Quotes in games, how long can they be? What to remember?

There are several games out there using quotes from other sources in their stories.
But how long can such a quote be?
What else (aside from attributing it correctly) does one have to keep in mind?
(note: I know there are similar threads, but my brain is absolutely not cooperating when it comes to filtering the answer I need out of them. Thus this. Sorry. Dx )
Would the following be alright to do? (quote in bold)


We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.
-Grant Morrison

This is what the plaque at the entrance says. You let your eyes wander over the words before moving your gaze from the chiseled letters up the building.
A slender spiral of glass and steel rises behind an enormous wall of mirrored windows that bulges over the entrance hall like a sail.[…]


I don’t think there are strict rules against it. As soon as you give credits, it should be alright—though overuse of quotes would be boring and should be avoided.

For instance the example you gave there uses the quote perfectly and it fits well IMO.


I hope.
In my case that is the only full quote as such. (there’s some others, but usually in dialogue)

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Well, the example you gave doesn’t seem too long in any way, I say it works well as it is.

For longer quotes, I think you could still use them but would have to finesse them, break the apart a wee bit and interject narrative in between to keep things interesting, but that’s only if they’re really long and there’s no way of abbreviating them without losing its impact.


I like interstitial quotes, especially ones that sum up the themes or perspective of a work. I don’t think they tend to work within the actual text, though, just because they can feel a bit awkward, especially if you need to fit the attribution in there, too, like the example you provided, @MeltingPenguins.

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Well… in this specific case the MC is visiting the central agency for superpowers, and the quote’s on a plaque there (as shown)

Are you talking existing quotes? You can’t use them at all unless you have permission or they are in the public domain without copyright problems. Attributing isn’t enough regardless of the length if they’re under copyright much like an image.

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Here’s some advice that basically boils down to “massively grey area”:

In my own nonfiction book (not CoG) I’d really wanted to quote a chunk of Man in Black:

I wear it for the thousands who have died
Believing that the Lord was on their side
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died
Believing that we all were on their side

Not just because it fit thematically–it had in real life been playing in the background the night after eleven people (including two good friends) had been murdered for being “on our side,” and as you can imagine it hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought if ever there was fair use, this would be it.

But to my surprise the publisher asked me to change it; they didn’t want the hassle and cost of getting permission for a popular Johnny Cash song. So I ended up paraphrasing instead: “listening to Johnny Cash sing about all the people who had died believing that we were on their side.”


I’ll change it then.
Wish me luck.

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It is possible to use quotes (I do it myself) just find ones that are old enough to be in the public domain (Or make them up :wink:)

Edit: I found it! This has a nice summary of what you potentially can and can’t use that I found useful.


Hello, thanks for making this thread. I am also interested in the use of quotes in our stories.

I want to include one quote in the prologue, one in chapter 1 of my story, 1 at the climax, and one at the ending (depending on what it is). So each play-through would have 2 common quotes and 2 tailored quotes. Is this acceptable?

You can use all the quotes you like as long as you’re not infringing on copyright. (See chart in the post above yours.) If they infringe on copyright, you’re better off not using any at all.

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