Sissyfight, cult game of sexist stereotyping, returns

Sissyfight, the groundbreaking 1990s online game of playground politics, is to receive an open-source, crowdsourced remake: "We've gotten some “interesting” press about how the game delves into uncomfortable territory around bullying and sexist stereotypes, but we've always meant Sissyfight to be an intervention into the male-dominated culture of games," writes co-author Eric Zimmerman. It'll be a launch title on Venus Patrol's Indie Arcade; Sophie Prell at Penny Arcade and Leigh Alexander at Gamasutra take a look at how the game fits in a decade on.


  1. Sissyfight was awesome – while the actual GAME is essentially scissors/paper/rock with chat it was deeply strategic on a communications level and the only way to “win” was to be clever, charming and gracious.  I also always found that actual hatespeech and douchebaggery that the Penny Arcade review was so concerned about, was pretty well guaranteed to make you the first one to be out of a round.  Her demo environment of a single room with a small group of people completely misses the dynamic of the real game.

    With lots of games being open at once any time you stepped into a game with obvious teaming or douchebags, you just moved on, and the actual community of players was hugely interesting and intelligent.  If only junior high had been so simple.

  2. I remember a game very much like this from the 90s, but it was a card game.  I thought Steve Jackson published it,  but a search of their site says I’m wrong. Google thinks I’m mad, but I swear I didn’t just dream it.

  3. Correction: Great game of the 00’s.  Launched in 2000, in the thick of the dot com bubble – by the people behind, no less!

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