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Voice actor and performance capture artist Nadji Jeter shares how he's poured himself into the character.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

February 29, 2024

2 Min Read
Miles Morales as Spider-Man looks at his phone while standing on a building sideways.
Image via Insomniac Games/Sony

At a Glance

  • Voice actors and performance capture artists have more agency than ever in bringing great game characters to life.
  • Nadji Jeter, the voice and face of Insomniac Games' Miles Morales says his upbringing gave him inspiration for the character.

Miles Morales is having a moment. And by a moment, I mean a 6-year ongoing run across movies, video games, and comics as the beloved new bearer of the Spider-Man mantle.

Hundreds of artists, writers, and technicians have brought the character to life in Sony's the Spider-Verse films and in Insomniac Games' Spider-Man series. But it's the performances of actors like Shameik Moore and Nadji Jeter that are connecting with fans to tell the story of an Afro-Latino teenager finding his identity as a young man and a superhero.

And if you want to know why Spider-Man fans have taken to Miles' solo outing and starring role in Marvel's Spider-Man 2, you need to learn a little bit more about Jeter and and how he performs the character.

Jeter, fresh off a well-deserved win for "Outstanding Achievement in Character" at the 2024 DICE awards was game to share some of his experience—and his answer highlighted why actors and performers are right to fight for recognition and pay in the video game industry; in a few words, you only get a character like Miles Morales when the actor can pour their own soul into it.

"I grew up with Peter Parker's story [about losing his Uncle Ben and having to take responsibility for his role in it], and his story is so parallel to anyone that's had pain in life, and anyone who's had to overcome the impact of that pain in their life," he said. "With Miles' story being about losing his father, and growing up in that household—it's kind of parallel to mine."

"Just having that impact, and overcoming that pain and becoming that hero for somebody else—that's where we've taken Miles to and the story of Spider-Man to as well."

Actors connect players to games—and they should be rewarded for doing so

Jeter was also passionate about how Marvel's Spider-Man 2 goes beyond its protagonists, having its teenage hero swing through the arts history of Harlem and chat with his crush Hailey through ASL. What actors bring to a production has become a topic of scrutiny as promises of generative AI technology have grown—and the means and methods for creating great game characters have become more atomized.

Nadji Jeter holds his DICE Award.

It's a topic being directly addressed by actor's union SAG-AFTRA, which has recently struck a deal with indie developer representatives to allow devs with fewer financial resources to access top-tier talent. As studios enter pre-production on what are sure to be more blockbuster hits like Marvel's Spider-Man 2, listening to the needs and input from actors is a step developers won't want to skip.

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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