Are Games Italicized?

In the vast realm of writing and publishing, proper formatting of titles is essential to maintain consistency and professionalism. One common query that often perplexes writers is whether game titles should be italicized or not. To put this debate to rest, we will delve into the conventions and guidelines for formatting game titles and provide clarity on this matter.

Understanding Title Formatting

Before we dive into the specifics of italicizing game titles, let’s grasp the broader context of title formatting in written content. Titles, whether they belong to books, movies, songs, or games, serve as essential elements that provide readers with information about the content. Correctly formatting titles helps in distinguishing them from the surrounding text and adhering to established writing standards.

The General Rule: Italicize

In the world of writing and publishing, the general rule for formatting titles is to italicize them. This rule applies to various forms of creative works, including novels, movies, TV series, and, yes, video games. When you italicize a title, you signal to your readers that it is the name of a specific work and not merely a casual reference.

Exceptions and Quirks

While the general rule is to italicize game titles, there are a few exceptions and quirks that can make this topic more complex.

1. In-Game Text

When referencing the title of a game within the text of an article or manuscript, it’s common to italicize it. For example, “The protagonist’s journey begins in the game Epic Quest.”

2. Game Series and Sequels

Game series and their individual titles can be a bit trickier. In most cases, you should italicize the titles of individual games within a series, but not the series name itself. For instance, “The Legend of Zelda series features many iconic games, including Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild.”

3. Informal References

In casual or informal writing, some writers may choose not to italicize game titles. However, in formal or professional contexts, it’s best to adhere to the standard rule of italicization.

Why It Matters

Consistency in title formatting is crucial for maintaining readability and professionalism in your writing. Whether you are crafting an academic paper, a blog post, or a news article, following established conventions ensures that your content is clear and easily understood.


In the world of writing, the formatting of game titles, like other titles, follows the general rule of italicization. This practice helps maintain consistency, clarity, and professionalism in your content. Remember that exceptions exist, especially when dealing with in-game text or series names, but in most cases, it’s best to stick to the standard guideline of italicizing game titles.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Do I need to italicize game titles in academic papers?
    • Yes, in academic writing, it is recommended to italicize game titles to adhere to formatting standards.
  2. Are there any style guides that provide specific rules for game title formatting?
    • Yes, style guides like the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) offer guidelines on formatting game titles.
  3. What about mobile apps and online games? Should I italicize their titles?
    • Yes, the same rule generally applies to mobile apps and online games. Italicize their titles for consistency.
  4. Can I use quotation marks instead of italics for game titles?
    • While some style guides permit the use of quotation marks for titles, italicization is the more widely accepted practice.
  5. Is it essential to follow these formatting rules when writing casually on social media?
    • For social media posts, you have more flexibility, but following formatting conventions can enhance the professionalism of your content.

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