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Anna Anthropy

INTERVIEW: Anna Anthropy

Tell us a little bit about yourself as an artist/designer. What is your practice like; how do you work?

i take extensive notes and write long lists because my memory is garbage. my laptop's desktop is covered in folders and all the folders are full of text files and all the text files are full of context-less details i wanted to be sure not to forget. i light candles sometimes when writing at night. i often make myself coffee (decaf) while i'm writing because i drink tea (lapsang-souchong) when i'm reading and it's good train yourself to be in the right creative mode. i take breaks from working to pet my cat. that's important.

Please describe your work on Dys4ia from your point of view.

when i was starting hormones i hated myself and my body and dys4ia is just a congealed mass of that hate. i hated that game and now i'm bored by it. i accepted very little money for someone to finally take it away from me.

Have you had any memorable responses to this piece? And if yes, please describe.

for how little money it made me and how unreflective it is of my work as a whole, it sure got way more press than any of my other work, got written up in newspapers, has been used by educators, inspired a lot of people (i'm told) to make the decision to start hormones. got into a bunch of game design textbooks. it's pretty tokenizing to have the one game everyone knows me for be the game about what minority group i slot into, you know? it also got me a lot of creepy messages on newgrounds asking how i can be a girl if i have a girlfriend. am i a lesbian??

Please name three artists/designers you are influenced by and why.

here's a list of books i recommend to game designers: THE NEW GAMES BOOK, PICTURE THIS by molly bang, THE Z WAS ZAPPED by chris van allsburg, THE ELEVENTH HOUR by graeme base, VORNHEIM by zak s., usborne's PUZZLE ADVENTURES books (book two, THE CURSE OF THE LOST IDOL, is my favorite), ANIMATIONS OF MORTALITY by terry gilliam, and THE CURIOUS SOFA by ogdred weary.

What are you currently working on?

some zines, a pornographic comic book, and a game about being a teen witch.

What is your dream project?

to get out of the games industry.

What is one of your favorite 4D artworks, or pieces of design, and why?

the game "fax machine," or at least that's what my friends call it. every player starts with a stack of paper, one page for every player in the room. everyone writes a sentence on the top piece of paper, then hands it to the next player. the player reads the sentence, moves it to the bottom of the stack, and then draws a picture of the sentence on the next piece of paper. then it's passed to the next player, who looks at the picture, moves it to the bottom, and writes a sentence describing the picture on the next piece of paper. continue until all pages are filled. then do a show and tell.

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