05 FebRaphael Sbarge: Jennifer Hale Q&A Part 4

Raphael Sbarge (Kaidan Alenko, Mass Effect) wraps up his conversation with Jennifer Hale (Commander Shepard, Mass Effect). They discuss the future of videogames and more.

Raphael: I’m sure fans want to know how to follow you online? If you want to give us your … Twitter name and/or if you have any sort of fan site, or anything that they could sort of follow you?

Jennifer: Yeah – the best way to find me right now, is I’m on Twitter: @jhaletweets. … And my website’s JenniferHale.com, but, you know, that’s just my website. It’s mostly for work, but you’re quite welcome to go there. The Twitter way is probably the best way to find me.

Raphael: That sounds great. That sounds great. And then, do you play the game?

Jennifer: I’ve played it once. I actually don’t have time to play games, because I don’t have a ton of free time. And I’m…

Raphael: So busy making them, right, yeah.

Jennifer: Yeah, and when I have free time, I go outside, or I go climbing. Or I go, you know, jump on the horse, or whatever I can do outside. But I did play once! A guy named Tom Bissell did an article on me for The New Yorker last year, and he made me sit down and play the game for an hour. I don’t know how that happened, because my plan? Was to throw him on a rope somewhere and make him rock climb, or throw him on a horse and do the interview that way, but somehow I found myself sitting in a house with Mass Effect 2 in hand, and played through for, like, an hour.

It was really interesting; I was glad I did it. I mean, I was not very proficient at it – although, apparently, I’m a good shot, which makes me very happy.

Raphael: Oh, very good!

Jennifer: You know, it’s frustrating though; I don’t know about you. Do you have this experience: I heard it, and I went, “Ah! I wish I would have known this detail of the visual, because I would have done that differently!” You know? That makes me nuts about the whole thing.

Raphael: Yeah. Watching some of this stuff – the clips online – it is funny. It’s a weird feeling, actually. Kind of, sort of, “That sounds like me, that doesn’t look like me.” And then, were you actually as an actor playing the scene — which is where my instinct is, where your instinct is — it would have been different in real time, obviously.

And then, just last question, I guess, which is just to say: Where do you imagine/where do you see all of this going? Where do you see the future of games going? What’s on the horizon for developers and what they’re going to do? What are we going to see, do you think?

Jennifer: Mocap. Mocap. [Editor’s note: Motion capture. Which you probably knew.] I think that, I see this very long term, but I do see it. And it’s not 100% of a merge, but I see a bit of a melding of feature films and games through mocap. Because I’ve done a good bit of mocap now, and it’s extraordinary – the difference in the experience of it. It’s regular acting, and then your visual , your face, your image just gets changed. I think that’s where the future is, and I think that’s going to place more and more value on the acting, and on the story.

I think people are starting to really enjoy these mythologies. Dave Hayter – do you know Dave? – he’s a really brilliant writer, and a great voice actor. He wrote X-Men and Watchmen, and a million other things, and he’s also in the new Star Wars: Old Republic game. He said once … these videogames (sorry, Dave, if I’m poorly paraphrasing you) are our new mythology. They’re our new mythology for this generation. And I think the importance of that is huge right now, because things are changing so fast in the world, and moving so quickly that if we can grab onto our stories, that have sort of consistent archetypes and consistent beginning, middle and end concepts? That’s helpful. And because the world’s moving so fast and is so fluid, I think videogames are a great bridge for that. Because they’re fluid, and fast, and yet they sometimes have kind of a beginning, middle and end feel to them, similar to films. I think to where all those things are starting to merge together. They’re our stories. We need our stories. And we get to be in them. Players get to be in them, and I think that’s really fantastic for people.

Raphael: That’s really cool. That’s really cool. Well, Jennifer, thank you so much for doing this. I so appreciate it. I know everyone else does.

Jennifer: It’s awesome, yeah. Hi, everybody, and huge thanks to everybody out there that we even have jobs.

Raphael: Hear, hear! Yes, indeed. What a joy, what a joy.

Jennifer: Thank you for doing this. This is great.

Raphael: My sincere pleasure. All right, well take care then, and we’ll be speaking soon. All right, cheers. Bye.

27 Responses so far.

  1. Bekkael says:

    Hooray! *does happy dance for part 4* :D

  2. Kia Purity says:

    You guys are so awesome! :D

  3. Tanya says:

    Wow, how great. Thanks to the both of you for sitting down to do that.

  4. bosiaxd says:

    Yay !!! thank you guys ;* love you <3

  5. Misty says:

    Twas epic indeed :) Thank you all so much!

