s description]

[Play Online]


  1. Enjoyed this a good bit. Went through and failed as a female first, found it interesting.

    Next playthrough, tried as a male, started getting a little bored because it sounded like every day of my life and — oh. Huh.

    Haven’t got the time to go through everything at the moment, but I’ll definitely be coming back to it.

    • Alright, gone back and explored it a little more thoroughly. Good stuff, although I think the “win” screen coulda been expanded a tad. A little more detail on the effects of lower KIT points woulda been neat, too – especially if the options put off for later got more difficult. I’unno. Neat game. I don’t think I have dysphoria; these reality disconnects seem quite personal an more body-relat

      • well that wasnt supposed to happen herpy derp
        whatever its a cool game and y’all should play it

  2. I don’t understand why it was a bad thing to be called “ma’am.” Don’t I want to be called ma’am, at least in my situation? (I played as the lady)

  3. I don’t know, going for the ‘girly’ haircut always makes me feel better in the long run.

  4. Pretty great, although the scoring system is so strict that it encourages the reader not to choose any of the unpleasant options in a given situation, since losing a single extra point makes it impossible to read the whole thing. As such I didn’t really feel connected to the experience, because I felt like I always had to play as if it were a game with right and wrong choices rather than something I was supposed to try living through.

  5. Here is an absolutely serious question regarding gender indentity, as this seems an appropriate place to discuss it.

    Some time ago, I experienced severe doubts and anxiety regarding my masculine identity, and eventually surmounted that (with the help of therapy) by pretty much stopping to pay attention to anything which specifically defined me as “male” and simply identifying as a “person”. Is there a name for such a way to cope with established gender signifiers? Is it related to dysphoria in any way?

    Relating this thought process with the game, I could understand the difficulties which the characters had to go through, but it seemed to me like everything would be so much easier for them if they just… stopped caring so much and focused on other things. I know it’s a bit of a harsh outlook, but I couldn’t help but feel that much of the negativity they experienced could be rendered neutral without such a big loss of self, and that they could be much happier for it.

    My current situation is far removed from these anxieties, but I remain interested in those concerns and would be genuinely curious to read what this blog’s readers think about it. Don’t hesitate to eviscerate my previous statements if you believe them to be much too reductive.

    • a man rethinking his toxic relationship to societal gender roles/masculinity is not the same as someone transitioning.

      people can’t just stop caring about depression or dysphoria or a limb chopped off at the knee and spurting blood–they all need to be addressed in their own way, not just ignored.

    • dysphoria, like euphoria, is a physiological process. you can, perhaps, control and redirect your thoughts, but you can’t control shaking and sleepiness and tiredness (and stuffU that come with them.


  6. RepeatedOffensesInWar

    Holy shit, this is so good. Dysphoria is so painful that its pretty hard to do anything most days, and this illustrated it perfectly. thank you. I’m so happy to see this.