The Thing About American Accents In Video Games

American accents are everywhere in video games. Even when something is developed in Canada, or Britain, or Japan, the principal characters usually speak with one kind of American accent or another.

Ever wonder what the significance of that is? As in, why they're often used when they're used, and in what context? You probably haven't, but Mattie Brice has, in this interesting piece from Moving Pixels.

"Accents can be more than flavor for a game's aesthetics", Brice argues, "but also communicate cultural subtext that adds to the overall meaning of the game."

The Australian accents dropped into the middle of an American-populated Final Fantasy XIII are one example, the Southern accents in StarCraft II another of how using familiar American accents (or withholding them) can help convey a message as strongly as the colour of a character's skin or the design of their clothes.

Definitely worth a read if you've got a few minutes spare.

Speaking in Accents and the American Ethnocentrism in Video Games [Moving Pixels, via Gamasutra]


You can contact Luke Plunkett, the author of this post, at plunkett@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.