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How Watch Dogs 2's Marcus broke the mold of black characters in games, according to the man who played him

Pc   2020-12-16 08:08:22

The characters in the game - and the main characters in the game in particular - are so often built like a ship that players must complete that "they end up, paradoxically, completely lacking in character. Watch Dogs see the offer $ 39.99 on Gamestop 2 was a role typeVery different, a character who displayed an ever-sympathetic sparkle between brash confidence and edginess, a passionately held personal philosophy, and a general friendliness absent from so many ed protagonists. As in most AAA open worlds, this character might be veiled by gunfire and nonsense when you started to control it, but Marcus Holloway"s cutscenes from Watch Dogs 2 were notably like a person, not just a collection. of diverted vocal lines to chain missions. Ruffin Prentiss was the actor who gave Marcus this life, and although I was sad to learn in a recent conversation that he probably won"t be coming back to Watch Dogs College anytime soon , we had a lot to discuss what a well-written video game character - and un black character in particular - could mean for his actor and for a community in general. Marcus is different because we don"t see black characters doing something outside of the norm for what pop culture says blacks are cool for. Have you played Watch Dogs? YES NO When I ask the inevitable question of whether he had been contacted to bring Marcus back to life for Watch Dogs Legion It doesn"t take long for Prentiss to tell me no - but that he would always love to. You"d think an actor auditioning in the middle of a pandemic might be a bit upset about it, but Prentiss" reaction is near.than nostalgic - his time bringing Marcus to life was clearly extremely important to him, and we spend the rest of our time together falling apart. Why. I expected the answer to revolve mostly around the bizarre nature of being part of a huge video game production and the acting challenge that features it - but the real answer is much more. significant. "I don"t think I know the full extent of what a black player character could mean, especially in terms of video games ", enthused Prentiss. “You grow up playing games and the majority of black people represented in the games are athletes or fighters. You have the guy with the afro in Ready 2 Rumble, or you play with professional basketball players or soccer players. And then, of course, there was the transition, where Grand Theft Auto came out, the games got grainy and the world got bigger, and youhave seen the representation of blacks. I"m not going to say it was stereotypical - with someone like CJ from GTA: San Andreas, it humanized that experience of having to be in that area or under these conditions. And as a player you have sympathy and empathy with these conditions - how to get out of them and how to be successful? "But Marcus is different because we don "t get the chance to see black characters doing something out of the ordinary for what pop culture says black people are cool. So to see him being a hacker, I asked people to work in Silicon Valley. People who studied coding and programming told me it was so cool to see someone who looks like them and has a similar interest be represented in video games. " Prentiss says that the impact of the character and she performance has become particularly clear in recent weeks. After the announcement that the first head of Watch Dogs, Aiden Pearce, would be appearing in the DLC post -launch for Legion , many naturally thought Marcus would return too - and they made sure to tell Prentiss. He tells me he"s been receiving messages since, asking if all is well Marcus could make a comeback on the new game. Even after it was announced that WD2"s supporting character Wrench would be the one to appear, apparently killing that idea, the messages kept coming in. Prentiss attributes this reaction to the simple element of surprise of putting someone like Marcus - both in personality and ethnicity - in a lead role to begin with. "I have to attribute this to Ubisoft because there were drastically different tones betweenWatch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2, "he explains, pointing out that Aiden"s characterization was a recognizable vengeance-focused vigilante, while Marcus came from a very different place. "I think by choosing to have a black protagonist and then having a crew [around him] that was just ready to fight for what was right [...] Ubisoft pushed the boundaries." This team has become the key to how Prentiss sees Marcus - it"s not just what Marcus sa id, but how he sa id it, and to whom, it made him feel like a real person. The start of the game sees Marcus being part of DedSec. He is easy going, makes jokes and talks passionately about the group"s goals with everyone. “But you have a character, Horatio," says Prentiss, “who is the other Black from DedSec. They relate in a different way, and Ubisoft was not afra id to show those colloquialisms or code changes.. Horatio and Marcus relate in a different way, and Ubisoft was not afra id to show those colloquialisms or code changes. Prentiss points to a scene where Marcus and Horatio walk up to Nudle, his legally acceptable replacement for the game for Google, and are starting to change their speech patterns to suit a predominantly white crowd. "Duty code-sw itch in the workplace to make you feel comfortable, instead of being able to be completely yourself - it"s a real thing that black people, or people of any culture, do to assimilate, just to feel comfortable in the space and make their colleagues feel at ease. The code change is something I had never seen in a video game before Watch Dogs 2, and forThat he is portrayed so honestly is still distinctly unusual. Prentiss adds (modestly downplaying her own work bringing the character to life) that much of what made Marcus feel like a well-rounded character was already on the page before adding his own contribution. "For Ubisoft, exploring that [...] and even having it in it, and for me, having the chance to work on stuff like that was really impressive. Yeah, it felt revolutionary to us when we were doing it and we gave it all we had. Watching Watch Dogs 2 and looking at what followed, it still seems groundbreaking in how it presents a story about a black man "s experiences without falling into the cliche. On the one hand, Watch Dogs Legion seems to have an equally positive focus in how it showcases London"s extremely multicultural background with the system of jhad like anyone. Playing the game for a few hours shows a multitude of accents, ethnicities and backstories procedurally generated to play with, turning Marcus Holloway cosplay from Acdramon Prentiss can imagine that without hesitation. "I think Marcus could live in any world," the actor says. “One thing I liked about him was the way he tries to blend in and maneuver in any way he can. There"s the Jimmy Siska scene where he pretends to be a member of New Dawn and he does the interview, but it"s Marcus who toned it down. I could absolutely see Marcus in London doinga really horrible British accent. " I could see it too - and that "s largely because I have such a good idea of ​​who Marcus is; how he chooses to act in a given situation and what kind of man he is. He"s a character in the truest sense of the word - not just a playable avatar. At the moment, a respawn doesn"t seem to be here. Marcus" future, but Prentiss would be open to new ideas for the character: "I would love to take over the role, " he tells me. "This is one of my favorite things to do that I"ve ever done." Speaking to whether he thinks it"s likely, he points to Aiden"s reappearance in Legion"s future London: "Hey, anything is possible. " I would say anything is possible, not just for Marcus and Prentiss, but because of them. Put it this way: I am a white and british man who has a better sense of life for someone who is neitherneither of those things, thanks to this character. I love that I played a game and came away with something beyond just having a good time. It"s a reminder that what we should be aiming for now - especially after the thoughtful and understandable leader of Watch Dogs 2 - is to make these types of roles and characters not only possible, but probable. Joe Skrebels is the editor-in-chief of News de hfrance. Follow him on Twitter . Any advice to give us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected] . Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics ->