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Tell Me Why is the new project from DONTNOD, and it has a transgender hero

Xbox Game Studios and DONTNOD Entertainment has unveiled Tell Me Why, a brand-new narrative adventure from the minds behind Life is Strange

Announced today at X019 in London, the story-driven episodic experience will focus on two twins – Tyler and Alyson Ronan – as they unravel memories of a precious yet troubled childhood. Chances are it will jump between the past, present and future.

It takes place in a small town in Alaska, once again adopting the charming, somewhat grounded roots of the studio’s other works, albeit with a supernatural element of sorts thrown in for good measure.

However – one of the most interesting parts of Tell Me Why – especially for a trans woman like me – is the introduction of a transgender protagonist in Tyler Ronan. Mainstream titles have seldom explored such ground, so I really hope they get it right. 

“Microsoft and DONTNOD have approached Tyler with a real commitment to authenticity,” explains Nick Adams, Director of Transgender Representation at GLAAD. “Tyler is a fully-realized, 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 gaming.”

Tyler and Alyson will be dual protagonists, both playable throughout Tell Me Why’s three episodes, shortened from the usual five since DONTNOD is aware that fan’s aren’t the biggest lovers of the long wait between installments.

“We listened closely to fans of narrative adventure games, and we heard loud and clear how painful unpredictable gaps between episodes can be,” said Peter Wyse, General Manager for Xbox Games Studios Publishing. “We’re thrilled to announce that the entire Tell Me Why story will release in Summer 2020.”

Tell Me Why will release simultaneously across Xbox One and PC (via Steam) and will be available for Xbox Game Pass subscribers at launch, which itself saw a flurry of new announcements tonight. We’re super curious to see how Tell Me Why shapes out, and we’ll be sure to share more information once we have it.

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