A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

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Interactive dialogues about gender, revolution, and resilience.

Warning: these works use glitchy visual effects that are probably not safe for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Please be careful!
"All the time I'm having to make up stories. Because you are a friend, I can confess about it this way, but you know, if you'd interviewed me just like all the other interviews by people who are like, 'what is a transgender?' I would have had to lie."


This is a series of works that came out of a residency carried out in early 2018 in Tokyo, with the Creator Ikusei project, which is supported by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. I adopted research techniques from ethnography and history, such as open-ended interviews and participant observation, and developed a method of representing the results of this research in a playful and interactive form that draws heavily from familiar interaction design patterns such as the tamagotchi-style virtual pet and role-playing game multiple-choice dialogue systems.

Some of the development was funded by Making Ways, Sheffield City of Makers.

All of these pieces are made in Pico-8, a simulation of a 1980s computer that never actually existed..


  • Futurecade, Festival of the Mind, Sheffield: 20th - 27th September, 2018 | With Sheffield University
  • Mozilla Festival, London: 26th - 18th October, 2018
  • Rainbow Arcade, Schwules Museum, Berlin: 14th December, 2018 - 13th May, 2019
  • Solo exhibition, ROAR, Rotherham: 13th January - 8th February, 2019
  • Now Play This, London: 6th-14th April
  • Docfest, Sheffield: 6th-11th June
  • Freelands Artist Programme Work in Progress show, Site Gallery, Sheffield: August 2019
  • SQIFF, Glasgow: October 2019

Installation: Interactive Portrait Cushions

In late 2018, an innovative new installation was created with funding from Arts Council England, using textiles by Anne Smithies and custom-made handheld consoles based on the Adafruit PiGRRL Zero. This creates an intimate space and a tactile engagement with the material, encouraging a sense of proximity to the material. The extensive use of textiles also encourages participation by people who might feel turned-off by the signifiers of videogames culture, creating a sense of a traditional domestic material culture colliding with avant-garde digital aesthetics.

PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars
(26 total ratings)
AuthorZoyander Street
TagsLGBT, PICO-8, Story Rich, Transgender


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

iportraits-win.zip 983 kB
Version 2
iportraits-linux.zip 588 kB
Version 2
iportraits-mac.zip 1 MB
Version 2

Development log


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Is there a Pico 8 cart for this piece? I love that handheld installation and would love to play this game on my own handheld emulator!

I loved this game and was looking for the pico 8 cart of it where would I be able to find it? Thank you :)


Is there any place to read these interviews online? The visuals are too eyestrain inducing for me to handle.


Thanks for your interest! Yeah the visual accessibility was a problem on this one, which is why despite Pico-8 being so lovely I've switched to html based stuff more recently. Perhaps I should create an accompanying ebook with just linear text? What kind of format would you enjoy for this?


Honestly, a simple PDF would be perfect.

Hello! I'm on a post-Catalina version of macOS and the mac version doesn't work anymore. Is it possible to get the Mac build redeployed with a newer version of Pico, or else a standalone copy of the cartridge?

oh interesting, thanks for letting me know! I'll look into that


This is important to see, the nature of LGBT in Japan seems very invisible from a western point of view.

It seems like we share the same issues, just in different social and law structures.


This is a very beautiful game! Just to let you know, I have encountered some bugs/glitches. In Vesper, Kensho, and Itsuki's portraits, I kept pressing new dialogue trees and having old responses come back up/clicking on old questions that reappeared randomly and receiving new answers. Also, in Kensho's portrait, when I picked one question, I got an error that wouldn't allow me to press any buttons/affect the game in any way. I think it said runtime error? And there was a command prompt at the bottom, but I couldn't type in it. ( > [blinking cursor] )

Despite these glitches, I really did enjoy the game. Listening to other trans people talk about their experiences with gender and perception of gender is utterly invaluable. Thank you for making this!

An excellent experience, thank you for sharing! How do you access the credits on the bottom of the menu?

Thank you for bringing these interviews to the public!

What a lovely experience

Thank you for saying so!

Very beautiful experience playing through this

Thanks so much!

It was extremely helpful to be able to interact with a side of japanese society that is underrepresented in western media. Really enjoyed it ♥


I'm so glad to hear that, thank you!