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How to Cite Video Games in APA Format


The sixth edition of the "American Psychological Association Publication Manual" offers format and style guidelines for the behavioral and social sciences. The manual discusses rules for citing traditional reference materials such as journal articles, books and conferences. In addition, it also covers more recently developed sources, including websites, YouTube clips and even video games.

In-text Citations

When material from a video game is used, insert an in-text citation. There are two ways to do this. After the information is presented, use parentheses around the last name of the person or full name of the company with the rights to the game, a comma and the year the game was issued, such as: (The Game Company, 2013). If the name of the rights-holder appears within the text, include only the year inside the parentheses. If the identity of the rights-holder is not apparent, use the title of the game in its place.

Reference Page

Whenever a reference is mentioned in text, put a citation on the reference page. To cite a video game, start with the last name of the rights-holder, a comma and the initials. If a company holds the rights, use its full name instead. Add a period, then put the year the game was issued in parentheses and follow it with a period. Next is the name of the game in sentence case. If there is a version number, put that within parentheses. In brackets, write the format or brand of the game and "video game" without quotation marks. Follow this with a period. In the last section, put the place of manufacture, a colon and the producer of the game; for example:

The Game Company. (2013). How animals survive (Version 3) [Brand Name video game]. New York: MegaBucks Company.

If no rights-holder is apparent, omit that section and the year, and begin with the name of the game in title case.

About the Author

Living in upstate New York, Susan Sherwood is a researcher who has been writing within educational settings for more than 10 years. She has co-authored papers for Horizons Research, Inc. and the Capital Region Science Education Partnership. Sherwood has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany.

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