Embracing the world of video game voice acting can often inspire both trepidation and exhilaration for a voiceover artist. It's a realm that beautifully merges a real-life portrayal of a character with fantasy scenarios that extend beyond our imagination. This piece delves into the initial elements of video game voice acting, tracing the exciting journey it has made thus far. Additionally, you will discover some of the best tips and tricks to embrace this genre.
Voice actors keen to venture into the video game industry have witnessed tremendous opportunities over the past two decades. This is a stark contrast to the earlier times when voiceovers in video games were a rarity. In the age of Tetris, the concept of voiceover in video games was practically non-existent. It was only during the retro gaming era, marked by iconic phrases like Mario's 'Let's Go', that voiceovers began to make their mark. Since then, they have transformed into an indispensable aspect of nearly all video games.
The realm of voiceover is vast, encompassing commercials, narration, telephone on-hold messaging, radio, and a myriad of other genres. However, video games offer an unmatched level of imaginative exploration for the voice actor. They may be portraying an alien traversing the cosmos in one moment, and a soldier in the throes of a deadly battlefield in the next. Yet, the domain of video games also accommodates realistic scenarios, providing a wide array of experiences.
The notion of 'authentic read' or 'natural read', as discussed in the commercial voiceovers article, is about embodying authenticity and truthfulness. This principle also holds in the realm of video games but with an added demand for versatility. For instance, articulating a dying scene might involve an intense display of emotions like screaming, something not typically encountered in everyday life. Thus, while the versatility to switch between styles is crucial, the universal requirement across all performances is the conveyance of truth.
The video game universe comprises an enormous variety of games, from racing and shooting to sports and fantasy genres, and everything in between. Voice acting in video games isn't confined to main characters or cut scene participants. Non-playable characters, or NPCs, often require voice acting. Consider, for example, a shop clerk in a game from whom you buy supplies - such a character, despite being computer-controlled and not directly playable, contributes significantly to the immersive gaming experience both with their service within the narrative and also their voiceover too.
Video game voice performances often demand the same level of energy as stage performances but are nicely balanced with the natural and genuine style typical of commercial reads. As the industry evolves with elements like virtual reality, new realms for video games continue to emerge. It seems likely that the demand for voiceover artists will only increase, embracing new styles and techniques along the way. The future of video game voice acting, then, seems as vibrant and varied as the games themselves.
Video Game Voice Acting by Alan Shires