On November 5, Call of Duty appears: Vanguard, which although the Second World War represents, but in addition to the classic locations of Central Europe should also illuminate other conflict stages. The operators are also more floated than usual and next to an Australian and a Russian arming guard one can hatch in the role of the British agent Arthur Kingsley. In the interview with Arthurs actor Chiké Okonkwo we talk about why a new view of things could advance the genre and goes beyond the skin color.
PC Games: What are your points of contact with video games and what was your first game?
Chiké: I have already played a lot of games as a child. Getting a new console was the best in the world for me, like the Sega Mega Drive. But the first game that really pulled me in his spell was Zelda: The Ocarina of Time for the N64. I played the game about 50 times – the last time last year. That s a masterpiece for me.
PC Games: You re actually from the theater spectacle, how could you take this in the world of video games?
Chiké Okonkwo comes original from the theater spectacle and plays as Arthur Kingsley the leader of the group in the new Call of Duty: Vanguard. Source: Chiké Okonkwo I have already talked to videos games, but that was my first time with Motion Capture, so a whole new experience. It helped me that I have already collected a lot of experience in the theater because it is very similar. At the theater, the spectators are all around one, as the Motion Capture the cameras. You have to be very aware of his body, unlike filming where the camera is only directed to the face. That s a challenge that made me a lot of fun.
Of course, it was still a new experience, but I also had a lot of help from the director and the team of Sledhammer. I love this team, it s super creative and passionate. And also from my colleagues I could learn a lot! Laura Bailey – We call the Meryl Streep of the video games – and Derek Philips already have much more experience and I tried to learn from them.
PC Games: What is your favorite game level and are you even fan of shooters?
Chiké: Yes, I love, for example, tactical games and I like shooter too. Of course, I also play Call of Duty. But one of my favorite games is Journey. And actually it is weird, because not really what happens, but you go to this great journey of life in which you have to think about what you actually do. I think it s gorgeous and it felt like life. Now I have a new Xbox and look forward to playing and experiencing more titles.
PC Games: In an earlier interview you meant, one of the main reasons to accept the role was the representation of little represented groups of World War II. Would you say that would have to happen earlier?
Polina Petrova, played by Laura Bailey, is a Russian sniper that is driven by a desire for revenge. Source: Activision Blizzard Chiké: I think the world brings up in many ways. I am not concerned with the diversity of people, but the thoughts and stories. It is used to always see the same thing in this genre. It is good to experience the happening from another perspective. The reason why we deal with history is to see and understand the world by other eyes.
And if we see that in war games, and films only from the European point of view, then this is very one-sided in the long run. The reason why I have decided the game so much and myself for the role was that they did not just give some black guys the lead role. But it s about seeing the war from all different perspectives. On the one hand, Arthur Kingsley, the formed leader of the group, who always tries to do the right thing. And then there is Polina Petrova, a Russian woman, the revenge is looking for her family.
You do not see such characters so often in ego shooters and I think it s nice how Sledhager uses to develop the genre and to take a new direction. I m very curious how the game is recorded. It s always hard to take a new direction, but if you just start with it, it may find the one or the other person well to see the story from another perspective.
PC Games: Some people wonder if behind the decision to make a diverse role distribution, a agenda stands and you want to be woke, what do you think?
Arthur Kingsley, played by Chiké Okonkwo, moves as a British agent into the field and is progressing as a leader of the group with a good example. Source: Activision Blizzard Chiké: At first it is my first big role in a video game and the cult, which arises about some games, is new to me. Gamers are often very passionate and deep into matter involved, which sometimes can take a toxic form.
Connecting to that, I think most people are generally simply restrained, which concerns new and other. But you have to remember that these games do not arise overnight. This game has been developed for three years and if there is an agenda, then it is to transfer the genre. I believe – with every kind of storytelling – if you tell the same thing over and over again, no one has something of it and the interest remains.
For me Vanguard goes forward this step forward and tells and creates space for these different perspectives. As a player, one experiences a battle on the Pacific, must make difficult decisions as Arthur Kingsley or is a Russian woman who mourns the loss of her family. So, even if some people are hesitant and may not like these new perspectives, that will change as soon as they actually experience the game.
PC Games: Do you think it will give more representation by People of Color in the future?
Chiké: I think that s something that will automatically happen because people are looking for in stories afterwards to perceive the world from another perspective. There will be more People of Color in video games, more women will be visible and many more perspectives will be shown in the future.
I live in America and I am very pleased to see more films and video games about American natives. There is not so much to see about their story, but the whole continent was populated by them and there is certainly much to know. I do not have to be even American native to get involved in this experience. Let s say a white child in Idaho plays Kingsely – and it realizes it can play a black man. It can play a Russian woman. And it can see and experience the world from their eyes.
World War II has taken place throughout the world and the white European point of view is very important, but it has been often represented. That does not mean that they should not exist, but that now is a good time to take another perspective. And ideally, these perspectives merge into an overall picture that scares the truth.
From Antonia Dreßler
03.11.2021 at 09:00