The Dynamek Perspective: Deafening Silence

There's no need to tiptoe around the issue here: Gaming might go quiet in the worst way possible. I'm not going to get into details because what's happening is WAY bigger than me. All I'm going to do is state my opinion (and concerns) regarding the topic... 

For anyone who is unaware, there are talks of a possible voice acting strike in gaming. I'm going to repeat that because it bears repeating: There are talks of a possible voice acting strike in gaming. In the grand scheme of things, that's obviously not a big deal. The world has a whole hot mess of drama circling about in the ether that the trials & tribulations of the common gamer don't tip the scales in any particular way. I know that, you know that, the majority of people walking the earth know that. However, as both a member of the FGC and a member of that rare minority within the FGC that actually appreciates the concept of "story" in fighting games, the possibilities of this news outright terrify me.

The concept of convenience in gaming is a lot like our understanding of the respiratory system: We know we need oxygen to breathe, but we rarely face any circumstances or situations that would jeopardize our oxygen supply. Of course, such moments can happen -- drowning, strangulation, asphyxia, etc. -- but we generally know to avoid such moments if at all possible. Obviously, the same could easily be said of gaming. There are facets of our culture that we've all learned to avoid for one reason or another (2D over 3D, weapons based over hand-to-hand & so on). But now, a situation is on the horizon that doesn't necessarily threaten our quote unquote oxygen supply, but has a possibility to limit it.

Before I go any further, I want to make a quick distinction. When it comes to the matter of Subbed VS Dubbed, I'm always going to lean on the side of Dubbed. This stems from the fact that I got fed up with always having to look up the translations to all my favorite in-game quotes when I was younger. Go figure that learning impractical Japanese & memorizing broken English/Engrish quips doesn't really translate too well in the real world (pun fully intended). When the advent of English dubbing made its way into gaming, I was overjoyed because it took a phenomenal amount of legwork out of trying to enjoy my favorite pastime. It also allowed me to understand some characters better because removing the language barrier opened up an avenue for the kind of connection that one would feel towards a character in a book or graphic novel.

However, the application of technology in regards to voice acting is functionally meaningless without one key element: the voice. Without people supplying the sound, the technology can't perform its intended purpose. Sure, there are ways around that, but do you really want to return to the days of grainy audio files filling in the dead air between matches? I, for one, do not. The idea of losing out on that type of performance is unsettling to me. This might sound kind of spoiled, but I have grown overwhelmingly accustomed to the idea of voice acting in games. I'm not 100% sure that the gaming industry, as a whole, could handle a blow like that. I know for damn sure that the AAA level of the industry can't survive without the caliber of performance that they've grown accustomed to having in the their titles. Fighters don't necessarily rely on the same level of participation from these professionals, but it has become a very integral part of what's expected. As scary as it is, there's a chance we may lose it...


This is where we are right now... and the sense of uncertainty does not bode well.

Until next time... keep fighting the good fight, my friends.

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