Cyborg Games: Videogame Blasphemy and Disorientation


  • Elise Vist University of Waterloo


This paper describes the genre of “cyborg games,” using examples of independent videogames (such as Gone Home) to illustrate the genre, as well as AAA mainstream games (such as Mass Effect) to describe the genre’s limits. After defining key terms (cyborg, blasphemy, and disorientation), the paper offers a close reading of two of Anna Anthropy’s games, dys4ia and Defend the Land. These close readings show how cyborg games are disorienting to normative bodies, and why those moments of disorientation are necessarily jarring for normative players.

Author Biography

Elise Vist, University of Waterloo

PhD Candidate in English, member of the Games Institute