Should Names of Video Games Be Italicized?

In academic writing, the proper formatting of titles is essential for maintaining consistency and adhering to style guidelines. When it comes to video game titles, different style manuals provide specific instructions on how they should be formatted. In this article, we will explore the guidelines from MLA, APA, and Chicago style regarding the italicization of video game titles.

MLA Format

According to the Modern Language Association (MLA), the titles of video games should be italicized. This is because video games are considered standalone, self-contained works, similar to books or movies. When mentioning a video game title within the text, it should be italicized. For example:

“The sequel The Last of Us Part II, released in 2020, revisits an older version of the character…”

In a Works Cited citation, the title of the video game should also be italicized. Additionally, it is important to include the version of the game and the platform it was played on. Here is an example of a MLA citation for a video game:

The Last of Us Part II. Developed by Naughty Dog, Playstation 4, Sony Interactive Entertainment, 2020.

APA Format

In APA format, the titles of video games should also be italicized. However, it is crucial to note that only the first word of the title should be capitalized. When citing a video game within the text, it should not be italicized. Here is an example:

According to the APA convention, the video game The Sims 2 revolutionized the simulation genre.

In the reference list, the video game title should be italicized, and the first word should be capitalized. Here is an example of an APA citation for a video game:

Electronic Arts. (2004). The Sims 2 [Video game].

Chicago Style

Chicago style also requires the italicization of video game titles. This applies to both the name of the series and individual games within the series, regardless of whether they are considered e-sports or not. For example:



The Assassin’s Creed series has become a popular franchise among gamers.

In Chicago style, when citing a video game in a bibliography, the title should be italicized. Here is an example:

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. Ubisoft, 2020.

Conclusion

In summary, when writing in academic contexts, it is important to follow the guidelines provided by the respective style manuals. In MLA, APA, and Chicago style, video game titles are italicized. However, it is crucial to pay attention to specific capitalization rules in APA format. By correctly formatting video game titles, writers can ensure clarity, consistency, and adherence to academic standards.



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FAQs

Should Names of Video Games Be Italicized?

Why should video game titles be italicized in academic writing?

Video game titles are considered standalone, self-contained works, similar to books or movies. Italicizing them helps distinguish them as distinct entities within the text.

Which style manuals recommend italicizing video game titles?

The Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), and Chicago Manual of Style all recommend italicizing video game titles in their respective formats.

How should video game titles be formatted in MLA style?

In MLA style, video game titles should be italicized when mentioned in the text. In the Works Cited citation, the title should also be italicized, and additional information such as the version and platform should be included.

What are the formatting guidelines for video game titles in APA style?



In APA style, video game titles should be italicized, but only the first word of the title should be capitalized. When citing a video game within the text, it should not be italicized.

Does Chicago style recommend italicizing video game titles?

Yes, according to Chicago style, the title of a video game, whether it is considered an e-sport or not, should be italicized. This applies to both the name of the series and individual games within the series.

How should video game titles be cited in a Works Cited or bibliography?



When citing a video game in MLA, APA, or Chicago style, the title should be italicized. Additional information such as the developer, platform, and release year should be included, depending on the specific style guidelines.

Are there any exceptions to italicizing video game titles?

In general, video game titles should be italicized according to the recommended style manuals. However, it is always important to consult the specific style guide being used, as there may be exceptions or variations in certain cases.

How should I format the name of a whole game series or franchise?

When discussing a game series or franchise, it is best to italicize the series name as well. This is in line with the guidelines provided by MLA, APA, and Chicago style. However, it is important to ensure consistency within your own writing and follow the specific style guide you are using.