#1 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

I was listening to some Giant Bomb Last Of Us coverage the other day and I Ryan Davis did something interesting. In talking about the game, he referred to the characters in the game, not as the name of the character, but by the name of the actor who portrayed the character.

This is a really common thing that people do with movies. In fact, it's common for people to see entire movies and not come to learn the names of the characters. It's not unheard of for people, use the actors name interchangeably with the characters name when discussing a film. Like, for instance, Patrick saying Independence Day was about Will Smith and Jeff Goldblume saving the world from aliens.

My question is, is this a watershed moment in games? Is it going to be more and more common for the actors who portray characters to become personalities in and of themselves? Does this take away from the story a game is trying to tell? Or is it a testament to the technology involved that people can recognize individuals even through the digital processing that goes into making games?

#2 Posted by erhard (404 posts) -

If you're only talking about the movie in passing, it's fine. In an in depth discussion, it's dumb.

#3 Edited by MattGrant (122 posts) -

Isn't it usually the other way around? Referring to actors as the characters they play? I hear they don't like that. :P

#4 Posted by EvilNiGHTS (1093 posts) -

@mattgrant said:

Isn't it usually the other way around? Referring to actors as the characters they play? I hear they don't like that. :P

I dunno, Michael Dorn seems to do okay out of it.

#5 Edited by Otleaz (45 posts) -

Until games become live action, no.

#6 Posted by stubbleman (306 posts) -

So Ryan had a brain fart and this is potentially a watershed moment in games?

#7 Edited by PenguinDust (12518 posts) -

I don't think it's that new when the voice actor is already known in films or TV. For example, Keith David in Saint's Row or Mass Effect. Some voice actors like Nolan North or Jennifer Hale have become famous enough within the niche world of video games, so they too can be referred to by their actual names as opposed to the character's name. This is all about levels of fame.

It's also quick way to single out a specific person within a game with scores of different characters.

Additionally, not all actors like being referred to in person by the character they play.

#8 Edited by Benny (1953 posts) -

I can't recall the exact point in which he does this but I'm wondering if he referred to "Troy Baker's character" in the context of admiring how well the character was portrayed? More of a discussion of the components of the game rather than the story perhaps? I honestly don't really know.

#9 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

It's usually a means of insulting the product, since you don't see the character that a person is playing, but rather, the person playing that character.

Also, this:

#10 Posted by Skyfire543 (691 posts) -

I only do this if I don't remember that actual characters name, but I do know the actor. Also never for games, only for movies.

#11 Edited by medacris (660 posts) -

@skyfire543 said:

I only do this if I don't remember that actual characters name, but I do know the actor.

This. I'm bad with names sometimes, so I only do it if I forget, or if I'm playing the "[x] also played [y]" game with someone.

#12 Edited by believer258 (11913 posts) -

I find that I usually forget the names of characters in some movies, so I just refer to them by the actors. Also, if you're describing a movie's plot to someone, and that someone hasn't seen the movie but knows the actors, then it's easier just to use the names of the actors.

#13 Edited by EvilNiGHTS (1093 posts) -

@penguindust said:

I don't think it's that new when the voice actor is already known in films or TV. For example, Keith David in Saint's Row or Mass Effect. Some voice actors like Nolan North or Jennifer Hale have become famous enough within the niche world of video games, so they too can be referred to by their actual names as opposed to the character's name. This is all about levels of fame.

It's also quick way to single out a specific person within a game with scores of different characters.

Additionally, not all actors like being referred to in person by the character they play.

You understand there was a follow-up, right?

He's totally Spock, guys.

#14 Edited by BaneFireLord (2935 posts) -

I am absolutely atrocious at remembering character names in movies, so I will often refer to characters by their actor's names. This is not out of any sort of derision, mind you; it's simply because I'm too stupid to remember the names of fictional characters.

#15 Posted by jimmy_p (278 posts) -

Usually referring to characters with their actors names occurs when its schlock/ shitty blockbuster movie. Shouldnt treat classics like that

#16 Edited by WickedFather (1733 posts) -

Your familiarity with a character in a film is based on the multiple times you've seen them. Their real name stays consistent through this. If you're relating a person to somebody else who hasn't seen the film using their character name is meaningless.

If a videogame had multiple instances and the voice actors changed eventually getting to a third, fourth iteration and the actor playing them changed to sombody famous you'd still more than likely think of the character rather than the actor. Solid Snake is never going to thought of as Keither Sutherland but maybe could be if he was there from the start and put his mark on it.

Does it take away from the character? Yeah, if you're constantly thinking "Hey, that's Willem Defoe. In a vidya game - I know!" So I do think unknowns are great because of that. I'd never want to know who does the Brit voice in Saints Row because the voice belongs to that character for me even if you can change their face. I wish I'd never looked up the guy that does George Stobbart because I think about him if I kick that delightful relic off.