New Game From The Makers Of Life Is Strange Features A Transgender Hero

Illustration for article titled New Game From The Makers Of iLife Is Strange/i Features A Transgender Hero

Dontnod Entertainment, the studio behind Life is Strange and Vampyr, are making a new game. Tell Me Why is a mystery adventure game about unraveling a troubled past starring a pair of twins, one of whom is transgender.

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In Tell Me Why, players follow the story of Tyler and Alyson Ronan, exploring both of their memories to recall key moments of their lives. Players can shape what they remember, ultimately affecting their lives in the present.

“We love them both,” game director Florent Guillaume said in a press release, “And we are especially grateful to Microsoft for its full support, openness and help regarding Tyler’s identity and character, as a transgender man.”

“Tyler is a fully-realized, endearing character, whose story is not reduced to simplistic trans tropes,” Nick Adams, Director of Transgender Representation at GLAAD added. “Creating a playable lead trans character – and taking such care to get it right – raises the bar for future LGBTQ inclusion in gaming.”

As a queer who’s been around the block, I’ll admit that I’m nervous about how Dontnod will approach Tyler. Visibility in games is welcome, but authenticity is also important. There’s precedent for empathic writing but also room for missteps. I hope that Tyler really is a fully realized character.

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Dontnod’s narrative games are often released in episodic installments. Life is Strange 2’s first episode released in September 2018 and the series is still not complete. Tell Me Why will be three chapters long, all of which will release in Summer 2020.

Former Senior Writer and Critic at Kotaku.

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DISCUSSION

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Babak Abrishamchian

Many people think it, but rarely try to put it into words so I think its important to say: cool.

Though I’ve personally never had to deal with issues regarding gender, sexuality, basically any issue addressed by the LGBTQ+ community, I’m happy to see people are atleast trying to tackle creating characters with traits many people have.

People often say “there are so few people in X community though, why bother making a character like this if so few people will relate to them?”

Frankly I think thats horeshit, because first of all video games are the most disposable media on earth besides comic books, and there will be a million fun video games releasing in the same year with characters you can relate to, so let niche audiences have these nice things. Also, you don’t have to relate to a character in every aspect for them to be interesting. Dontnod have done a great job in the past of exploring complex human emotional issues in the past, so if they create an interesting and realistic transgender protagonist, I want to see how she tackles the issues within the narrative from their unique perspective.