One Word or Two?

This question has been puzzling me for a while, but I didn’t think anyone else considered this issue worthy of debate or thought. Dave Thomas, posting about Jesper Juul’s new book, Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds, holds that it is “videogame” and not “video game”. Europeans commonly use “videogame” and the North American folk use the two-word variant.

Thomas continues:

I like the single word because it helps clarify the world of videogames as a certain type of game, and not just a qualified class of games like puzzle games or word games. And even more to point, “videogames” Googles better. It’s easier to search for the single word term.

He states that he is working on a style guide with the International Game Journalists Association and that it will use the single word. He then calls for international consistency.

So what is it? Is it one word or two words? Which is correct? Which is preferrable? Should I be using ‘videogame’ instead of ‘video game’? I’m so confused!

  7 comments for “One Word or Two?

  1. 14 December 2005 at 08:13

    I catch myself typing videogame quite a bit, I think, but it seems like it should be two words to me. After all, aren’t puzzle games and word games a “certain type” of game as well? I wonder if anyone’s checked the AP style guide–I would, but I haven’t been able to find my copy for a couple of months.

  2. 14 December 2005 at 13:51

    Plus there’s the whole “are computer games and video games the same?” argument. I know people who argue that the latter term should be reserved for consoles only and that “electronic games” is the best overarching term.

  3. Monkey Boy
    15 December 2005 at 06:41

    Does this merit consideration? Just another example of the white noise syndrome.

  4. 15 December 2005 at 07:52

    I think I’ve always made it into two words and well, everyone should be like me :P

    I do agree with the reasoning that two words fits logically with “puzzle games” or “blank games” and that variety.

  5. 15 December 2005 at 08:49

    Monkey Boy: I guess it would be fair to say that you have little patience for academic discourse?

  6. 15 December 2005 at 09:01

    I think of electronic games as those little LCD Tiger toys that you bought if you were too poor for a gameboy in the late 80’s. The ones that seem to all play poker or board games now.

  7. 19 December 2005 at 07:36

    I don’t see why video games should disclude computer games. The computer is just another platform. The distinctions between consoles and computers are becoming more and more blurred with each generation. I think it’s rather pointless to make a distinction, UNLESS you mean to specifically talk about one or the other, in which case the terms “console games” and “computer games” would suffice. And all three terms should be two-word. After all, they’re just a type of game. Board games aren’t called boardgames very often. Card games aren’t cardgames.

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