Troy Baker has provided at least one voice in just about every video game released in the past few years, including Bioshock Infinite, Infamous: Second Son, Batman: Arkham Origins, Far Cry 4 ... and that's just a slim look at his 216 credits as an actor. He recently sat down for an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit to give some details about life as one of gaming's most ubiquitous voices.
"I had like, the highest voice when I was a kid. Everyone thought when I answered the phone I was my mother ... it's weird how much life prepares you for the right moment, and then when the right moment happens, you're equipped with the right tools to meet it head-on," he told a reader who asked how when he knew he a "great voice."
"For video games, when it happened, a friend of mine who was a fellow musician said 'We need a guy who has a cool voice to be in our video game. YOU have a cool voice." And that was the first time anyone had ever said that to me. And that was a game called," Baker continued. "And the rest is history."
"He was an absolute prince. Often, when big name celebrities are attached to video games, along with that comes a diva or a huge ego. And that was not the case with Kevin. He came in, he put in the work, he surprised us with several quotes from Usual Suspects and other movies (much to the joy of every member of the cast and crew) and we had a fun time swapping music, because he's a singer, swapping stories and laughing a lot," Baker said. "I was honored to work with him."
The question and answer session got serious at least one, when a fan asked about gaming's ability to touch on larger issues.
"Do you think video games have the power to change people's mind sets? Theseries are, to me, games that show what it's like to be an outcast in the place you call home," one reader asked. "Not saying politicians are going to listen to video games but at least in gamers psyches, do you think issues like homosexuality, race, immigration can be tackled in games to try to influence social change?"
Baker's answer is worth quoting at length:
You are the proof that they can, and that they are. They are doing just that.
And you are a shining example of the fact that these are not just games, but these experiences help us cope, help us comfort, can guide us and teach us as well as just be an escape. But yes, you are proof they can do much greater things than just entertain.
And I think they already are. I see the conversations that were sparked by Bioshock, Infamous, Last of Us, that touched on very relevant, serious, grounded issues like homosexuality, loss, racism, nationalism, and the conversations that were had were not over how to defeat this boss or this level but it's what it means to us as people, as a culture. And those are the conversations that spearhead true change.
The entire session is a great read, so head over to Reddit to look inside the mind that drives the voice of just about every game that doesn't star Nolan North. And some that do. Seriously those two guys are everywhere.