Studio Fawn, a small Los Angeles company developing its first game, is working to level up diversity in video games by including a prominent transgender character in Bloom: Memories.
Bloom: Memories is the brainchild of trans artist and game developer Dani Landers, one of the four creative minds who make up Studio Fawn. The game is based on an unreleased graphic novel created by Landers and is a beautiful artistic take on the action-adventure/role-playing game genre that carries players through an epic journey following the theme of the “purest love” — that between a mother and her child. Among the many striking characters introduced to players in the world of Bloom is Ilana, the first representation of a trans person in the popular RPG genre.
Ilana’s inclusion in Bloom became a personal mission for the game designer when she took a wider look at the landscape of video games and their lack of LGBT diversity. “When I found out that trans women have never really existed in a mainstream game outside of a casual footnote, I realized Ilana’s story was more important than I had thought,” Landers says. “She went from being just a cool character I could relate to, to a character that needed her story to be told.”
“Traditional wisdom in the games industry says trying something like this will mean failure. We’re gambling our futures and lives on trying to do something to bring change,” Landers says.
“LGBT-inclusive games can make a difference by empowering youth and showing them that they aren’t alone. I hope Bloom can show other companies that LGBT characters can offer so much more to a game than a cheap laugh or token stereotype. That women in general don’t need to be half naked to pander to teens, that a transgender woman can be a deep, rich character, and that you don’t even need to center your game around violence for it to be fun and engaging.”
Visit studiofawn.com for more information.