A moment

Yesterday I was at a GDC Online narrative summit talk by Alexander Seropian and John Scalzi. At the end of it, they announced they were going to have some audience participation and needed three volunteers.

I thought: I should really put my hand up. I never put up my hand in circumstances like this, because I find volunteering for random things in front of a big group uncomfortable; you never know what you’re getting into. In the event, discomfort won and I kept my hand down.

So they picked three guys. A picture of a gruff male space marine went up on the slide screen, and each of the volunteers was invited to say a line (provided by Scalzi) with the accent and delivery he thought best suited the space marine. The audience picked the volunteer who sounded most plausible, and the marine character got named after that volunteer.

Then I wished I had put my hand up.

5 thoughts on “A moment

  1. Funny enough, the space marine, while ubiquitous in narration, is often portrayed as silent when he is a protagonist. A notable couterexample is Shepard from Mass Effect, who’s female voice actor gave a lauded performance.

    • The incomparable Jennifer Hale, who I’ll always remember as the voice of Bastila Shan in Knights of the Old Republic. I played Shepard as female purely because of her voice acting talents.

      There’s something oddly appealing about playing a hardened male space-jockey by the name of Emily.

      • The funny thing about Hale’s performance is that it’s not great because she’s a lady – it’s great because she put so much inflection and feeling into her performance.

        I wish the male voice actor had done the same.

      • If you’re a male space-jockey named Emily, you probably become hardened pretty quickly. (I think Shel Silverstein wrote a song about that.)

        Come to think of it, if you’re a female space-jockey named Emily, or a female space-jockey named anything else, you probably also become hardened pretty quickly. Or maybe I’m being too pessimistic in my projections about space-jockey society; after all, I’d really like to believe that the post-patriarchy is at least as attainable as interstellar travel.

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