Tell Me Why is a story of trans identity from Life is Strange creators

Dontnod Entertainment has its next story lined up, with Tell Me Why set to tell the story of twin siblings.


Life is Strange 2 is set to wrap up in the next couple of weeks, so it's worth asking what developer Dontnod Entertainment has lined up next. That question was answered during Thursday's X019 presentation, as the developer has another episodic story-based game lined up. This one's being done in conjunction with the Xbox Game Studios team and it dives into the story of two twins looking to discover their identities. It's a game called Tell Me Why.

Tell Me Why moves away from Life is Strange's Oregon setting and goes further up north to Alaska. This is where players meet Tyler and Alyson Ronan, twin siblings who use their bond to look back at their troubled childhood as they search for a way forward. Like the Life is Strange games, Tell Me Why will touch on LGBTQA themes, with the studio noting that Tyler coming to terms with his identity as a transgender man will be a major theme.

Tell Me Why

"The core mechanic of the game is the special bond Tyler and Alyson share and is also a theme strongly anchored into the Dontnod storytelling approach," Tell Me Why Game Director Florent Guillaume said via press release. "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. We love them both. And we are especially grateful to Microsoft for its full support, openness and help regarding Tyler’s identity and character, as a transgender man."

Microsoft is touting Tyler as the first transgender protagonist to come out of a major video game publisher and studio. In an effort to get this story right, Microsoft has consulted with GLAAD to help shape Tyler's story as one authentic to the transgender community.

Don't look for Tell Me Why's story to be drawn out over a long period the way Life is Strange has been. Dontnod is committed to getting all three of the game's episodes out in a timely manner. Look for all three of Tell Me Why's chapters to release over the course of Summer 2020. 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. Visit the Tell Me Why website for more information.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 14, 2019 12:36 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Tell Me Why is a story of trans identity from Life is Strange creators

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      November 14, 2019 12:46 PM

      This sounds pretty cool.

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      November 14, 2019 12:50 PM

      (If I may) a little update on my stepson's trans* journey (I promised some Shackers earlier this year I would).

      Jack was denied the top surgery we've been fighting for since he was 16. He is now 18 as of October. 18 is the "legal age" we can apply for surgery in our CanadianProvince. We've been fighting for 2 years with the government to consider each person individually, and not just set an age limit. We've been fighting for his human rights.

      Hoping to get his surgery done in December, still trying to coordinate with medicare and the plastic surgeon to get a date. We booked this a long time ago, and now they are telling us the hospital OR might not have room for us. It's been a 2 year battle. But we keep at it.

      Jack has been amazingly positive throughout.

      This summer a national Canadian magazine interviewed him, took photos, and his 4-page (!) article with photos will be published in the magazine in December. (Can't be specific until the magazine comes out, my apologies). Will it change everything? No. Will it help someone like him or inspire someone like him? Hopefully. Are we over the moon excited for him? YES!!

      Thanks for reading Shack.

      BTW, I am buying the HECK of out Tell Me Why! I LOOOOOVE Life Is Strange! (Still waiting to buy LiS 2...physical...)

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        November 14, 2019 12:53 PM

        ALSO: Sorry for hardly posting lately. I'm on an iPhone 6 so my LatestCharry app is borked and I can't post in the evenings anymore*. And I've been working days and nights for the past week or so; super busy.

        * I tried using the website on Safari but the font is so small I gave up :(

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        November 14, 2019 1:01 PM

        Thank you so much for being so supportive, and that's great he's been able to handle all of that well. It's excruciating waiting that time and to keep being denied. I can't wait to hear how ecstatic he'll be once it's finally over. I have a trans male friend that cannot wait to get his top surgery. He's reaching 60, and he said he's been wanting this his whole life, but never realized he was trans till earlier this year. Aside from coming out to his family, it's like the biggest thing on his mind right now, and he doesn't even know how long it's going to take because he just started researching doctors.

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          November 14, 2019 1:27 PM

          Jack just started 1st year university and our big plan (now buster) was to get him surgery BEFORE UNI so he could start fresh.

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        November 14, 2019 2:19 PM


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          November 14, 2019 2:24 PM

          He says around Grade 8 or 9, so 4-5 years ago. Felt uncomfortable since Grade 5. He's been taking testosterone for a little over 2 years. And incidentally he's lived with me (and his mom, and younger sister) for 11.5 years.

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        November 14, 2019 4:12 PM

        Awesome but absolutely appalling you have to fight the government for that. Ignorant fucks >:(

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      November 14, 2019 2:49 PM

      "Microsoft is touting Tyler as the first transgender protagonist to come out of a major video game publisher and studio."

      is that right?

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        November 14, 2019 3:04 PM

        There was that game that came out last year where the twist at the end was that the whole thing was a metaphor for the protagonist's struggle of coming to terms with being transgender which I obviously can't name because it spoils it but I guess it doesn't count as a major publisher and studio despite releasing on all major consoles.

        J J Macfield and the Island of Memories, a Swery game published by Arc System Works

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          November 14, 2019 5:26 PM

          Probably doesn't fit "major" (I mean, I know Arc Systems but I would not classify them as "major" in the sense that is being used here).

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        November 14, 2019 3:08 PM

        This is untrue, they haven't read my Bayonetta fan fic clearly.

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        November 14, 2019 3:48 PM


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          November 14, 2019 5:30 PM

          Google images just confirmed I'm all in on Poison Cosplayers.

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            November 14, 2019 7:08 PM

            Never heard of that character, but that was ..quote the rabbit hole...

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              November 14, 2019 7:10 PM

              I'm very sick in the brain, very sick, can't help myself (!) it's the simple things which get me moving.

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          November 14, 2019 6:45 PM

          I think cyberpunk will be cool but in no way think Cd project red will handle anything regarding gender identities properly

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          November 14, 2019 7:17 PM

          There's also been the argument seemingly as old as time that Birdo is transgender.

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            November 14, 2019 7:47 PM

            Also maybe Samus, and I don't even give a shit what Sakamoto Yoshio has to say on the subject.

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          November 14, 2019 7:45 PM

          Best I got off the top of my head, sorta stream of consciousness here:

          A Mortician's Tale deals with the ethics of surrounding the death of a trans person.

          The Lion's Song features a character born to the name Emma who is likely genderqueer or a man, though the text isn't explicit.

          198X features a protagonist who is specifically never referred to with masculine nor feminine pronouns.

          Technobabylon involved the input of transfolk to help write a character.

          Void and Meddler includes a number of characters who are implied to be trans gender non-conforming though I think the language barrier (originally French) may impact its clarity.

          On the note of AAA games, I think I remember hearing that Dragon Age: Inquisition features a transman, though probably not super well.

          Killing Time at Lightspeed a game that took the other half of the wind out of my sails in creating a similar but shittier game, also has multiple trans characters.

          Dys4ia is, shockingly, is a tale about aspects of many transwomen's experience.

          Um... that's what I got off the top of my head. For more QUILTBAG+ games checkout

          It's a good database, which, for better or worse, includes a number of games largely due to interpretation, but like, queerfolk are used to reading between the lines in media to find representation because, largely, we gotta. It's also good about noting in the description that it's interprative, like with, for example: Banjo-Tooie.

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          November 14, 2019 8:23 PM


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        November 14, 2019 7:11 PM

        Duke Nukem came first.

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