The creators of "Life is Strange" 1 and 2, Dontnod, recently released a new video game called "Tell Me Why". Two episodes have already been released within a week and the final third one will be released on September 10th.
- "Tell Me Why"'s goal was to present an honest story about harsh American realities, and the narrative, focusing on siblings uncovering the truth about their mother's death, doesn't shy away from topics related to poverty, mental health and, especially in the first chapter, prejudice. The tale begins with Alyson's brother Tyler returning to the fictional Alaskan village of Delos Crossing after 10 years away.
- "The good thing about the game, I think, is that it strikes a nice balance of not shying away from the fact that Tyler is trans and showing the way in which it affects him, and mostly that relates to how other people react to him," says Nick Adams, director of transgender representation at GLAAD. Adams was asked to be a consultant on the game, and helped in casting decisions, such as ensuring that Tyler would be voiced by a trans actor (August Black).
- Lead writer Morgan Lockhart says the story began as one about family and how conflict can arise from contradictory memories of a past event, as the core game mechanic of "Tell Me Why" has players uncovering memories and then watching them unfold to piece together the plot. The characters and the setting, the latter of which touch upon the Native Alaskan culture of the Huna Tlingit, evolved out of a desire, she says, to add depth and nuance to the game.
- Adams also said: "[Tyler] is a human who has flaws, but he is flawed because he's human and not flawed because he's trans. I think the game is interesting in that it makes these characters complicated. Sometimes transgender stories can be flat because well-intentioned people want to write sort of an after-school special of what it means to be trans."
- On why they made the lead character transgender, narrative director Clay Carmouche said: "I think perspective shifts a story. Who is telling it and who it's about impacts the kind of things you can say and the kind of stories you can tell. It's more interesting to see something you haven't seen before."
ONTD, have you played this game yet?
I literally just finished episode one and immediately looked up to see if the VA was trans too. I had no idea Tyler would be transgender when I started it. I've only done the first episode but I was pleasantly surprised at how well (imo) the subject matter has been handled so far... Like, they did it so well that I'm more wary on how they're going to treat mental health in the following episodes. But I'm excited for more, and I think it's awesome Dontnod is basically going through the whole LGBT spectrum at this point with their games lol.
(I don't know if this is actually making video game history or not, I'm just going with the article title, so please don't hurt me if there's a mainstream video game that had a transgender lead before this game.)