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‘Life is Strange’ Is a Groundbreaking Queer Adventure Game

Time travel, a murder mystery and lesbians. What's not to love?
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The list of LGBT video game characters is woefully short. But if you’re a gamer, you now have one more reason to celebrate.

Life is Strange is an episodic saga that exists outside of time. Unlike most choice-and-consequence games, this game allows the player to play with time, and make decisions in the past, present and future.

You play as budding photographer Max. Max saves her childhood friend Chloe – and discovers that she has the ability to rewind time.

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The girls find themselves sneaking through the shadows of Arcadia Bay, honing Max’s skills and investigating the disappearance of a student.

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As if that’s not dark enough, Max starts having premonitions. This power may be darker and more dangerous than she anticipated. She realizes that the more she changes the past, the bleaker the future becomes…

Spoiler alert – Max and Chloe have a romantic relationship. It’s not hypersexualized; it’s tastefully constructed, feels true to the characters and adds emotional depth to the game. It also complements, not overshadows, the discovery of Max’s powers.

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Life is Strange is far from perfect. The dialogue can be stilted and the “typical teenager” problems can seem a bit mundane. The cast list is bloated and you’ll fall straight through some of the plot holes. However, the story is gripping. You’ll be laughing one minute, trembling with fear the next, and berating yourself for accidentally causing a catastrophe right after that. You may also see yourself and your girlfriend in Max and Chloe. It  has received 4 to 4.5/5 stars from major outlets such as IGN and PCWorld.

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What does this game mean for the future of LGBT characters in video games? Hopefully, it means that there will be more of them. We need more LGBT characters not as minor characters, but as protagonists, like in Life is Strange. Currently, if you want to play a game with an LGBT protagonist, you’ll be picking between The Ballad of Gay Tony and Ultimate Gay Fighter. It’s about time gay girl gamers got to see themselves on screen.

Learn more at the official Life is Strange website.

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Author
J. Marie graduated from Duke University with a degree in International Relations and dreams of being a creative writer--dreams she's now realizing as a musical theatre writer in NYC. She's passionate about global black identities, black representation in media, and leather-bound notebooks. She also loves backpacking through a new country at a moment's notice, and speaks Spanish, Swahili and Standard Arabic.

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