Monday, November 26, 2007

Adam Sessler on Mass Effect - Has a lot to say about the voice acting...

We all know how I feel about voice acting in games. All to often it's overlooked for fancier graphics, or it feels like it was tacked on at the last minute, or it's just plain bad. It's made even more disappointing by the fact that it doesn't have to be that way.
While I think most gamers value innovative game play over story telling, games like Portal, Oblivion, and Half Life 2 show us that it's the subtleties of good performance that really add to the immersive effect of gaming. In essence good performance helps build that fourth wall around the player, helps create that suspension of disbelief, made all the trickier by the fact that gaming is interactive.

The player controls the action, but also has to lose themselves in the game at the same time.

What's been most frustrating for me, is that all to often you'll hear about games with bad voice acting, but you rarely hear anyone really talk about voice acting positively. In a review you might see some blurb at the end of a review "Oh, uhhhh, I've got 100 words to go, so, uhhh, the voice acting didn't suck...yeah". I mean, this year Spike didn't even include a "Voice Acting" category in their awards show line up!

That's why it's so refreshing to hear Adam Sessler talk about how refreshing good voice acting is.


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