Tell Me Why is a truly stunning experience. It’s a game that I highly encourage people to play, particularly if you happen to appreciate a strong gut-wrenching narrative that takes you on an emotional journey. As Pride Month 2023 comes to a close, we can’t help but take a look at Don’t Nod’s triumphant title – a game that the company offers up for free in celebration of Pride each year.
While not part of the LGBTQIA+ community myself, I have friends, family, and colleagues who are. In fact, PT’s very own Daz has some words on why Tell Me Why is so special to them, and we can’t wait to share those thoughts with you. For those that aren’t familiar with the game, it comes to you from the same studio behind Life is Strange. Yet again, Don’t Nod crafted a sublime world with a story that swirls around two protagonists – twins Alison and Tyler.
In a form of media that feels somewhat devoid of LGBTQIA+ characters (though, as you can see in our guide to the best non-binary characters, this is changing), Tell Me Why breaks the mold in that Tyler, one of the two characters you take control of, is a trans man. In fact, Tyler’s journey plays a small part in the story as he was assigned female at birth, and throughout the story, it appears as though his mother may have struggled with her son’s truth. However, the story itself doesn’t revolve around this fact. Rather, Tyler has the opportunity to rebuild his life and revisit an old bond with his sister.
Tell Me Why begins with Alison picking her brother up from a juvenile detention facility, a place he was serving a serious sentence for. Years prior, Tyler shot his mum, killing her. However, while it appears to be a cut-and-dry case to begin with, throughout Tell Me Why’s three episodes you uncover more details about that fateful night – not everything is as it seems.
It’s your choices and actions throughout the game that determine what the siblings truly believe happened that night. Naturally, the decisions you make have an impact on the bond the twins share, as well as how they interact with those around them. It’s a fantastic story that’s sure to grip anybody that appreciates a game with a strong narrative.
The fact that it’s not on Nintendo Switch is somewhat disappointing. At the same time, I can understand why it remains exclusive to Xbox and PC, as exclusives are the norm, and Nintendo has plenty for its platform. However, much like Life is Strange, Tell Me Why has an important story to tell, one with lessons and experiences that shouldn’t be limited to a single audience.
A game like Tell Me Why should be accessible to everyone, regardless of the platform they own. Each year, Don’t Nod offers its game for free during Pride Month, and while this is something I love, I can’t help but wish there’d be an announcement during Pride to announce that Tyler and Alison’s story is coming to other platforms. There’s much to learn from such impactful characters, and nobody can deny the importance of Tyler and what he represents in videogames.
PT’s very own Daz says that “Getting to play as a trans man in Tell Me Why was a really important experience for me. I’m not a trans man, but I am a nonbinary person who was assigned female at birth, so there are aspects of Tyler’s experience that resonate with me. It is also just lovely to get to play as a trans person in a story that doesn’t revolve around that character’s transness, and where Tyler has the opportunity to find happiness and love. We need more of this kind of representation in games.”
Sure, you can always make the argument that there’s more money to be made when a game lands on a new platform, but that isn’t the most important reason. So, for the sake of more players being able to experience a phenomenal story, I implore Don’t Nod and Xbox Game Studios to port Tell Me Why to Nintendo Switch.