Videogames have been the focus of much attention both by press and by academic research. Among the various perspectives through which videogames have been analysed, the least used has been the role of the actors. Although this is generally the field of visual artists, animators and computer graphic experts, in the last two decades the human actors have played a key role in carrying out the production and also in marketing the product. We may date the involvement of human actors since the late eighties when the creator of The Prince of Persia videotaped his young brother running and jumping to create the movements of the game's main character. Later on, with the arrival of personal multimedia computers, the audience developed a taste for narrative and adventure games. This generally meant the appearance of more complex characters and the recourse to human actors either to use their voices or their bodies. Motion capture technology represented a turning point in the production and allowed the game company to integrate cinematic acting within the computer product. A modern videogame may cast tens of actors and actresses in various role, from the leading characters (usually covered by stars) to the background roles and all the extras. Working opportunities are expanding and represent a new field both for professionals and for researchers.
Antonio Pizzo insegna Drammaturgia e Performance Multimediale al DAMS dell’Università di Torino. Dirige il CIRMA Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca su Multimedia e Audiovisivo e coordina il progetto Officine Sintetiche. È autore dei volumi Materiali e macchine nel teatro di Remondi e Caporossi, (Napoli, 1991), Teatro e mondo digitale (Venezia, Marsilio, 2003), Scarpetta e Sciosciammocca. Nascita di un buffo (Roma, Bulzoni, 2009), Neodrammatico digitale: scena multimediale e racconto interattivo (Torino, Accademia, 2013). Studia i personaggi virtuali e le loro implicazioni drammaturgiche e ha partecipato allo sviluppo di una ontologia computazionale (Drammar) per la descrizione degli elementi drammatici in un testo o in una messa in scena (www.cirma.unito.it/portfolio_page/drammar).