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Tell Me Why set to feature first transgender hero.

Dontnod is set to be the first studio to launch it’s newest game with a transgender protagonist.

Dontnod Entertainment, the developer behind award-winning episodic series Life is Strange, is working on an episodic “gripping true-to-life narrative adventure” called Tell Me Why. The French studio boasts that Tell Me Why has “the first playable videogame hero from a major studio and publisher who is also transgender.”

Tell Me Why takes place in a small town in Alaska. It follows the story of two identical twins Tyler and Alyson Ronan. The game focuses on the pair of twins, untangling the memories of their loving but troubled childhood. You’ll be able to explore memories from both characters. As well as ultimately get to choose which version of the story you want to believe. Players can also shape what they remember, ultimately affecting their lives in the present. Players will be splitting their time between both siblings.

The significance of Tell Me Why’s transgender character

The game’s director Florent Guillaume commented on the two characters. “The core mechanic of the game is the special bond Tyler and Alyson share. It’s also a theme strongly anchored in Dontnod’s storytelling approach.” He went on to speak about Tell Me Why’s transgender character saying, “We love them both. And we are especially grateful to Microsoft for its full support. It’s openness and help regarding Tyler’s identity and character, as a transgender man.”

Dontnod also says it worked closely with LGBT advocacy group GLAAD. This was to help bring Tyler, the transgender protagonist, to life as well as make him a genuine multidimensional character. Nick Adams, director of transgender representation at GLAAD had this to say. “Tyler is a fully-realised, endearing character whose story is not reduced to simplistic trans tropes. Creating a playable lead trans character – and taking such care to get it right – raises the bar for future LGBTQ inclusion in games.” 

Dontnod says that Tyler is voiced by August Black, a trans actor. “The vocal cast was a priority from day one. It was important that we cast in a representative and authentic way,” says Xbox senior creative director Joseph Staten. The game will be episodic in format however Dontnod said it listened to community feedback. Thus they unveiled that Tell Me Why will be available for Xbox One, PC, and Steam in summer 2020.

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