While related to an early discussion on retro gaming, this isn't the same.

I noticed a question got retagged to , which investigation led me to see that it has a 66 questions (excluding two closed game-rec). 26 of them are not , making 40 of them exceptionally redundant - the majority of identification questions are about old games, otherwise you probably didn't forget it.

Those 26 range from how to deal with or run "old" games and where to find "old" games to gameplay and story questions for "old" games.

We lack a consistency in the application of this tag. There's also no real definition for what constitutes "old" games that we can use to build any consistency. There is a danger associated with certain age definitions, the same which makes a particularly dangerous tag: tags that change over time cause a lot of problems.

We could use a definition to the purpose of this tag. To me, the tag mostly conflicts with the usage of platform tags. One knows that an NES game is old by virtue of it being on the NES, and anything modern-made for an old platform probably stands out more by its own name than by the fact it lacks an old-games tag. Its primary usage that makes sense to me is for generic questions about older games that can be asked without any particular platform being of concern. In that case, there are a lot of questions with it that should have it removed.

What does everyone else think? What does give us?

  • 3
    It gives me headaches that's for sure!
    – Ivo Flipse
    Dec 27, 2010 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


Personally I think the tag should be removed entirely, since I don't find it very useful to filter on anything and it would require extensive maintenance in the years to come. If we do manage to stick a definition on it, say "games that came out 15 years ago", then past a certain point in time we'll have to go back and tag many of the questions on this site under [old-games]. At the rate we're gaining questions that's simply not feasible, and it just sounds like a massive headache for what appears to me to have been of such little benefit.

  • 1
    Imagine us retagging all the starcraft-2 questions as old-games in the future. :o
    – Kevin Yap
    Dec 28, 2010 at 4:57
  • 2
    That's silly. The day Koreans stop playing Starcraft and Starcraft 2, is the day Skynet has taken over. Dec 31, 2010 at 4:35
  • @Raven so your definition of "old-game" would be "(almost) not played anymore"? (j/k) Jan 2, 2011 at 11:13
  • how about tagging them by decade? 90s-games, 80s-games etc? that way you dont have to retag and anyone who can pinpoint at least the decade of the game they're asking about would be a bit closer to the answer
    – corroded
    Feb 7, 2011 at 2:03
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    @correded: I feel like that should be either a separate answer or meta-topic altogether.
    – Mana
    Feb 7, 2011 at 2:43

I have always thought of this tag as "Games that no longer natively run on modern hardware/operative systems or need compatibility tweaking to run properly," for use in questions that deal with said compatibility settings and/or emulation techniques and/or future proofing.

  • 3
    How do console games fit into this definition? Or, more appropriately, how do they fit into this definition without resulting in every question about a game on a console outside of "the current generation" having to be tagged as such, taking into account that "the current generation" will change over time?
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Dec 27, 2010 at 18:17
  • @Grace NES games don't natively run on any modern hardware. -- I see no use to retroactively apply this tag as games get older and older, honestly. Games may become old over time, but the techniques to deal with them (= the use I see for this tag) remain usually the same. Thus, applying the tag to questions about games that are "old" at the time of posting should be good enough.
    – badp
    Dec 27, 2010 at 18:22
  • 1
    To be clear -- "how do you complete the first level of Dr Jeckill" shouldn't get the "old-games" tag, while "How can I run Starcraft 2 properly under Windows 8" should.
    – badp
    Dec 27, 2010 at 18:24
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    If it is to categorize a class of subject matter rather than a class of games, then we should probably make the tag in some way that does not classify the game. There's not too much difference between when something doesn't run on most modern systems (Windows game that doesn't work on XP and later) versus when it doesn't run on the very latest (Windows game that works on XP/Vista but not 7), and I figure some general compatibility tag may suit us better than dividing those between "old" and singular case. That's my take, at least.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Dec 27, 2010 at 18:28

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