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Video game acting is just as impressive as screen acting (Op-Ed)

Acting across all forms of media is an intricate art and science that allows for viewers, players, and audiences alike to truly connect and relate to characters and the overall story presented in the media of their choice.

Although we tend to associate our thoughts and experiences with acting as what we see on the television or film screen, an entirely separate media has emerged that’s given even the biggest blockbusters a run for their money when it comes to skill, emotional impact, and professionalism. 

Video games have long been praised for their detailed graphics, emotional and poignant storylines, and interactivity, but with the adaptation of motion capture technology and voice acting for the characters we see, there’s an entirely new avenue of effort and talent to appreciate across countless games and a wide variety of genres. 

Take, for instance, “The Last of Us Part II,” a game celebrated not only for its stunning visuals and gripping narrative, but also for its exceptional voice acting. Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson breathe life into their characters, Joel and Ellie, delivering performances that rival those found in Hollywood. Through their nuanced portrayals, players become emotionally invested in the journey, feeling every triumph and tragedy along the way.

Similarly, “Red Dead Redemption 2” showcases the power of motion capture technology in capturing the subtleties of human expression. Roger Clark’s portrayal of Arthur Morgan is a masterclass in performance, capturing the complexity of a rugged outlaw grappling with his moral compass. The technology seamlessly translates Clark’s movements and facial expressions into the digital realm, allowing players to experience every grimace and glint of determination.

What sets video game acting apart from its counterparts in film and television is the element of interactivity. Unlike passive viewership, players actively engage with the narrative, making choices that shape the outcome of the story. This dynamic relationship between player and character adds an extra layer of complexity to the acting process, requiring performers to adapt to multiple potential paths and outcomes.

However, despite these differences, the core principles of acting remain the same across all mediums: authenticity, empathy, and the ability to inhabit a character’s emotional truth. Whether on screen or in the digital world, talented actors possess the skill to captivate audiences and forge lasting connections through their performances.

As we continue to witness the evolution of video games as a storytelling medium, one thing remains clear: the art of acting knows no bounds. Whether on the silver screen or the virtual realm, great performances have the power to transcend technology and touch the hearts of audiences worldwide.


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