From my understanding, we typically avoid meta tags. However, I saw this tag get created, which is essentially just a type of playthrough and I'm not entirely sure it's necessary.

The current tag wiki describes a longplay as the following:

A Longplay is a documentative, non-competitive playthrough similar to a speedrun, where a game is played from start to finish in a timely manner. Unlike a speedrun, a longplay does not aim for the fastest route, but for the most thorough showcase of a game's content. This may include such things as extra cutscenes, unlockable content, Easter Eggs, game-over screens and more.

I fail to see how this would add to any question its added to. We have plenty of questions asking how to unlock easter eggs or alternate endings, which are not necessarily related to longplays. What would necessitate the use of this tag?

A potential counter-argument to this is that we have the tag. However, speedrunning strategies are very niche and specific to speedrunning and would not be encountered by the average gamer, thus a speedrun tag at least sort of makes sense.

I'm not convinced we need an extra tag that describes "unlocking all content" in games. Would the game's tag not suffice?

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    I don't think questions using the longplay tag should focus on game-specific settings, instead they would be around 'the rules' of longplaying (if any). As an outsider to the longplay community, questions like "Am I allowed to use save/load functionality or do I complete the game in one sitting?" or "Does a playthrough have to showcase everything in a game to count, or can I focus only on certain things I want to highlight?" would seem appropriate to me. (cont.) – Robotnik Apr 11 '17 at 15:02
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    Of course, it's a bit early to tell, the tag has one question (on topic as [terminology]), I'd be inclined to leave it and monitor usage over the next few months given that there does seem to be interest in the topic area (one question and already a tag wiki, and I struggle to get people to help out over here! :-P – Robotnik Apr 11 '17 at 15:02
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    A single question and a tag wiki does not necessarily mean there's interest. In my experience, it means there's a single dedicated user who is enthusiastic about that particular topic. The tag wiki was submitted by the same user who asked the only question in the tag. I've done the same thing with the CrossCode tag, because I really enjoyed the game. Doesn't mean it is (or will be) a popular topic. – Mage Xy Apr 11 '17 at 16:28
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    Hi, I'm the guy who posted the question and made the tag wiki. The only arguments in favor of the tag that come to mind are A. there is a speedrun tag, which I used deliberately to break the tagging rules in the absence of a longplay tag (and let's be honest, "terminology" is not what comes to mind when asking how a numbering system works) and B. I don't see any harm in keeping the tag. As for why I added the wiki, since one high-reputation user created the tag to make up for my abuse of the rules, I thought it was only fair for me to describe what it is for future reference. – Braden Best Apr 11 '17 at 18:16
  • @BradenBest thank you for your input. I actually thought about the speedrun tag while writing this. I am on the fence about meta tags like that. Speedrunning involves moves and bugs that are typically not intentional and wouldn't be something the average player would just happen to find. There are strict objectives with speedruns. A longplay, however, just sounds like how I tend to play games I enjoy. The rules seem to vary, but the most defining feature is just that you experience everything in the game. I'm not sure how you would use the tag. (to be continued) – Vemonus Apr 11 '17 at 18:21
  • For instance, while a speedrunner might ask "how do I skip from point A to point B", it sounds like a longplayer would ask "how do I see everything between point A and point B". However, this doesn't really seem to be a longplaying-specific question. I might just want to see everything from point A to point B. What would you do with that question? I wouldn't want someone adding a "longplay" tag to it, but would that justify an identical question that specifies it's for a longplay? What would the difference be? It doesn't seem to serve any purpose or add to the question. – Vemonus Apr 11 '17 at 18:23
  • @Vemonus Personally, I feel that's a little too specific for a stackexchange question. I would probably post that question to a subreddit dealing with the topic. For example, if I want to see a particular hidden cutscene in Dark Souls, go to the dark souls subreddit and ask it there. Asking on gaming.SE would feel inappropriate as to me, gaming.SE is about gaming in general, not any game in particular, just as programming.SE is about programming in general, not any language in particular (and for specific programming questions, we have stackoverflow) – Braden Best Apr 11 '17 at 18:27
