Microsoft has announced a new game featuring a transgender male lead character, a rarity in high-profile titles, is heading to the Xbox.
Developer DONTNOD Entertainment announced the “true-to-life narrative adventure” Tell Me Why at Microsoft’s X019 event in London.
The game is set in small-town Alaska. Twins Tyler and Alyson Ronan will “use their extraordinary bond to unravel memories of a loving but troubled childhood.”
“The core mechanic of the game is the special bond Tyler and Alyson share,” game director Florent Guillaume said.
“Over the course of the story, players will explore the identical twins’ different memories of key events and choose which memory to believe.
“Ultimately, the choices players make determine the strength of the twins’ bond, and the future course of their lives.”
Tyler and Alyson are both playable characters and equal protagonists in the game’s story.
“We love them both,” Guillaume said.
“We are especially grateful to Microsoft for its full support, openness and help regarding Tyler’s identity and character, as a transgender man.”
Transgender actor August Aiden Black voices the character.
‘Tell Me Why’ has ‘fully-realised, endearing’ transgender character
Developers are touting Tyler as the first playable transgender video game hero from a major studio and publisher.
The character has also received the tick of approval from advocacy group GLAAD, who assisted the developers on the game.
“Microsoft and DONTNOD have approached Tyler with a real commitment to authenticity,” GLAAD’s Nick Adams said.
“Tyler is a fully-realised, endearing character. His 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.”
Microsoft will release Tell Me Why on Xbox One and Windows PC through Steam in 2020.
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