The first mainstream video game with a transgender lead is out and gamers are loving it!
It seems that Dontnod Entertainment has confirmed itself to be the best gaming studio for LGBTQ representation. Their flagship series Life is Strange has continually been a beacon for bisexual representation and now they’ve decided to create a game that celebrates transgender life and existence.
Tell Me Why is a three-part episodic game series that follows a set of twins as they unravel the mystery behind their mother and their troubled upbringing. Specifically, Tyler and Alyson Ronan return to their hometown and start connecting the pieces behind their troubled mom. In the three episodes, the gamer will explore these twins’ memories and decide which story to believe at the end.
With episode one already released, gaymers, LGBTQ gamers, and cishet gamers are giving Tell Me Why high praise.
— traumkonstrukt (@traumkonstrukt) September 2, 2020
— Hyunkeyz (@damisthios) August 31, 2020
The whole they can share thoughts, memories and voices even seeing past memories play out in front of them really added to the atmosphere of the game and complex yet simple story, I also love the fact that it was only used to highlight important moments from their past. (2/3)
— Abdallah 'Vessel' Emad 🤞🎮 (@brokenvessel98) August 29, 2020
— Lemonfries (@Bisparulz) August 26, 2020
Listen. I would die for Tyler, there’s no doubt about that. But also…I wanna wrap Aly in a blanket… and give her a mug of hot cocoa…………and hug her……….she deserves it T_T.#TellMeWhy #tellmewhygame #AlysonRonan #yallknewthiswascoming pic.twitter.com/9dG8Z1Wc19
— TTF (@ttfdontcare) August 30, 2020
And outside of an unfortunate exchange in Chapter 1 (which you can attribute to a character being drunk and ignorant), I felt like they treated being a transgender male with nuance and respect throughout. It was a major story element, but it was never the sole focal point.
— Ozzie Mejia (Six feet! I MEAN IT!) (@Ozz_Mejia) August 27, 2020
One of the reasons that the game has been celebrated is for it’s perfectly valid and well-presented trans representation. With the creation of Tyler Ronan as the game’s male lead, the video game industry has gained its first mainstream transgender lead character. This is something that Dontnod tried especially hard to get right.
At the X019 event, it was announced that Dontnod is working with LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD to ensure Tyler’s authenticity.
“We did a lot of research, we reached out to the community, we wanted to understand their journeys; we consulted with the charity GLAAD, which often works with media companies on LGBTQ+ representation. We were very naive at first, and they enlighten us a lot, they helped us review the script and the characters and to reach out to people,” director Florent Guillaume admitted at the conference.
— Marc🦋🎮🐺🏳️🌈 🇯🇵/teomatic (@teomaticx) September 1, 2020
“Tyler is a fully-realized, endearing character, whose story is not reduced to simplistic trans tropes,” says Nick Adams, director of transgender representation at GLAAD. “Creating a playable lead trans character — and taking such care to get it right — raises the bar for future LGBTQ inclusion in gaming.”
If the game sounds interesting to you, episode one of the three-part series is out now! Even better, episode two will be out tomorrow (September 3) and the final part will come out next week on September 10.
— DONTNOD_Ent (@DONTNOD_Ent) September 1, 2020