MLA Style: Italicizing Video Game Titles – Yes or No?

Should Video Game Titles be Italicized in MLA?

When it comes to citing sources in academic writing, you may be wondering if you need to italicize video game titles in your MLA-formatted paper. In this article, we’ll explore the guidelines and best practices for citing video game titles in MLA style.

First, let’s define what MLA is. MLA (Modern Language Association) is a formatting and citation style commonly used in the humanities, such as literature, philosophy, and culture studies. MLA is designed to provide a clear and consistent format for citing sources in academic writing.

MLA style requires that titles of works that are published separately, such as books, articles, and films, be italicized. But what about video game titles?

According to the MLA Handbook (8th edition), video game titles should be treated like the titles of other works and italicized. Therefore, if you are citing a video game as a source in your paper, you should italicize the title.

For example:

In the video game “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla,” players control a Viking warrior navigating political intrigue and violent conflict.

If you are referencing the game multiple times throughout your paper, you should only italicize the title in the first instance. After that, you can refer to it without italics.

What if the video game title contains a subtitle? In this case, the subtitle should also be italicized. For example:

“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” is an open-world adventure game that takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of Hyrule.

It’s important to note that if you are citing a video game that has multiple versions, such as a remastered or re-released edition, you should specify which version you are citing. This can be done by adding a designation in parentheses after the title. For example:

“Resident Evil 2” (remastered version)

Finally, it’s worth noting that MLA style requires a citation for any sources referred to in a paper, including video games. A citation for a video game should include the following information:

– The name of the game (italicized)
– The name of the developer and/or publisher
– The release date of the game
– The platform(s) on which the game was released
– For online games, the URL or DOI where the game can be accessed

Here’s an example of a citation for a video game:

“Red Dead Redemption 2.” Developed and published by Rockstar Games, 2018. PlayStation 4, Xbox One.

In conclusion, if you are citing a video game as a source in your MLA-formatted paper, it should be italicized, just like other standalone works such as books and films. Be sure to also include a proper citation with all relevant information, including the developer, publisher, release date, and platform. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your paper is properly formatted and well-cited.

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