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Revamping the Gaming Industry: A Call to Abandon Exclamation Marks

Soapbox: The Overuse of Exclamation Marks in Game Titles

Hey there! Are you a fan of games? Enjoy discussing them? Undoubtedly! However, have you ever noticed how rarely you find yourself shouting a game title just because it includes an exclamation mark? It’s true! And why is that? Well, because you’re a discerning gamer who doesn’t require punctuation to dictate your excitement levels. The truth is, most of the time, those exclamation marks in game titles serve little purpose!

Today, I present my fervent plea against the excessive use of exclamation marks in game titles, broadcasted live from my humble soapbox. Exclamation marks, in this context, are simply unnecessary! While they add emphasis to text—like the fiery introduction you just experienced—in game titles, they fall short.

You might interject gently, soothingly suggesting, ‘Jim, is this truly a significant issue? Exclamation marks aren’t that prevalent in game titles.’ To which I would fervently respond, ‘Oh, but they are!’ They have infiltrated the gaming landscape.

Once reserved for titles hinting at fun despite potential shortcomings, exclamation marks now saturate game titles, especially evident in the ‘Price (Lowest)’ section of the Switch eShop. Titles like Toilet Time!, Let Me Poke Cats!, and Pretty Lady Puzzle Quest! (purely fictional, my apologies) exemplify this trend. We’ll let those slide…

Undeniably, marketing games is a tough business, and I understand the appeal of using exclamation marks to convey, ‘My game is exciting! Buy it!’ Yet, their rampant use has devalued their impact, often signaling a subpar product. Their once subtle presence in the eShop shadows has now emerged into the mainstream.

The roster of exclamation mark-laden titles expands daily, with even industry giants like Nintendo dabbling in this trend. Titles such as , , and have all succumbed to the allure of exaggerated punctuation for perceived fun factor.

But does it truly enhance the appeal? Would ‘Super Mario Odyssey!’ be more enticing than its original, punctuation-free version? Unlikely. While it may suit imperative titles like Everybody 1-2-Switch! and Move It!, unnecessary exclamation marks fail to elevate a game’s appeal. Just because a TV commercial’s exuberant voiceover shouts the title doesn’t mandate the same treatment on the box cover. Sega didn’t rebrand as ‘SEGA!’ to mirror its boisterous ‘90s marketing, did it?

While Nintendo and Game Freak are yet to match the excessive exclamation marks in titles like , the trend persists. It’s only a matter of time before multiple exclamation marks become commonplace.

Enough is enough. It’s time to reclaim sensible titling. Let’s confine exclamation marks to text, budget eShop games, and horror movies starring Jennifer Lawrence, or better yet, introduce a hint of intrigue with a question mark or two. ‘Mario Kart 9?‘—launching in Summer 2025.