With upcoming Quantic Dreams’ PlayStation 3 game Beyond: Two Souls, we have a bit of a video game first, really. Two prominent actors — Ellen Page and Willem DaFoe — have important roles in the game and sort-of appear as themselves, given the motion and facial recognition technology used for the game to capture the actor’s facial expressions and movements.
This puts us in a strange position wherein two famous Hollywood actors get to act in a video game and actually act instead of just voice-act like we’ve seen celebrities do for games in the past.
With this being such a great way for actors to actually portray their acting abilities, this could be changing the way video games work in a way that most have not predicted. The capture technology that Beyond uses really allows actor’s body movements, gestures, facial movements and emotion really come through in a way that the best graphics in the world wouldn’t be able to give you without a genuinely good actor behind it.
As this sort of technology gets used more in the future, I can definitely see famous actors wanting to lend their talents to this new medium — many actors say that they strive for a challenge or something different in their career, so there’s nothing better they could be doing then trying their acting skills for the video game medium. We could one day even be seeing dedicated video game actors that solely perform on video games and see new big-name video game actor stars that game publishers will pay big bucks for to feature in their games.
It’s a strange idea that we may one day have the name of a big-name actor spread on the top of a game case like a DVD, but with video games ever-evolving and becoming more and more relevant in our culture, it also makes sense. It may be blurring the line between game and movie, but at least it means that dreadful movies based on video games will become pretty pointless too.