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    @BradenBest If you want to see a hidden cutscene in Dark Souls but don't know how to unlock it, this site would be exactly the place to ask. That question sounds perfectly valid according to our help center. A broad, general rule of thumb for any SE site is, if the question can be answered objectively with a handful of sentences, it's probably an okay question as long as it follows the on-topic rules. – Mage Xy Apr 11 '17 at 18:37
  • @MageXy In that case, I have to ask why it's okay to have a tag about a specific game, but not about a genre of game coverage that covers thousands of games. In the former case, if I wanted information about a newly-released or obscure game, say, Phoenotopia or Moovlin PC, I would probably have to request a tag to be made, right? I'm just trying to see the rationale. – Braden Best Apr 11 '17 at 18:43
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    @BradenBest higher rep users create new tags for games. As for why we don't have meta tags, we had them purged, with very few remnants. – Vemonus Apr 11 '17 at 18:44
  • @BradenBest The controversy (and why this question is even on meta at all) is that it's questionable what value the longplay tag adds to the classification system. For the two games you mention, if we create a tag for those, it clearly divides questions about those games from questions about other games. But as I explained in my answer, a longplay doesn't really seem any different from a normal playthrough. So why would we need another tag to specify that you're playing the game normally? Should we also add a tag for [partial-playthrough]? From my perspective, it just doesn't make sense. – Mage Xy Apr 11 '17 at 18:49
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    @BradenBest terminology, I guess, but even that is very questionable. I don't think the question was really a good question to begin with, honestly. I'm not pretending to be a longplay expert, but the titles of videos seem to be a flaky thing to assume is specific to a type of playthrough. From what I can tell, these titles are all coming from the same place. If someone else decided to do longplays and decided to use a different naming convention for their titles, then your question turns into "what does this youtuber mean by X in their video titles." – Vemonus Apr 11 '17 at 18:58
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    @BradenBest unfortunately, this specific type of question is off-topic. Usually, this is due to being about developer intent, but this would be off-topic (in my opinion) for the same reason. A good metric for topicality based on developer intent, I believe, is to ask yourself "Would anyone know this without asking the developer?" or in this case "the creator". Considering that the only answer came straight from the uploader(s) of the video themselves, I would have to say it was impossible to have known without their direct input. – Vemonus Apr 11 '17 at 19:05
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    @BradenBest Unfortunately not. Some questions are just not a good fit for the SE model. If there's a subreddit for you can go to (an I'm sure there is, there's a sub for everything), I typically recommend that. You can, however, post a question on this meta site to ask if a certain question would be on-topic if you're not sure. Other people have done this, and that's fine with us. – Mage Xy Apr 11 '17 at 19:08
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    @MageXy and Vemonus - Thank you both very much for your patience and willingness to address my concerns and describe the problem in detail. I have upvoted both the question and answer in agreement, and expect my question to be closed as off-topic in the near future. – Braden Best Apr 11 '17 at 19:10

Expanding my comments & thoughts into an answer:

From the sounds of the discussions playing out here, I don't think we have anything against 'Longplaying' games. Longplaying is a form of gameplay after all, and we are a gaming Q&A resource, so questions which pertain to gameplay in the context of performing a Longplay (or otherwise) are on topic for us.*

How do we use tags?

Tags exist primarily to categorise content. Every community handles this differently, but I know of two main ways this is handled (on SE sites at least): 'Overarching' tagging and 'Specific' tagging

'Overarching' tagging uses larger-topic-area tags as a baseline, and applies more specific tags where they make the most sense. If this is how we worked on Arqade, it would look something like this:

This may make more sense on sites like StackOverflow - a question about C# 4.0 is still a question about C#, but it doesn't generally make much sense here as our 'topics' are generally smaller - someone who is playing Sonic 2 isn't suddenly an expert on Sega, or the Genesis, or even other Sonic games. So instead we typically stick to the smallest specific tags that can apply: individual tags based on what the question is actually about. 90% of the time this is a game or console title. For example:

There are some exceptions of course where 'overarching' tags make sense for us:

There are some others but these would be the ones most people are familiar with. These tags may span multiple games, communities or consoles, and are generally well received for the functionality and groupings they provide. Likewise, our larger topics can have sub-tags as well: as the prime example, but also DLCs like .

