Oscar winners who act in video games: My latest Slate gaming column

Slate just published my latest video-game column — on “why Hollywood actors are starring in your Playstation”. The piece essentially talks about why A-list movie stars have decided in the last year that it’s cool for them to do voice-acting in video games. An excerpt:

Now A-list actors have taken notice of games, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re a quick route to digital-age street cred. Appearing in a game gives an actor a sense of being on the cutting edge of technological “convergence” (whatever that is), as well as a vague whiff of indie flava. More important, it keeps a star current among young men. Any canny star—or, more likely, any star with a canny agent—eventually winds up looking enviously at a hot video game like the Grand Theft Auto series, which is objectively cooler than almost anything that’s come out of Hollywood in years. The list of voice actors for the GTA titles reads like a deranged Who’s Who of ’70s celebrities so out-of-date—Debbie Harry, Burt Reynolds, Lee Majors—that they are newly ironically famous.

You can read the entire piece online here. And hey! If you decide to post something in the discussion boards on my blog here, take a minute and copy your comment to the Fray — Slate’s discussion boards. They’re insanely well-read, and can always use smart additions.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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