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Humor in Video Games - A Voice Actors Challenge

By Alan Shires. Published Aug 15, 2023.
Filed Under: Video Games

Are you a voice actor striving to bag the next plum role in the video game universe? Have you ever wondered if your comical timing and jovial voice could be the secret sauce the gaming world is desperately craving? Well, strap in and hold onto your vocal cords, because humor in video games is no laughing matter (okay, maybe it is), and you could very well be the pièce de résistance in this delightful gaming soup.

Video games aren't just about slaying dragons or shooting zombies anymore. They're full-blown experiences. Just as in movies and TV shows, humor has become a significant element in many games, offering levity in intense scenarios or simply serving as the core theme of the game itself. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t watch a movie or series that’s just endless action without a chuckle or two, right? Games have picked up on that cue too.

Humours Video Games to Study

1. 'Portal' and 'Portal 2' - A prime example where the voice acting (Hello, GLaDOS!) and humorous script intertwine perfectly. Ellen McLain's portrayal of the sarcastic AI system is what made us laugh hysterically, even as we plummeted into fiery pits.

2. 'Monkey Island Series' - Dominic Armato nailed the voice of Guybrush Threepwood, adding an unforgettable charm to the bumbling pirate. Who would’ve thought getting insulted by pirates could be so entertaining?

3. 'Borderlands Series' - The zany cast of characters, from Handsome Jack to Tiny Tina, owe their hilarity to a combination of excellent writing and impeccable voice acting.

4. 'The Stanley Parable' - Kevin Brighting’s narration is the star of the show. It’s dry, it’s sarcastic, and it’s utterly unpredictable, making it a comedy goldmine.

Role of Voice Actors in Amplifying Humour

While the script may be the skeleton of a game's comedy, voice actors are undoubtedly its soul. Imagine GLaDOS's lines being delivered in a monotone, or Guybrush sounding bored as he bumbles around. Doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it? Voice actors possess the magic to:
- Add nuance to jokes
- Emphasize comedic timing
- Elevate ordinary dialogue to something memorable

A talented voice actor can transform a mildly amusing line into a laugh-out-loud moment. If you're an aspiring voice actor, embracing this comedic potential could open doors to a universe of roles in gaming you'd never considered.

Nailing Comedy in Video Games

The first point is to understand the Joke! Sometimes, gaming humor can be niche. Play the game, understand its world, and get the context. If you're laughing, you're halfway there. Next up it is important to experiment with delivery. Think about it like this, maybe the line can be funnier if said slower, or with a different inflection - play around and trust your comedic instincts. A really important element of humor in video games is to embrace feedback. Directors know the game world inside out. If they suggest a tweak in delivery, they're probably visualizing a scene or character interaction you might not be privy to. Finally, stay updated - Humour evolves and what was funny 10 years ago may not elicit the same giggles today. Play modern humorous games, watch comedic shows, and keep refining your art.

Call All Voice Actors - Step into the Humours Spotlight!

Voice actors are the unsung heroes in the world of video game comedy. With the gaming industry growing exponentially and humor becoming a staple genre, there's a treasure trove of opportunities waiting. So, the next time you practice your lines in funny voices or annoy your family with that 'wacky character' you've developed, remember: the gaming world might just be waiting for that exact voice to breathe life into their next comedic masterpiece. Now, dust off that mic, channel your inner jester, and let the gaming universe bask in your hilarious glory!

Humor in Video Games by Alan Shires

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