A writer on Rainbow Six Siege has expressed their pride at the game's first transgender operator, who arrives with the Crystal Guard season update.
Narrative writer, Simon Ducharme, said they are "incredibly proud" of developing the character and had "tears of joy" knowing they were "encouraged and supported" to write queer characters.
Speaking to Gamespot, Ducharme added: "The decision to create a transgender character was made early on, as part of our initiative to have an inclusive roster of Operators. The consultants, all of whom are trans people, wanted to make sure that Osa was presented as authentically and organically as possible. She was written by a queer person and she is voiced by a trans woman - and while her identity is certainly influenced by her gender, who she is in the Siege universe is centered on her talents, her influence on Nighthaven, and her close friendship to Kali."
So here it is. Osa is a trans woman, and I’m incredibly proud. I couldn’t have done this without the guidance of our amazing consultants, @JadeWhirl, @BirdTickler and @CaptainFluke. I love all three of you, and I thank you for trusting me to write Osa’s story. pic.twitter.com/WZR49s3Job— ✨ seven ✨️ (@sevenofquills) August 16, 2021
Speaking of her talents, Osa has the ability to deploy or carry a transparent and bulletproof shield, giving her and opponents a clear line of sight. Shields are usually reserved for defenders, so this change could change the dynamics of gameplay. The shield is still susceptible to explosives and can be taken down by shooting a pressurised cylinder on the inside of the shield.
The update also brings map changes to Bank, Coastline, and Clubhouse, bringing all three "in-line with today's technical standards".
Representation of trans people in video games unfortunately remains scarce. The introduction of trans characters should not be noteworthy, but until it becomes normalised within the industry, it's important to celebrate the small steps of progress.
"I'm not gonna promote shit because as proud as I am and as much as I wanna make this about me, it's not. There's work to be done until trans women (and trans people in general) are valued, safe and celebrated as they should be" Simon wrote in a follow-up tweet.