So what about [Longplay]?

We've talked about overarching vs specific tagging, and some exceptions where the usefulness of the tag outweighs the awkwardness of applying overarching tags. So where does lie?

1. Does it provide a useful 'overarching' grouping of like-minded content?

My answer is No - Like Vemonus states in the question:

We have plenty of questions asking how to unlock easter eggs or alternate endings, which are not necessarily related to longplays.

Questions about game functionality as they pertain to longplays are no different than just questions about game functionality. So the tag shouldn't be used on questions about game strategies.

2. Is the only (current) question a valid use of the tag?

I would say Yes, it's certainly about Longplays in general, rather than something game-specific. Could the question exist without the tag? Probably, it could live under as it is concerned with how the longplay community name/sort their playthroughs. But why would we remove it when it adequately describes the question?

3. Do we keep tags with only one question?

We do!. Due to the nature of games and their popularity, plenty of games/consoles etc may only have a few questions that are useful and valid.

4. Can [longplay] be useful as a 'specific' topic area?

The big question. Assuming the "Tag is for questions about Tag and Tag only" logic, can we use the tag for questions about Longplays in general? Can questions be asked about Longplay rules and regulations that don't pertain to a particular game?

I say Maybe. Not very committal I know, but I find it hard to pass judgement on a tag that has literally just been created.

I think we should monitor it's use (if any - see point #2 again) and act when we see a problem, rather than preemptively trying to shut it down based on what might happen.

To that end, I've added a Tag Wiki excerpt to the tag which describes this:

a playthrough of a game for documenative or showcase reasons. Use this tag for questions regarding longplay formats, rules, or non-game specific conventions. For questions about a game in the context of performing a longplay, please use the game's tag instead.


I think the tag should stay, for now. It adequately categorises it's one question and hasn't posed a problem for us yet.

* Other rules still apply and close reasons like 'Too Broad' or 'Primarily Opinion Based' can be applied as needed on a question-by-question basis

  • +1. A very level-headed response that takes both sides into consideration. I suppose I was thinking more of future usefulness in my argument. The current question doesn't make sense without the tag, however, I can definitely see a struggle to use it on future questions. And as for the comment about the speedrun tag... this meta has definitely made me rethink my opinion of it. There are some places where its use would make sense, but I'd have to take a look at the currently tagged questions to see if they're actually being used sensibly. – Vemonus Apr 12 '17 at 5:02
  • @Vemonus - Thanks. And same - researching & writing this answer changed how I thought of speedrun as well! :) – Robotnik Apr 12 '17 at 5:20
  • +1 Great points on both sides. It's amazing how much discussion was generated just because I had to know what a number meant, heh. I simultaneously feel proud and apologetic. – Braden Best Apr 13 '17 at 1:30

I agree. I don't think we really need this longplay tag.

According to the tag description, it's just a term for playthrough that aims for 100% completion. It specifically states it's a "non-competitive" playthrough, and that it "does not aim for the fastest route, but for the most thorough showcase of a game's content". From the longplays.org website, "a longplay is a play-through of a computer or video game, created with the intent of completing it as fully as possible, mainly for the purposes of nostalgia, preservation, and possibly as a walkthrough." To me, that sounds exactly like a normal playthrough, albeit with a little more focus on finding everything. Any question that can be asked about a normal playthrough of any game could also feasibly be asked for the longplay tag... which seems very redundant to me. It doesn't sound like doing a longplay playthrough changes the way you play in any significant manner, so why add a tag that only creates noise?

