Anna Anthropy

Anna Anthropy is an American video game designer[3] whose works include Mighty Jill Off and Dys4ia. She is the game designer in residence at the DePaul University College of Computing and Digital Media.

Anna Anthropy
Anna Anthropy at GDC 2013.jpg
Anna Anthropy speaking at the 2013 Game Developers Conference
New York City[1]
Other namesAuntie Pixelante
Alma materSUNY Purchase
Southern Methodist University[2]
OccupationGame developer, writer
Known forDeveloper of the freeware games Mighty Jill Off (2008) and Dys4ia (2012)
Editor for The Gamer's Quarter

She has also gone by the name Auntie Pixelante.[4]


Game designEdit

In 2010, working with Koduco, a game development company based in San Francisco, Anthropy helped develop the iPad game "Pong Vaders".[5][6] In 2011, she released Lesbian Spider Queens of Mars, an homage to Midway's 1981 arcade game Wizard of Wor with a queer theme and "some fun commentary on master-slave dynamics."[7] In 2012, she released Dys4ia, an autobiographical game about her experiences with hormone replacement therapy that "[allows] the player to experience a simulation or approximation of what she went through."[8] Anthropy says her games explore the relationship between sadism and game design, and bills them as challenging players' expectations about what the developer should create and how the player should be reprimanded for errors.[9][10] Triad was included in the Chicago New Media 1973-1992 exhibition curated by jonCates.[11]

Rise of the Videogame ZinestersEdit

Anthropy's first book, Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, was published in 2012. In an interview at the time of its release, Anthropy said it promotes the idea of "small, interesting, personal experiences by hobbyist authors ... Zinesters exists to be a kind of ambassador for that idea of what video games can be."[12] The book also deals with a detailed analysis of the mechanics and potentialities of digital games, including the idea that games can be more usefully compared to theater than film ("There is always a scene called World 1-2, although each performance of World 1-2 will be different") and the role of chance in games.[13] Anthropy also criticizes what she refers to as the video game industry being run by the corporate "elite" which design video games to be formulaic and do not take creative risks. Zinester wants consumers to see video games as having "cultural and artistic value" similar to artistic mediums such as comic books. The video game industry being run by "elites" does not allow for a diverse cast of voices, such as queer voices, to give their input in game development and design and stifles the creative process. As Anthropy puts it, "I have to strain to find any game that's about a queer woman, to find any game that resembles my own experience." [14]



  • Rise of the Videogame Zinesters Seven Stories Press, 2012. ISBN 978-1609803728
  • ZZT Boss Fight Books, 2014. ISBN 978-1-940535-02-9
  • The State of Play: Creators and Critics on Video Game Culture. Seven Stories Press, 2015. ISBN 9781609806392
  • A Game Design Vocabulary: Exploring the Foundational Principles Behind Good Game Design. Addison-Wesley Professional, 2014. ISBN 9780133155181


  1. ^ "The power of Twine". February 2, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  2. ^ Jed Lipinski (April 10, 2012). "Video-game designer Anna Anthropy describes the life of a radical, queer, transgender gamer". Capital New York. Archived from the original on June 20, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  3. ^ a b . (November 28, 2009). "The Weblog Interview: Anna Anthropy Talks Indie Game Goodness". Archived from the original on January 31, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2015.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Kopfstein, Janus (April 5, 2012). "Don't start a band: why everyone should be making video games". The Verge. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Koduco Games". Archived from the original on August 26, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "PongVaders: Episode One Version: 1.0 Review". Macworld. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
  7. ^ "Review: Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars". Archived from the original on April 15, 2011. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  8. ^ "Dys4ia: Autobiographical Trans Video Game About Changing Gender". Archived from the original on March 17, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
  9. ^ "auntie pixelante › craft and punishment". Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  10. ^ Brice, Mattie (2017). "Chapter 9: Play and Be Real About It". In Ruberg, Bonnie; Shaw, Adrienne (eds.). Queer Game Studies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-1-5179-0037-3.
  11. ^ Cates, Jon (November 2018). Chicago New Media, 1973-1992. University of Illinois Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-252-08407-2.
  12. ^ Schultz, Marc (March 16, 2012). "What Videogames Can Be: A Q&A with Anna Anthropy". Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  13. ^ Anthropy, Anna (March 16, 2012). "Excerpt: Rise of the Videogame Zinesters". Archived from the original on January 31, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  14. ^ Anthropy, Anna (2012). Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Dropouts, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form. New York: Seven Stories Press. ISBN 978-1-60980-372-8.
  15. ^ "Afternoon In The House Of Secrets". July 30, 2007. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  16. ^ Polson, John (February 13, 2013). "Browser Game Pick: And the Robot Horse You Rode in On (Auntie Pixelante)". Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  17. ^ "dys4ia". Archived from the original on June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  18. ^ Priestman, Chris (August 15, 2014). "Live the Carefree Joy of Animals in These Three Uplifting Games". Kill Screen. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  19. ^ Johnson, Jason (February 11, 2013). "Anna Anthropy's Hunt for the Gay Planet Exposes How Far Games Need to Go for True Equality". Kill Screen. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  20. ^ Simon, Matt (March 8, 2012). "Occupy Rolls Out Its Most Subversive Tech: A Mobile Arcade Game for the 99%". Wired. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  21. ^ Gillen, Kieron (September 17, 2008). "Whip It: Mighty Jill Off". Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  22. ^ Alexander, Leigh (September 16, 2015). "This 'empathy game' reveals a real challenge for indie games". BoingBoing. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  23. ^ "Sugarcane". July 30, 2007. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  24. ^ "Queers in love at the end of the world". Archived from the original on February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  25. ^ Gillen, Kieron (March 29, 2010). "A Scarlet Letter: Redder". Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  26. ^ Anthropy, Anna. "Triad". Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  27. ^ Meer, Alec (August 3, 2009). "Don't Squeal, Piggy: When Pigs Fly". Retrieved June 11, 2015.

External linksEdit