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Video game makes history with the first-ever playable transgender character from a major developer

Patrick Kelleher November 15, 2019
Tell Me Why is the first major developer game to feature a playable transgender character

Twins Tyler and Alyson in Tell Me Why (YouTube)

A new video game is set to make history as it features the first ever playable transgender character in a major-developer release.

Tell Me Why will allow gamers to play as twins Tyler and Alyson Ronan who are reunited following a decade of separation. The pair have special powers that allow them to share thoughts and memories which helps them on their journey to uncover a childhood mystery, Mashable reports.

The Alaska-set game – which will be released by DONTNOD Entertainment – features a major developer’s first ever playable transgender character in the form of 21-year-old man Tyler.

Tell Me Why developers hired a transgender man to voice the part of Tyler and consulted with LGBT+ media organisation GLAAD to ensure their representation was authentic.

Transgender character Tyler’s story is ‘not reduced to simplistic trans tropes’.

“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.

“Creating a playable lead trans character – and taking such care to get it right – raises the bar for future LGBTQ inclusion in gaming.”

Meanwhile, Aaron Greenberg, general manager of XBOX games marketing, said developers had brought trans character Tyler to life in a “thoughtful and inclusive way”.

Creating a playable lead trans character – and taking such care to get it right – raises the bar for future LGBTQ inclusion in gaming.

“When you do take a sense of responsibility to do these things for the first time, you want to try to do it right. We’ve tried our best to do that,” he said.

“I think we have a sense of team pride about it, because it’s so unique … hopefully, fans and the transgender community and the LBGTQ community will respond positively to it as well.”

At the core of the game is the bond between twins Tyler and Alyson.

Game director Florent Guillaume said the “core mechanic” of the game is the special bond between twins Tyler and Alyson.

“Over the course of the story, players will explore the identical twins’ different memories of key events and choose which memory to believe,” Guillaume said.

“Ultimately, the choices players make determine the strength of the twins’ bond – and the future course of their lives.”

Details of the game were unveiled at Microsoft’s X019 event in London, but sadly for LGBT+ gamers out there, they will have to wait just a little bit longer to play Tell Me Why. It is set to be released on Xbox One, Windows 10 PC and Steam in the summer of 2020 and will be released in three chapter segments.

More: microsoft, Tell Me Why, Xbox

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