In today's episode of tagging disputes, we discuss one of our topics that isn't about gameplay! Well, usually. We're talking our support for software and hardware, which we have considered on-topic since very early on.

[troubleshooting] has primarily questions about issues of playability. Errors that show up, framerate troubles, and display/networking are the majority. But it also has this odd creature asking how to simply do something.

[tech-support] seems geared primarily towards crashing, but also includes other kinds of errors, hardware troubles, and installation problems.

So in one perspective, they do cover different things. But not in any reasonable division that I can actually ascertain - both include in-game and pre-game errors, both cover hardware and software, and there is at least one overlap in terms of just errors showing up in the game. So I question, is there a difference which warrants separating them and not supporting our troubles? Or can we upgrade our tech to shooting?

Related, is the subject of [bug], but I'm under the impression that a bug is separate enough from general robo-assistance that we don't need to group it with problemblasting.

2 Answers 2


Going to strongly disagree with @badp's answer here. Simply put, the best heuristic in naming a synonym, is to use the tag to which the users most frequently go of their own accord. By that measure, Technical-issues is right out as being simply not relevant to the discussion.

Personally, I think [Technical-support] is a better tag than [troubleshooting] (and it seems our community agrees, though less conclusively). Both because it's more accurate (See @badp's comments about Q&A&A&A), and because by including that key word of 'support', it fits my own habits when trying to google to solve a technical issue involving... less than helpful terminology - specifically, I'll tack 'tech support' onto the end of my search - and tag synonyms, while very useful against our internal searches, are less so when dealing with how our site is indexed by external search tools.

TL;DR: Yes we need a synonym. I vote [Tech-support], both because I prefer it, and because it's the current most popular tag. I wouldn't really be all that mussed if somebody went through and changed enough tags to [Troubleshooting] and made that the tag of choice. [Technical-Issues] seems like a bad idea.

  • 1
    Everybody jumps off cliffs, it must be a good idea!
    – badp
    Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 17:08
  • 1
    Good, sound logic. However, part of what determines what people go to is shaped by what existing tags there are. In August, when we only had the [technical-issues] tag, that's what we used. It wasn't until the start of September that someone introduced [tech-support] and went to replace all instaces of [technical-issues] with it. So while I agree with your suggestion and the logic behind it, my knowledge of history and the fact you mention googling to solve technical issues (that just flowed smoothly, aye?) leads me to not be so quick in dismissing the third tag.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 17:17
  • 2
    @badp If you want your website to be the place people go to to jump off cliffs, then yes. If we want the community to come here to ask gaming questions, we must adapt to how the community asks gaming questions. Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 17:36
  • @grace While it's true I used the phrase 'technical issues' the fact is that it's not what I go looking for. What I as a user want is support to fix said issues. Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 18:16
  • @LessPop exactly! They want something and we can't give it to them. When people are told, say, to visit technical support to handle their CD Keys, we don't want them to land on our site.
    – badp
    Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 20:11
  • @Badp Except we can provide support. We may not be able to provide support on the level of the games publisher, especially for issues such as, say, CD-Keys, but that doesn't mean we're incapable of answering these questions. If we're going to answer a question about a technical issue, we're providing Technical Support. That's What It Is. (And in some cases, the support we're able to provide may be better than the 'official' source anyway, whether thanks to the tides of capitalism obliterating a publisher, or simple negligence of customer service from the devs.) Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 21:42
  • Actually, our answer rate for this kind of question is quite bad.
    – badp
    Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 21:48
  • At which point, @badp, you're making the argument that these questions don't belong on the site, and should be considered off-topic. While that's a legitimate argument to make, and one that I know you have made, it's entirely orthogonal to the question of taxonomy, which is what we're dealing with here. Quite frankly, it just isn't germane whether we have the answer, when we're discussing what to call a type of question, any more than it's germane to discuss what color an animal is when trying to figure out how many legs it has. Saying that the dog is brown doesn't make it grow 6 legs. Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 22:02
  • And to be clear, I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing with you re: Whether tech support/technical issues/troubleshooting/flying monkeys should be considered on or off topic. Quite frankly, it's not a question I've thought enough about to feel strongly one way or the other, and I'm content to hear what the community has to say. But it's fundamentally irrelevant to the discussion of what we call it if/when/now that we do accept those questions. Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 22:04
  • To one extent I agree with you, that we should adapt to the users' needs and conventions. But I swear, I'll die editing the shit of "its, youre, there", off their answers and not adapt, because it's just plain wrong, and not evolutionary..
    – DrFish
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 8:02

Technical support (also tech support) is a range of services providing assistance with technology products such as mobile phones, televisions, computers, or other electronic or mechanical goods. In general, technical support services attempt to help the user solve specific problems with a product—rather than providing training, customization, or other support services.

from Wikipedia's article on tech support

Tech support is professional services for products you own. We don't do that.

Troubleshooting is a form of problem solving, often applied to repair failed products or processes. It is a logical, systematic search for the source of a problem so that it can be solved, and so the product or process can be made operational again. Troubleshooting is needed to develop and maintain complex systems where the symptoms of a problem can have many possible causes. Troubleshooting is used in many fields such as engineering, system administration, electronics, automotive repair, and diagnostic medicine. Troubleshooting requires identification of the malfunction(s) or symptoms within a system. Then, experience is commonly used to generate possible causes of the symptoms. Determining which cause is most likely is often a process of elimination - eliminating potential causes of a problem. Finally, troubleshooting requires confirmation that the solution restores the product or process to its working state.

from Wikipedia's article on troubleshooting

Troubleshooting also really isn't what we do. Our website is about Q&A, not Q&A&Q&A&Q&A&Q&A&Q&A.

Neither really fits. I support [technical-issues] instead.

  • We used to have a [technical-issues] tag, but that was transformed into [tech-support].
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Sep 18, 2010 at 12:20
  • 3
    "Technical-issues" beats the other two. With some synonim magic it may even work, @grace.
    – badp
    Commented Sep 18, 2010 at 15:52
  • It's up to you whether you want to convert your answer to support the revival of the [technical-issues] tag or stick with [troubleshooting].
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 12:52

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