Aaron Staton: My Favourite Game
Visit the My Favourite Game topic page to browse and read all of the entries in our interview series. You can stay up to date by subscribing to the topic on your My Edge page.
Aaron Staton will have come to most people’s attention via the AMC TV series Mad Men, but more recently the 31-year-old actor has become the face – quite literally – of Depth Analysis’ MotionScan technology, playing troubled detective Cole Phelps in Team Bondi’s groundbreaking crime thriller LA Noire. When he’s not starring in games, he’s a keen consumer of them…
What’s your earliest gaming memory?
I grew up gaming. I had a console in my room when I was five or six: an Atari 2600. And then I had a Nintendo, then a Sega Genesis – which I had for a while, even through the PlayStation generation. I was late on that bandwagon – I got the PlayStation in ‘99, or something. Then I took a break, and it’s been Xbox for me since!
Do you find much time to play these days?
In the past year, I’ll hop on for a few rounds of Call Of Duty mostly; just a little multiplayer here and there. But I haven’t been able to really settle in for the longer, epic games like, erm…
Exactly! I’ve played a little bit: I’ve made it to the homicide desk. I played a bit of Red Dead Redemption, too. But I’ve been playing games on my phone, and I used to play some old skool games like Mario and Golden Axe before they did away with a lot of the phone emulators – that was kind of a bummer. [Golden Axe] was an amazing game. For some reason, even though it was designed so you could only get so many potions from those little elves at each point, I thought if I just ran faster and hit them again I could squeeze out an extra potion! [Laughs]
Have any gaming groups formed among the Mad Men cast?
Yeah, actually! Rich Sommer, who plays Harry on the show, Michael Glottis, who plays Paul, and I would play quite a bit of Call Of Duty. Rich got a travel bag for his Xbox – he’d bring it to set and we’d all bring a controller [laughs].
There are lots of cameos in LA Noire from Mad Men actors…
It was really the casting directors who cast Mad Men; Laura Schiff and Carrie Audino worked with Rockstar and they were able to get a lot of people to be a part of LA Noire. I think it was a natural fit from the show to the game and a lot of people were interested to be a part of it because of the technology and story and working on a period videogame; to step into that world for a day.
LA Noire has proved popular with wives and girlfriends, which doesn’t happen with too many modern games.
I made it to the first two cases on the homicide desk. If I play with my wife then the interrogations go much smoother than if I play on my own; I am officially the worst interrogator [laughs]. But I’d heard that from a couple of other friends: they found their partners, girlfriends and wives were better at picking up the clues. I don’t know if it’s women’s intuition or something else, but I think it definitely has something to do with it!