The only time I could see this tag being somewhat useful is, as Robotnik mentioned, when discussing the "rules" of longplay. However, I honestly can't think of any rules that would make sense in non-competitive scenario where the objective is literally to play the game normally.

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    Other questions I can think of for this would be closed for some reason. Examples: "What's the best route for a longplay of [insert game]" - too broad but could be broken to a specific section of a game, "How can I longplay games that take several days" - not really gaming, "What strategies can I use to longplay VR games" - seems too broad to me since it likely varies by game and even scenes in the game. – Batophobia Apr 11 '17 at 17:22
  • I agree. To me, a question asking about a "longplay" route would essentially be saying "how do I unlock everything" or "how do I see everything," both of which would need to be broken down into specific questions in order to maintain a small enough breadth to be answerable here. But by doing so, the questions just become general questions about the game and are no longer longplay-specific. – Vemonus Apr 11 '17 at 18:02
  • I did try for anything relating to playthrough. But at the time, there were no such tags (I don't believe there is a tag for that even now). The only tag even remotely related to playthroughs was "speedrun", so I used that. My abuse of the rules caused a user with (I believe) ~30k rep to create the tag and because I was the one who bent the rules, I thought it was only fair that I should be the one to write the wiki. If a 'playthrough" tag is made, I suppose the longplay tag could be replaced with it, but for now, I say there's no harm in keeping it. – Braden Best Apr 11 '17 at 18:23
  • As per the discussion on the question, where the purpose and nature of gaming.SE was explained to me in great detail, I've decided to vote up the question and your answer. – Braden Best Apr 11 '17 at 19:04

While I understand the arguments presented above, I believe this should stay.

If I understood correctly, longplay is defined by

the most thorough showcase of a game's content

^Mage Xy's answer

However, isn't that what completionism is? Questions about pokemon strategies on how to find all pokemons in a region, questions about how to find all items in a Final Fantasy game, questions about unlocking all ships in FTL.

Essentially, while it does indeed overlap with normal gameplay, it isn't harmful and could be used as a synonim for Completionism, something that isn't needed to beat most games.

  • But what separates the use of this tag from just any question asking how to complete something? Specifying a longplay doesn't change the intent or content of the question. – Vemonus Apr 11 '17 at 20:26
  • Could be used to differentiate questions which aim to get 100% rather than "finish a goal". Final Fantasy IX for example. There are several instances where you have missable items (even if just "trophy items"). They are completly unneeded to end a story segment, but awnsers regarding said segment that have the completionism tag would be required to mention those missable objects, rather than a "You do xyz" – Oak Apr 11 '17 at 20:32
  • we have plenty of questions like this already. Are they suffering without the existence of a tag like this? Would adding this kind of tag make a difference at all? It just seems like a filler tag that wouldn't help anything. – Vemonus Apr 11 '17 at 20:33
  • Tags should not be used to add detail about what answers need in order to be complete. Tags should be categorizing questions, not answers. If there's a question that wants to know about all the missing items in some segment of a game, they need to specify that in the question, not with a meta tag. – Mage Xy Apr 11 '17 at 20:37
  • Another way to look at it is, "is it possible to be an expert in [tag]?" It's certainly possible to be an expert in Pokemon or Dark Souls or even things like gaming terminology. (I'd even argue that you can be an expert in speedrunning - I'm sure there are certain types of bugs/glitches that experienced players look for when speedrunning, and they would be able to answer those kinds of questions.) However, you can't be an expert in longplaying because the definition of a successful longplay depends on what game you're actually playing. You'd have to be an expert in that game first. – Mage Xy Apr 11 '17 at 20:49
  • @MageXy, considering that argument I agree (even tho I was pretty much on the fence already when I answered and merely wanted to get discussion for pros-cons rolling rather than a one sided slobberknocker). Although that would put the achievements tag in jeopardy since it's used for the same effect – Oak Apr 11 '17 at 21:21

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