  6. Emmy says:

    Woot!!! :D ,thank-you yet again Raphael and Jennifer for another great audioblog!!! ‘Twas most awesome and we really do appreciate all that you’ve done :)

  7. mineralica says:

    Thank you all for doing it! You are brilliant :)

  8. Tina says:

    You two and Jacqui are awesome. Thank you so much for being so good to your fans! <3

  9. Tina says:

    Um, FOR your fans I mean /blush

  10. Anthony says:

    Thank you very much, Raphael and Jennifer. I loved Jennifer talking about the new mythology at the end. That was a insightful discussion.

  11. Conny says:

    That was a really cool set of audioblogs, and so insightful – thank you so much Raphael, Jennifer and Jacqui for doing it! Really appreciate what you guys are doing for us :)

  12. Lily says:

    Thank you so much for recording these for us! It was really cool to learn more about the voice acting process and what goes into everything. You guys are the best! :)

  13. Joni says:

    Thank you so much for doing this for us. We really appreciate it. Thank you Raphael,Jennifer, and Jacqui :)

  14. basbaker says:

    What a great surprise for me today! I check this site periodically just to make sure that I don’t miss any audioblogs from you, Mr. Sbarge, but it was an even greater treat to hear you and Jennifer Hale together. I find it ironic that neither of you game, because the amount of entertainment and joy you bring to so many of us who do is extraordinary.

    Before I played the Mass Effect (and Dragon Age from BioWare) series of games, I never found games so absorbing and compelling that they actually drew an emotional response from me. They’ve been challenging, but never so engaging that I forgot it was a game just because the story, how well it was written and performed, drew me in and carried me through. The actors deserve just as much credit for that as the writers. These honestly are more like interactive movies than games, especially Mass Effect. I’m always sorry to see them end.

    So this is a huge thanks to both Raphael and Jennifer for your work and commitment to making these parts that you play so human. And thanks especially for taking the time to bring your experiences and insights to us via these interviews. I can’t think of anyone else who has done this. It’s a fabulous idea and executed wonderfully (much appreciation for Jacqui!). It’s very gratifying to be a fan. :)



  15. Sashimi Taco says:

    Your voices are so sexy, I get overwhelmed with the sexiness.

  16. xenzen says:

    Thank you, both of you, for doing this! It was wondering listening to you both talk about voice acting, the peek behind-the-scenes, and the future of videogames. It’s always a great pleasure to listen to Mr. Sbarge, but hearing Ms. Hale as well was a real blast. It was just so wonderful hearing the people behind the characters we love (and hate, to hear the jealous guys complain about you – either way, you certainly inspire passion of some kind), who really breathe life into the stories.

  17. Lyriel says:

    Thank you so much for these, Mr. Sbarge, Ms. Hale, and Jaqui! This four-part audioblog has been so fantastic to listen to – so much insight into your views, the process behind the scenes, your craft, and your reactions as people to our reactions to your work (awkward phrasing, but I hope you know what I mean). It’s so lovely and generous of you, and we can hear the genuine respect and rapport between you :). Ms. Hale is right – in many ways, games are *our* stories, and they are made more meaningful and have more lasting impact thanks to your work. I hope you’re getting a feel for how much enjoyment your work in this sort of oddball field brings to your fans!

  18. MM says:

    Thank you both for this.

  19. […] interview of Jennifer Hale conducted by Raphael Sbarge.  Finally, the last and long awaited part four of the series is up and ready for your listening […]

  20. Tori says:

    This was fantastic! It was so interesting and thought provking all the way through! Thank you both!

  21. Holly says:

    Ahhh this was so awesome to listen to. Thank you both so much for taking the time to do this!!!

  22. Bella says:

    First time commenter here, but I’ve been following your audio blog for several months now — just want to say thanks so much for doing this for all the fans! It’s really great to know how much you guys care, the interviews with Jennifer and Kimberly were fantastic. Also I hope your first foray into Mass Effect is a blast, Raphael!

  23. Saeris says:

    Jennifer, Raphael, Y U NO PLAY GAMES?!

  24. Eric says:

    I really enjoy when Raphael Sbarge interviews people because he asks all the right questions!

  25. Robert says:

    Thanks so much for this, this is really amazing. Really enjoyed your livestream with jessica merizan aswell. Any plans to do the mith Mark Meer? (Male commander Shepard)

  26. Michaela says:

    Thank you so much for this. It was delightful and interesting to listen.

  27. Ilona says:

    Miss Hale, I just have one question to ask, did you voice any other
    female characters in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic besides Bastila Shan?

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