I am, of course, referring to the upcoming PS3 game Beyond: Two Souls from Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain, Indigo Prophecy) which stars Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. And by stars I do not mean voice acting, I mean literally stars; they have been motion captured and digitized into the game itself, and the advertising for the game has been completely based around their starring roles.
This isn't the first time the video game industry has put famous people into games, but most of the past examples I can think of offhand were either using actual (generally poorly compressed) video, such as several Sega CD games did, or having the person in question play themselves, such as the old Michael Jackson game or that terrible 50 Cent game. This seems to me to be the first time that actresses and actors are being used "seriously" as actresses and actors in a high profile video game in the same way that they are in movies, not just from the acting side but from the advertising side.
While talking about this with a Facebook friend I realized that it kind of turns me off a bit, and though it is tough to really put a finger on why, here are a few of my reasons:
1. Uncanny Valley gets taken to a whole new level for me when it is using real people that I have seen before. 2. I'm kind of not a fan of the Hollywoodization of video games to begin with, and this feels like it could be (if successful) a big step towards more Hollywoodization in general. 3. It kind of kills the immersion for me (ironic, since it's supposedly being done to be more immersive) because I can't not think "that's Ellen Page in digital form", etc. I have this issue with film casting famous people in multiple roles as well to some degree, which is why I love going into movies that don't have anyone I recognize in them, but I guess I'm more used to it there? 4. It just feels sort of unnecessary and contrary to what I like in video games, which is the unique worlds and characters. I'd rather see Nathan Drake than see Nathan Fillion stars as Nathan Drake. This is especially an issue to me if this trend catches on and the same actors and actresses end up playing multiple roles in multiple games. 5. Honestly? It just feels a bit cheesy to me.
Still, that's just me, and I totally acknowledge how subjective a lot of this stuff is, and how, if it did become a trend I would adjust to some of it over time, and maybe a lot of these concerns would diminish.