Ashly Burch On Outside Perception of Video GamesReported on Friday, March 13th 2020 by BTVA Team
Ashly Burch, who currently stars in Mythic Quest, an on-camera comedy about video games spoke to The Verge about the show in an extensive interview.
The conversation naturally veered towards the actress' voice over career in games. She talked about how even the heavily story driven acting in video games still isn't understood outside of the voice over industry.
Verge: You've worked in so many different capacities in games, how did that inform your approach to this?
Burch: I started doing web series with my brother over a decade ago, and that's kind of how I first started getting into video games [for work], through video game sketch comedy. After that I did voice acting, and then I've given talks at different conventions and stuff about the industry, or the culture — so I've thought a lot about the industry from different angles for a long time. So it was just interesting and a lot of fun to funnel that knowledge into the context of the show. And to depict games in all of its flaws and all of its grandeur. To show the ugly side but also the beautiful side of games.
Because both exist. It's a massive industry and it's an amalgamation of a lot of different types of people, so you're going to get people that are very toxic and very destructive, and then you're going to get people that are lovely and love games and put good into the world through that love. I feel like we were able to give a complete picture of the industry, which I'm very grateful for and excited by.
Verge: Like you said, despite their success, games still feel like a niche industry with a very prominent dark side. Do you struggle with that perception of the industry as you talk about your time in it to people who aren't familiar?
Burch: What I mostly find, honestly, is that people mostly don't know a ton about the industry. I've been a voice actor for a long time, and over that time period, you know, you go to parties, people ask you what you do, I'll say I'm a voice actor for games, mostly, and their response has more or less remained consistent, which is just confusion. Because, you know, like, Mario! "Do you do 'it's-a-me, Mario,' is that your thing?"
They don't realize that there are so many games with these sweeping epic stories that are just as compelling as any movie or TV show that you've seen. So mostly I think it's been a lack of understanding, which isn't malicious. It's just, if you don't play games, you don't know! So what I think is awesome about Mythic Quest is that we're getting the opportunity to present a holistic narrative of the industry and showcase that games are more than just Mario or more than just Halo. And that they have a life or community all their own. To me that's exciting.
"DO YOU DO 'IT'S-A-ME, MARIO,' IS THAT YOUR THING?"
Verge: Do you feel that perception changing?
Burch: I think it's probably changing, but I also think that a lot of people just know the broad highlights, they know about games their kids play, or they know about Call of Duty. And so I think having a show like this just demonstrates a side to this world that people don't often get to see, and you get to show that these folks are not tremendously that different. It's not substantially different from a normal workplace, it's got the same sort of problems.
There's a normalization that happens there, which is cool — and then getting to showcase the ways that it is different.
For the full interview, check out the source link below.