Categories
Uncategorised

Dialogue in games: won’t somebody think of the parents?

When you’re a parent, you don’t get a lot of time to play games. More often than not, your gaming time is the odd late-night session when everyone else is in bed – and because everyone’s in bed, you can’t stick headphones on because you won’t be able to hear the baby monitor.

That’s not a problem if you’re playing arcade games or dumb shooters, but it’s a pain in the neck with more immersive things. You need to hear the dialogue because if you don’t, you haven’t a clue what’s going on. However, you can’t turn the TV up loud enough to hear the dialogue because if you do, there’s bound to be a HUGE BLOODY NOISE that wakes the baby, brings your gaming session to an abrupt halt and ends up with you sleeping in the shed.

Last night, I attempted to play Alone In The Dark. It certainly looks good, but I gave up after about 20 minutes. There’s loads of speech in it (in the first 20 minutes, anyway), but because the speech is interspersed with HUGE BLOODY NOISES I couldn’t turn the TV up loud enough to hear it.

GTA IV has loads of speech and lots of HUGE BLOODY NOISE in it too, but it has – yes! – subtitles. It spoils the immersion a little bit – some of the dialogue is even more clunky/cliched/annoying when it’s on the screen rather than in your ears – but at least you can work out what’s happening without ending up in the shed.

I know subtitles aren’t a big priority for game developers, but given that the average gamer is in their thirties there’s a good chance that a lot of game buyers are in the same quiet boat as me – and of course, people with hearing difficulties play games too.

11 replies on “Dialogue in games: won’t somebody think of the parents?”

Jonty, the first sentence said “because everyone’s in bed, you can’t stick headphones on because you won’t be able to hear the baby monitor.”

All aboard the failboat! ;)

Forget the group Fathers For Justice … I’ll join your Fathers for Subtitles gang!

Can you get a vibrating baby monitor? The you can wear the headphones and rest the baby monitor on your foot or something.

You are welcome!

Ninety quid? Pffft!

Our baby monitor does have a vibrating alert, but then the Xbox controller rumbles through games. Confusion ahoy!

But you can turn off game-rumbling, can’t you? I always do — it’s not one of the better console innovations. It’s more sort of crap and annoying, really.

What you need is to take an audio line out from the baby alarm through 1 channel of a mixer with the audio from the games in another, pick one up in victor morris

Leave a Reply