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Talk about a radical suggestion coming from the least likely of candidates! Read me out, if you will, because this actually has nothing to do with the Rec Wars.


While addressing this question concerning tags besides game names/genre/platform, I started to think about our utility of genre and platform tags. Unlike game names, genre/platform can apply multiples to the same game. With a limit of 5 tags, this makes it difficult to fit them in a way that ties them to the game, while still categorizing what the question is actually about.

An in-engine method to alleviate this is to always include the corresponding genre/platform in the game's tag wiki, and perhaps also list games inside of the platform/genre tags. Genre will generally be more troublesome since it's not concretely defined. But tag wikis are difficult for the community to maintain due to privilege limitations.

So here's what I thought I'd pass by as an idea to the community and get people's feedback on: maintain a Community Wiki list of games we have tags for, sorted by platform, on our Meta site.

The goal of this list is not to be a universal list of games, but to be an aid to maintaining our own data and tag wikis.

  • I feel it can fit on the Meta site because it is intended to be about the Gaming site, and nothing else. The scope of being games that are tags helps us restrict the data to being the games the site specifically covers, rather than games which might get off-hand mentions (such as within game recommendations).
  • Being on the Meta site will prevent any constant updating from interfering with our parent site's questions.
  • The list is not any grounds for either side in the Rec Wars; the Meta site isn't strict Q&A and doesn't follow the same rules as the parent site, and ideally there is no reason to be voting on the answers of this list.
  • Ideally, this isn't a slippery slope because of the specificity of the scope and intent of the listing. As it will ideally cover all games we have tags for, there are no further listings that are really necessary to build.
  • As a singular question, and considering the frequency of new game tags (which is maybe a few per week), it shouldn't interfere that much with the majority of Meta site activity.
  • Community maintained lists about the site are often useful. Things like Recent Updates have been a tried-and-true practice that works in the Meta environment.
  • It is a lot more visible as a question, allowing better coordination among the community to the goal of maintaining the tag wikis.
  • As Community Wiki, it has an incredibly lower bar of entry than Tag Wikis, allowing more of the community to contribute in the upkeep of the site. Meta participants will be able to update the list, while the people with enough reputation can then update the tag wikis accordingly.
  • Platform sort is preferred because platforms are strictly defined - something either is a game for that platform, or it isn't. Comparatively, games can be anywhere from being a strict genre, being primarily a genre, being somewhat like a genre, incorporating parts of a genre... and the list goes on.
  • Initial thoughts about actual organization of the list: main question explains the purpose of the list, and also includes links to all of the answers and a link to the timeline (so as to point out new revisions). Each platform tag that we have gets its own answer, beginning with a link to the corresponding tag's wiki (and maybe another link for the edit link that editors can use as a shortcut). One-per-answer here is for organization and anchor purposes, allowing those in charge of maintenance to quickly know which platforms have been modified and quickly zip to the corresponding wiki.

It's a bit of a large undertaking, and possibly not the most agreeable of concepts. But I thought of it, and figured it'd be a good idea to propose it and see what everyone thinks of it. If we do decide to create this thing, the sooner is the better because I think building the initial list will be mighty easier while our tag base is (relatively) small. So, post your thoughts, suggestions, or oppositions!

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    I'm not sure I understand entirely what you mean. Are you proposing a CW thread in which each answer lists a single main site platform tag and then lists all the games that (1) we have questions about and (2) run on that platform? – Oak Oct 27 '10 at 15:11
  • @Oak List all games which we actually have questions about (by virtue of having the tag for the game), and sort them into answers by what platforms the game belong to. I haven't fully figured out how to deal with games on cross-platform, but that's a down-the-road if people actually find this a useful idea. – Grace Note Oct 27 '10 at 15:20
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    What is the point of this suggestion? What problem are we having that makes maintaining a list like this worthwhile? – Invader Skoodge Oct 27 '10 at 18:15
  • @Strix This isn't aimed to solve a problem. It's a suggestion for something we might do to (possibly) improve the links between our tag wikis. Basically, I think that since it is completely unreasonable to try and slap genre/platform tags on every question for a game, we instead add that data to the tag wikis. Have the data link between each other easier for twixt-wiki navigation. The point of this Meta list would be to make the maintenance of that data smoother, hopefully. – Grace Note Oct 27 '10 at 18:28
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This answer serves as a mock-up of the different posts I'm thinking of. All links contain tooltips to explain the intent, and some thoughts about how it could be different. Some links will be junk links, if they for example reference the list question that doesn't quite exist yet. It will represent, in order:

  1. The question body for the aggregate list
  2. The answer body for a platform entry
  3. "Header" portion of a game tag wiki
  4. "List" portion of a platform tag wiki

QUESTION

What are the games that this site actually covers?

Timeline

Platforms


LIST ANSWER

Nintendo DS

[ds] (wiki) (edit)

Exclusive

Cross-Platform


GAME TAG WIKI

Game tag wikis can be written however people want to. But, as an aide to people who are doing a quick browsing (and especially for cross-platform games), we could have a simple thing at the top of the tag wiki like the following

{Tag Wiki for [chrono-trigger]}

Platform(s): [snes], [ds]
Genre(s): [rpg]


PLATFORM TAG WIKI

As with the game tag wiki, I don't want to define how people write the article as a whole. Instead, I feel a usefulness to include the same list as in our CW question on the tag wiki, probably at the end. Note this is a repaste of above, so all of the tooltips will be the exact same

{Tag Wiki for [ds]}

Exclusive Games for the Nintendo DS

Cross-Platform on the Nintendo DS

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I'm afraid I don't see the benefit in such a list.

