‘Tell Me Why’ Video Game Stars Trans Lead

Xbox Game is Making History

Image credit: Dontnod Entertainment

LGBTQ representation in video games has a long way to go but progress is being made with “Tell Me Why” on Xbox featuring lead character Tyler Ronan, who is voiced by trans actor August Black. Tyler is a trans man.

“These stories aren’t told frequently,” Clay Carmouche, Xbox Publishing’s narrative director, told the LA Times. “Tell Me Why” is a three part narrative game by Dontnod Entertainment, the French studio behind “Life is Strange”.

The developer released an extensive FAQ outlining how they approached handling both their transgender lead and family trauma. The FAQs also outline any content in the game that could be triggering:

Trans, nonbinary and gender non-conforming staff at both DONTNOD and Xbox have made countless key creative contributions to Tell Me Why, including to character design, narrative and dialogue, building inclusive online spaces for the game, and much more.

To ensure that Tyler’s character would resonate with a wide and diverse audience of trans people, the Tell Me Why team worked closely with two of GLAAD’s transgender staff: Nick Adams, Director of Transgender Representation; and Blair Durkee, Special Consultant for Gaming. For over two years, Nick offered foundational guidance on story and character, consulted on casting, and reviewed scripts at all phases of production.

Importantly, August Black, Tyler’s voice actor, also made significant contributions to Tell Me Why’s dialogue. During recording sessions, August provided edits to the script if he felt a certain line or moment did not do justice to Tyler’s story, making him an invaluable part of the creative process. August’s personal experiences also inspired key moments and lines of dialogue.

The game’s first installment was released on August 27 and the two remaining chapters will be released on September 10. All the chapters will be available on Xbox Game Pass, Xbox One, Windows PC and Steam.

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