Voiceover Life

Recommended Video Game & Voice Acting Books


I have been a voice actor for 8 years and as in most jobs the learning and training opportunities never end. To stay competitive in this fast-moving business, it’s important to keep current on the latest voiceover news, performance trends, advice, and training. Voiceover conferences, training organizations, podcasts, blogs, social media meetups, groups and books help to provide a lot of guidance and advice.


My Recommended Gaming Books

Two books that I just finished that have a video game industry focus are, Lost in A Good Game by Professor Pete Etchells & the newly published The Art & Business of Acting for Video Games by casting director Julia Bianco Schoeffling. Both are insightful reads but for very different reasons.


Lost in a Good Game

Lost in a Good Game is NOT a voiceover book. It’s a psychology book focusing on aspects such as why people play games, whether they might be addictive and how to measure how immersed in a game someone might be. The author reflects how the illness, and subsequent death, of his father impacted him and how games (in particular World of Warcraft) helped him. It’s not light reading but if you are interested in every aspect of the gaming part of the voiceover business then it is worth persevering with. It's enlightened me on some aspects of the game development process and the challenges developers face. So now when I have conversations with Game developers, I’ll be better informed and able to discuss the process from a different aspect.


The Art & Business of Acting for Video Games

Julia’s book is aimed squarely at voiceover, and in particular, videogame voiceover. As one of the preeminent casting directors currently working, she is well placed to inform on current trends. As a voice actor, and one who focuses on the games market, this was a must read for me and I wasn’t disappointed. Lots of great insider tips and advice for anyone starting out or already in the industry. I think there is likely to be something for everyone in this book and much of the advice is transferable to other genres. For me, her comments regarding social media, and how she uses to cast were particularly interesting and the section on Motion Capture (MoCap) have re-ignited my interest and desire to learn more. Which leads me on to another recently published book I would like to read, Performing for Motion Capture; A guide for Practitioners by John Dower.


One Last Book Plug

And as an actor working away from the major markets, I’ll also be picking up, and reviewing The Anywhere Voice Acting Book, The Voiceover Handbook on Remote Voice Acting written by fellow voice actor, Sara Secora, who I worked alongside in the Chernobylite video game.


There are loads of other great books out there, but these choices are definitely worth a look!

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Ian Russell

Ian Russell is a British Voiceover Artist specializing in commercial voice over, narration, video game, character voices, animation and more. He is a frequent guest speaker on conference panels and podcasts, sharing knowledge about voice over. Read More >>