Why So Serious? WHY NOT?

I’ve been writing opinion pieces, game reviews and doing voice-overs for (and occasionally here) for a few months now, and for what its worth, I always try to play it straight.  Well, except the voice-over stuff, unless its something I wrote myself, I don’t have much of a choice there. -shrug-

I play it straight because I don’t believe in pandering to the least common denominator.  If gaming is an artform that is just now ‘growing up,’ as some claim, then the people that report on it are probably just a few steps behind.  As I said at the end of my second article, The Numbers Game: “if we want others to take games seriously, we must take them seriously ourselves.”

But why aren’t videogames taken seriously?  Is it because of their relative youth compared to other artforms such as television and film, or is it because of the immaturity of those that cover it?  Granted, this is the internet, but there are very few places where videogames are covered without a wink and a snarky attitude. What the gaming press needs is the equivalent of The Wall Street Journal or Variety, but what we’re getting is Mad Magazine.

Now, I openly admit, I don’t practice what I preach: I crack jokes in my reviews and perhaps I shouldn’t ‘write myself’ into them.  The latter, I do because think it is important for the reader to get a sense of where I am coming from.  For better or worse, my score will be influenced by whether the game was something I was REALLY REALLY REALLY looking forward to or was just something that got tossed into my lap.  I think it also helps the reader if they are made aware of my biases for or against the game coming in.

Am I impartial? Admittedly not, but let’s be honest, nobody truly is.

In any event, while I am pointing out the problem, I don’t really have a solution.  The best that I can hope for is that the ‘serious guys’ get popular enough to, well, be taken seriously.  Now, does everybody have to take gaming seriously? Not really, there will always be a place for the snarks and clowns, and if worse comes to worse I can always go back to joking about how much I suck at fighting games.


Putting the Mouth to Work

I have always been interested in voice acting.  Even today, I marvel at the pros who can have conversations with themselves.  Growing up with a healthy dose of Mel Blanc probably helped as well.

I never really pursued it, though.  I was content to pepper my conversations with occasional impressions, voice-changes, and really bad accents, much to the amusement (and annoyance) of all.  I know at least one person who is sick of my rendition of Darth Vader’s “I find your lack of faith disturbing” line from Star Wars.

During a rough patch when I worked jobs where I was dealing with The General Public, (shudder) I started to get compliments on my voice.  The first time was when I was working at Best Buy in Corpus Christi.  While working at a call center a few months later, I would get the occasional compliment on my voice.  While working at the call center, I did notice that I would occasionally lapse into what I called my “phone voice.”  Despite the occasional praise, though, I never pursued it further, though I would occasionally think, “that would be a fun thing to do.”

I pretty much sat on that idea until fairly recently.  At Mizuumi-com I saw two panels that inspired me to get off my rear and start pursuing a career in voice work:  Kevin M. Connolly gave a good talk on the expectations one should have in doing voice work and Chris Holm gave a good “get off your ass and DO something” session (that wasn’t the title, but it sums up the message pretty neatly).

Thus, I have started volunteering my voice to, reading short works to start off, and we’ll see where it goes from there!