The line that separates video games and non-interactive media as far as eliciting an emotional response are increasingly getting blurred with each passing year it seems. Enter “Kara“, a tech demo that was released by Quantic Dream, creators of the PlayStation 3 exclusive Heavy Rain.
The video follows the construction or “birth” of an android that is made for consumer purchase. An engineer’s voice is heard going through routine checks as this model is assembled and given the name Kara. Everything seems to go smoothly until Kara questions the role she will be assigned for her existence.
The role of Kara was played by actress Valorie Curry. Before this project, she has been in TV shows such as Veronica Mars and CSI: New York. She will be in the upcoming Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2. Valorie’s voice, face, and body was shot at the same time for motion capture through the use of 65 cameras. This is a major upgrade from the 28 cameras used to shoot face and voice only for Heavy Rain. This same type of CG technology was used in movies like The Adventures of Tin Tin and Avatar so you know it’s a very high quality!
“Kara” was made as a way for Quantic Dream to test out new developments in creating games on the PS3. This is similar to the tech demo that was released back in 2005 titled “The Casting“. That particular video showcased a 3D modeled woman go through a wide range of emotions as different topics were brought up while she’s trying out for a role in the then upcoming Heavy Rain.
The “Kara” demo wasn’t made for any upcoming game or project but if you ask me I believe it should be. There are very few video games that I can think of that legitimately moves me emotionally like a movie or a book. The actors for Heavy Rain did a fine job I thought but someone of Valorie Curry’s ability really blows those performances out of the water. If you combine that with this type of technology and a strong plot can really make something special that’s rarely seen in video games today. Let your own opinion be heard in the poll and comments section below.