In celebration of Pride Month, we’ve been speaking to members of the team about the LGBTQ+ gaming moments that mean something to them personally. Here, our Junior Designer Sophie Bruce reflects on her experience of Dontnod Entertainment’s episodic adventure game, which was released in five instalments throughout 2015.
“When I first played Life is Strange in 2016, I was unaware that it had LGBTQ+ representation,” she recalls. “My mum had bought the game for me and I was worried that maybe she thought I was gay. At the time, I wasn’t out, and also wasn’t 100% sure if I was straight, bisexual, or gay. The whole time I was playing the game, I felt like I had to play it in secret because I didn’t want my Mum finding out or asking me anything about my sexuality. After replaying the game years later, I realised, she probably didn’t know that the characters were part of the LGBTQ+ community. However, she probably did know I was gay.”
For Sophie, the game’s emphasis on player choices, combined with its relatable characters, made the experience especially memorable.
“It gave me the opportunity to experience a young couple who were a similar age to me, who were also on a similar journey with accepting their sexuality, but I was making all of the decisions. It really resonated with me and I remember having goosebumps every time the characters Max and Chloe would kiss or do something romantic together.”
The way Life is Strange captures the authentic representation of a blossoming relationship between two young girls created a powerful emotional connection for her.
“I had never seen representation like this before in any other media I had watched or played at the time,” she states. “It really was an eye-opening experience for me to accept that I was gay and a great representation of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Life is Strange has since expanded into a franchise and continues to explore LGBTQ+ themes within its storytelling.
“I would say it’s one of the biggest LGBTQ+ representing game series out at the moment,” Sophie states. “I hope this representation continues in gaming because I had such a special experience with Life Is Strange and I hope others do too because it might help someone come out, understand themselves a bit better or offer a safe space for them to express themselves.”