Video Games Rule, "Videogames" Drool
The highly intellectual debate (see title) over the proper spelling of "the vg word" may have reached its conclusion, thanks to a Google Chrome extension by the name of "It's Video Games."
Developed by web entrepreneur (webtrepreneur for short) Doug Tabacco, this software uses code borrowed from Steven Frank's famous "Cloud-to-Butt" extension to replace all occurrences of the misspelling "videogames" with the correct spelling, "video games." The space be not ignored!
So does it work?
It does! I downloaded it more for entertainment purposes than to give it any sort of review, but I can say having downloaded and tested it, "It's Video Games" functions exactly as advertised.
I would open an article about the whole "vg word" debate only to be confused completely by what I was reading. In a Wired article about the topic, on my screen the title appears "On 'Video game' Versus 'Video Game.'" At least it makes for easy comic relief.
Thankfully the software doesn't interfere with instances of the word while typing. Otherwise this article would be far more difficult.
Well is that really how you spell it?
Thanks for asking! The answer is complicated.
According to Bill Kunkel, former editor of Electronic Games and possibly the first games journalist ever, the industry standard was always "videogames."
It doesn’t make sense grammatically, but that’s how the industry spelled it and I always felt it reflected the unique nature of the medium.
While his reasoning isn't exactly rock solid, it does reflect the nature of our language. Many compound words, which started as separated phrases, have evolved into singular forms: "all right" into alright, "good night" into goodnight, "foot ball" into football (you get the idea). The point is that people who argue grammar in terms of the separated word phrase don't understand their language very well.
But whichever side you're on, #teamvideogames or #teamvideoSPACEgames, at least now you can say, "There's an app for that!"
And if you're genuinely interested in trying out this extension (and it really is entertaining), you can download it here.