In my opinion, the main point of tag wikis is to give a brief introduction of what that tag is, sort of what the first paragraph of each Wikipedia article tries to do. For example, [nethack] generates a lot of fantastically-titled questions, so it's likely users unfamiliar with it will want to click that tag and see what that strange thing is all about. [achievements] could give a short summary of what they are, in case the reader has been living under a rock for the past 3 years.

Compared with that, the list of platforms with Nethack implementations, or the list of platforms with embedded achievement support, is not a very important detail to put in those pages - at least in my opinion.

I agree that the editing requirements for tag wikis are not easy to pass, but I don't see the benefit such a high-maintenance list will bring for these wikis.

  • [achievements] isn't a game name, so I don't think it needs platforms and I'm not pushing for that. But for games, I figure that if someone is interested in looking into the tag name to see what all the hub-bub is about, they stand to get interested from whatever short info blob we write. In which case, wouldn't they like to know whether they actually own the platform which the game plays on, and therefor whether their interest is worth it? Whether we maintain a huge list on the site or just people fill them in as they think of it, I don't see why platform is "not a very important detail". – Grace Note Oct 28 '10 at 12:28
  • @Grace I guess what's important and what's not is very subjective :) – Oak Oct 28 '10 at 17:43
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I think this is definitely an interesting proposal. While I think it could be a good addition in theory, I've got a few questions.

What kind of detail are we looking to have in the answers themselves? You listed the link to the tag wiki, but is there additional information we'd have and need to maintain, or would it just be more of a "portal" to the tag wiki? What kind of information would we be updating already listed games with? How do we handle cross-platform games?

I think it'd really help to see a mockup of what exactly you mean (not an entire platform answer, just an entry or two). I think that would help us have a better idea of what you're proposing. The number of people willing to help maintain this also depends on the success of it and seeing an example of this in action might possibly convince anyone who's on the fence.

  • (1) I don't think we need any detail in the answers besides just a bulleted list (or lists) of the game names that link to their corresponding tags (or tag wikis). (2) Intended to be naught but a portal and organization measure. I don't want this to be messy to upkeep with extraneous data. Leave individual game information in the games themselves, and platform info in the corresponding tag wiki. (3) If a game is already listed, it would probably only need updates when it is added to a new platform. – Grace Note Oct 27 '10 at 15:24
  • Cross-platform I had some ideas. The one I'm preferring right now is just to split the answer (and possibly the tag wiki) into two bulleted lists: "Platform Exclusive" and "Cross-Platform". Don't particularly bother with including what platforms the game belongs to on the separate platform listings, instead leave that aggregation on the game's tag wiki. I'll add an answer here as a basic mock-up to illustrate different components. – Grace Note Oct 27 '10 at 15:25
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Platform tagging is mostly useless, unless your question is specific to a game's port-specific features, like, say, mouse support.

Genre tagging is also not useful when automated -- especially for games that don't fit under just one genre. While, say, a game may mix first person shooting and real time strategy, each question often only pertains one genre.

  • I'm not suggesting automation of genre or platform tagging. This is more of an alternative, allowing people to more readily see what platform a game is available, or what genre(s) it might count as, by looking at the tag wikis rather than burdening every single question about the game and trying to fit the tags, which is a losing battle. This is basically trying to eke more value out of our tag wikis, and the Meta list is basically to make that job hopefully more comfortable. – Grace Note Oct 27 '10 at 16:49
  • Except that Platform and Genre tagging are both useful from the standpoint of providing a filtering mechanism. If I as a user own only a Wii and a PC, I can choose to only see questions about games that run on those platforms. Of course, in order for such filters to be effective, platform tagging needs to be consistent, which we don't have the best track record with at the moment. – LessPop_MoreFizz Oct 27 '10 at 18:28
  • @Less Unfortunately, neither is reasonable to accomplish because (1) Cross-platform games literally wreck this model and (2) Genres are very loosely defined, between partial applicability (does it borrow heavily, incorporate elements from, or simply pay homage to the genre?) and compound naming ("action-adventure", "puzzle-platformer"... the list could go on...). It's difficult to actually apply this to the questions while still maintaining avenues to identify what the question itself is about rather than just what game it is about. – Grace Note Oct 27 '10 at 18:37
  • @Grace And here I had typed "in a world of 5 tag limits, it isn't the easiest thing to maintain either" and deleted the sentence too... Agreed, it's definitely a limitation that severely hurts the usefulness of such tags. – LessPop_MoreFizz Oct 27 '10 at 18:40
  • @Less Which is what this suggestion is aimed to provide an alternative for. We still need genre/platform tags for all the questions that are specific to the genre/platform, so instead of making them relatively obscure, I figure it helps a lot to tie our tag wikis together and link the tags with corresponding games. Of course, it is a massive undertaking, which is why I expect a reasonably large amount of opposition to the idea. – Grace Note Oct 27 '10 at 18:42

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