BioShock CharacterI was chatting with one of the voice actors from the game “BioShock” recently and happened to ask him if he had played the game.

The answer may astound you!
Do voice actors play the games (video games or PC games) that their voices are featured in?

Late last week, I had an extremely entertaining phone call and interview to be published on VOX Talk this week with Peter O’Connell, one of the voice actors in the #1 video game of the year, BioShock. While we were talking, I asked him about his experiences developing his character, recording the voice overs, and about other elements concerning the game.
Turns out, Peter, although he played a voice acting role in the game, has not as of yet played the game.

I was somewhat surprised, but after some thought quickly realized that there is a major difference between voice acting in a video game and being on camera in a film – voice actors generally do the work but do not have the opportunity presented to them to celebrate the playing of the video or computer games that they perform in unlike on camera actors who can watch screenings of their work when it is presented in cinemas.

The most significant reason (from what I can tell) for this is because it is far easier and more economical to passively watch something than it is to actively run out, buy a gaming console, setup the console and eventually play the game. Playing the game will also take a certain amount of skill and comes with a learning curve as well, making it harder, complicated and a more time consuming (some of these games have 40 hours of playing time from start to finish in them) task to accomplish.

If you’re a video game voice actor or a voice actor who has voiced computer / PC games, I’d love to hear about your experiences.
Have you ever played the games that you have voice acted in? Why or why not?
Looking forward to your reply,

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. Can’t play the new 007 yet of course, but I expect I will. (It will probably be a strange experience, though.)
    Meanwhile, I’ve actually caught up to From Russia with Love, the most recent Bond game featuring the voice of Sean Connery himself, and having a blast.

  2. Hi Stephanie,
    I read vox daily with interest today. I have now appeared in about 5 video games. It’s a job I really enjoy as the range of voices is huge. Every time I have finished the recordings and the game comes out into shops, the lovely people who produce them send me a free copy of each game. The trouble is no matter how hard I try I can never get far enough into the game to hear my characters! The last game I received took me three hours to get past the first scene. I have now resorted to giving the games away to friends’ children – they can complete them in about twenty minutes.
    All the best,
    Andy Turvey

  3. Interesting question…
    I’ve played a little of each of the games I’ve voiced, but haven’t fully completed any of them. I have friends who have played them all the way through, and it’s always a treat to hear their take on parts of the games I’ve never seen!
    I guess I don’t have much spare time to play… and that’s a good thing!

  4. Great question…and the answer is no. The video game I worked on with EA Sports has been played by my friends, however I don’t even own a video player, such as Playstation or XBOX. Might get a Wii for my girls at some point, but for now I’m “gameless in Charlotte”.
    Now, I will add this. I’m more of a fan of racing, thus if I were to voice NASCAR ’09…yeah, I would play it…but not because my voice would be on it. Being in the NASCAR capital of the planet and having such teams as Joe Gibbs Racing literally down the street from me, I’m guilty of being partial to those kinds of video games.
    Brian in Charlotte

  5. In a few games I’ve voiced multiple characters. I think it’s funny to play ‘me’ fighting ‘me’. I can’t lose!
    I don’t have a Wii game system yet, or else I’d totally play my latest game. I have to get one of those!

  6. I’m way late to this party, but thought I’d throw in too!
    It’s funny to me, that even in voice over, you’re either a gamer or you’re not. It kinda doesn’t matter if you’re in a game to a lot of the actors I work with.
    Often I hear from non-gamers that have been in games “man, I should really start playing these things”, as if they’re expecting some great revelation that will help them book more gigs. I don’t believe that to be necessary as long as you do your homework on what kind of game it is. Why get into gaming (expensive) if it’s not something you enjoy? You might end up hating gaming (rather than being not interested), and that will certainly not help your career.
    I also think it’s great that gaming is starting to attract all ages. Anecdotally, my favorite story is when Bill Bolender booked the voice on the Halo 3 Museum spot. It couldn’t have been more appropriate casting, as even though Bill is an older gentleman, I’m sure he was first inline to get the game, lol!

  7. I often wonder if Charles Martinet ever plays the Super Mario series or Shadow of Memories. If you’re out there, Homunculus, please answer.


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