Write Like a Real Videogame Journalist

Be a game journalist, or just look like one!

The International Game Journalists Association has produced a style guide for video game journalism.

Called “The Videogame Style Guide and Reference Manual,” it is available for order here in hard cover for the pretentious or soft cover for the practical.  There is also a free-to-download .pdf version for those of us who are cheapskates.

There is nothing particularly revolutionary in the guide, but it is not meant to be such.  It is a reference book, which means it is there to spread consistency and conformity.

Of course, any such guide is bound to cause so disagreement.  Their general guide to writing reviews repeats the mantra of every technical writing course in insisting that the first or second person never be used, a stylistic hurdle that has lead to some of the most stilted prose ever written.

And there is even a bone to pick with usage of “videogame” or “video game.”  The manual says it should be one word.  Others say it should be two words.  I have to admit, my gut is to split it into two words.  But I am not a game journalist, am I?

Still, it is a reasonable dictionary of gaming terminology.  But there is no 1337 speak, so do not bother looking.

Addendum: As noted in the comments, the IGJA site is no more, but you can still find it at the Internet Archive.  And you can still buy the now likely out dated book at Amazon.  “Video Game” though, still two words.

4 thoughts on “Write Like a Real Videogame Journalist

  1. CrazyKinux

    So you think this will make us all that much better bloggers!!! =)

    Seriously though, I think that at the very least its a good reference. Even for someone like me who’s a cheapstake and printed the darn thing!

    P.S.: my spell checker is asking me to split the word “cheapstake” into two. Mmmm…


  2. p@tsh@t

    Last I checked “video” was still an adjective, and unless you are paying homage to your teutontic roots, we tend not to form chimaeric adjectivenoun beasts… e.g. das Federkraftlichtbogenschweißen, or “arc welding with electrode fed by spring pressure”, etc.

    Not that we shouldn’t, but I’m just sayin…;)

    Which reminds me about the appalling use of adjectives as nouns … Particularly when it gets made into a verb rather than making the noun into the verb which is bad enough (e.g., I’m going to “hearth stone” v. “hearth” v. “stone”). Gah.

    Guess I better ask Melmoth for some Gripe Water, or is that Gripewasser? Grippa?


  3. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    If you go look at the FAQ on the IGJA site, they have an entry on “video games” as one word or two and go over the reasoning behind their choice, which I will paraphrase as:

    Yes, while things like “board game” are two words, things combined with the word “video” are generally a single word, or so says the AP Style Book, which you had better live and breath if you are a journalist.


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