[Opinion] Capitalisation in video game text
Thread poster: Freigeist

Local time: 19:38
Mar 25, 2011

Hello everyone. Recently I had a little dispute with another colleague about capitalisation in video games (for games localised in English). While I hold the opinion that contrary to classic writings it is quite common to capitalise a lot more terminology in descriptions and running texts of video games (especially to make them more ‘leap out’ and to separate them from the “fluff” part of the text – like building names (Laboratory, Medical Centre, Barracks, etc.), unit names (Banshee, Marauder, etc.) class names (Shaman, Wizard, Warlock), spell or ability names (Righteous Fury, Supernova, Power Jump, etc.) – he has the opinion that this leads to an impaired reading fluency and might be considered as bad style or even as spelling mistake.

Example 1: “Build 5 Marines and destroy the enemy Laboratory to complete this mission.” vs. “Build 5 marines and destroy the enemy laboratory to complete this mission.”

Example 2: “Cast the spell Disintegrate on a hostile Wizard to gain Experience Points.” vs. “cast the spell disintegrate on a hostile wizard to gain experience points.”

Therefore I wonder how you manage the capitalisation of terminology in video games and what rules do you apply?

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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:38
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
An opinion Mar 25, 2011

On the whole, I agree with you.

In my experience, such capitalization is more common in games with made-up names of units/buildings/etc. (i.e. games in sci-fi, medieval or fantasy worlds), but less common in more 'realistic' games set in the real world (some FPS and simulation titles).

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Lany Chabot-Laroche  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:38
Member (2009)
English to French
I'm with you Mar 26, 2011

When the word refers to a specific in-game term, I would capitalize it in English.

Although in your example, I might not use them for "experience points" since those are mostly generic.

I'd say that 90% of the games I played use capital letters for such cases. Like Mikhail pointed out, when the game goes for a realistic tone, such as subtitles for the video of a mission briefing, I would not use them. But in menus, tutorials, absolutely.

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[Opinion] Capitalisation in video game text

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