The developers of Life is Strange, an interactive drama graphic adventure game released last week, have stated that they believe the main character’s gender is irrelevant when creating a good story in a game.
The question was asked during a Reddit AMA (that’s Ask Me Anything) with Dontnod, in which a user asked if he should play the game as he’s not a teenage girl, following on with “The concept seems very interesting IMO but I’m not a fan of highschool girls as protagonists, seems to be focused more on drama and romance and less on the actual story.”
Dontnod co-game director Michael Koch then went on to reassure the user that the game would be suitable for just about anyone.
“I don’t want to spoil anything, but we think that we have an interesting story with very dark and mature themes,” Koch said. “This most definitely isn’t a high school drama – it just so happens that there is a high school in the game! People are clearly not expecting the journey we have created for sure… To be honest, we also really think that the gender of a main character is quite irrelevant when creating a good story, it really depends on how you write your characters in relation to the themes you are dealing with. Life is Strange is starring a teenage girl, you’re right, but it is clearly not only a teenage girl story and we really think that both male players and female players will relate to this game and enjoy this adventure.”
Honestly, I can’t put into words the happiness that these words give me. Although as of late I feel like the social inclusivity of video games is getting much better – just look at how well received Dragon Age: Inquisition was – the industry is still far off being fixed, with many stories over the years coming from developers who had difficulty finding a publisher unless they agreed to change female protagonists to males; however, with developers like Dontnod out there who are willing to take risks and make changes, and publishers like Square Enix who are willing to go out on a limb and support them, we may find a solution sooner than we think. An optimistic thought, perhaps, but a nice one nonetheless.
We’re currently working on our review for Life is Strange, which was released for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360 last week, but if you need something to satisfy your hunger in the meantime, you can check out a recent Developer Diary below.