Published: Sun, November 17, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Dontnod’s new narrative Tell Me Why shuns "simplistic trans tropes"

Dontnod’s new narrative Tell Me Why shuns

Tell Me Why takes place in a small town in Alaska and follows the story of of identical Tyler and Alyson Ronan who use their extraordinary bond to unravel memories of a loving but troubled childhood. Set in attractive small-town Alaska, Tell Me Why features true-to-life characters, mature themes and gripping choices. Have a peek in the...

One of the most notable aspects of Tell Me Why is that the character of Tyler is a transgender protagonist. They are definitely looked back on fondly, but they discover some troubling things too. The game will release on PC (both through the Microsoft Game Store and Steam) and Xbox One, available through Xbox Game Pass on day one. The studio is still working on Life Is Strange 2, which is now eyeing December 3 for the release of its final episode.

Tell Me Why was announced at Microsoft's X019 event this week, alongside a slew of other upcoming titles. That means that, while there will be gaps between episodes, they should be much shorter than what Dontnod fans might be used to with the Life is odd series.

Game director Florent Guillaume said the "core mechanic" of the game is the special bond between twins Tyler and Alyson. "It's up to the player to choose which version of the twins' memories to believe - and those choices will determine the future course of the twins' lives", the game's introduction read.

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DONTNOD added that it'd been working with LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD to ensure that Tyler was an authentic character and representative of "the trans experience".

"Tyler is a fully-realized, endearing character, whose story is not reduced to simplistic trans tropes", Nick Adams, director of transgender representation at GLAAD said.

This is possibly the very first time that we've seen a playable transgender character in any video game and makes a huge difference to trans visibility, especially during this year's Trans Awareness Week.

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