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VGJobs Admin
August 5, 2014

Which narrative style is best for game reviews?

It isn’t something non-fiction writers think about often, but is there a preferred narrative voice for online video game reviews/articles? The “good” news is that you probably won’t have a choice! While some sites aren’t as concerned with which voice you use, others insist upon first, second or third person narrative voices for everything from reviews to news posts and editorials. Even if an editor never specifically mentions it, it’s always better to stick to stick to the most common article style on the site in question.

First person – This is the most casual-sounding narrative voice and isn’t seen too often outside of personal blogs, which is why so many publications avoid it. It’s good for conveying personal experiences, but because it’s associated with amateurish writing and off-the-cuff Facebook posts, avoid it unless specifically asked to write in this style. A good practice when using the first person voice is to adopt the editorial “we” instead of saying “I”. As long as it isn’t in every other sentence, this should class things up a notch and make your article sound less like a LiveJournal post.

Second person– The most common narrative style on the internet, and possibly the easiest one to write in. The second person voice has a casual familiarity with the reader, referring to them directly as “you”. It draws people into the narrative without distilling the author’s own experiences and thoughts out of the text, making it a great fit for game reviews.

Third person narrative – A professional and neutral narrative voice used in print magazines, newspapers, and any publication looking to establish itself as some sort of authority. Third person never refers to the author or the reader, opting for terms like “players will notice…”. In inexperienced hands it can come off as awkward and stilted, but with practice you can do a lot with it. News posts almost always use the third person narrative style.

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