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For over 5 years now, our policy is that "Is There a Term for X?" questions were not allowed, as per this meta. Since then, though, the votes on that meta have changed drastically. Community support seems to have shifted more in favour of allowing these questions, or at the very least the community has become more divided on the issue, as demonstrated by the close/reopen back and forth on this question.

Should we update our policy on "Is There a Term for X?" questions to permit them, or should the policy remain as is?

1
  • I've gone ahead and purged all comments since they were just a distraction at this point. Whatever confusion may have existed over @TimmyJims answer is a moot point now, since community consensus on this issue is pretty clear now.
    – Wipqozn Mod
    Aug 18 at 12:31
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Updated:

I see how my original answer didn't really answer the question at hand...

Should we update our policy on "Is There a Term for X?" questions to permit them, or should the policy remain as is?

Yes, and I'll defer to Galacticninja's post for a better explanation, the quoted part especially makes sense (originally sourced from here).

If the question clearly describes the concept, and it's a gaming concept, then who better to say whether there's a term for it, and what that term is, than the people that play games all the time?


Original Answer:

I think the main issue we often see with these questions is that some believe the question is more of a general "is there a word in the English Dictionary for this thing" question. I believe in the past I've seen people get directed to the English Language & Usage SE site for questions like this.

While I think questions like this probably aren't very suitable, I think a question that is asking about a term specific to a game or collection of games does seem suitable for Arqade.

For example, lets pretend someone asked a question with the subject that boils down to What does the term bunny hopping mean? I would think that this is on topic, since bunny hopping is (arguably) a largely used term in the gaming community to describe a movement mechanic often exploited across a wide variety of games (even Wikipedia has a small section devoted to explaining bunny hopping as a video game term).

That said, the question that spawn this Meta post is a bit grey to me. I don't quite believe it aligns with what I said above. Though I can see sort of see it being on topic since it exclusively is asking about "video game apps" instead of apps in general.

To summarize, I like terminology questions where the term in question can conclusively be deemed specific to gaming and I think we should allow these kind of questions. But I might have just stumbled upon the next issue - how do we decide if a term is specific to gaming? Is this where we try to rely on the community to decide?

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8

I'd allow questions about terminology altogether. ​There is no real harm in doing so.

Yes, there is little room for great questions and much less for great answers, but there is room for at least decent posts.

On the other side the risk for bad posts isn't much higher than what we already allow. On the contrary, I see a wider variety in what is already there:

  1. What is bunny hopping? - allowed
  2. What is the term for jumping like crazy? - off-topic

This makes little sense to me as both questions describe the same situation, just the other way around. We should allow both types of questions.

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6

It's clear that community opinion on this issue has shifted, and so the tag wiki summary for has been updated to the following (thanks to galacticninja):

For questions that ask what a gaming-specific term means, or what the terminology is for a gaming-specific concept

Various members of the community have also gone through and reopened questions which are now on-topic given the rule change. Thanks to everyone who helped with this! The moderator team is doing another scan of questions to make sure we didn't miss any questions (including deleted ones) that need to be reopened (and by "team" I primarily mean Wrigglenite).

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I believe if this adjusts the tag, it should still require people to be as specific as possible, and we should not allow for broad reaching questions.

It'd be up to the community to decide on what is and isn't, but immediately closing everything that starts with "Is there a term for X" doesn't seem right. If the question is scoped and has examples or things to define what they're unsure about, I don't think that's an unfair question.

"Is there a definition for this game type" where the user gives examples of similar games, examples of what they're looking for, and has a purpose as to why they're searching for a definition (e.g they want to be able to find similar games); I believe those are fair questions to ask. The question that spawned this meta fits that, in my opinion and the answer provided is suitable. Yes, "abusive" may not be the best term to describe them, but I don't think anything about the question is vague.

2

Yes.

Quoting the top-voted answer by @DCShannon in the last meta post about this issue - Do we want to support “Is there a term for x” questions?

I'm having trouble understanding the motivation for limiting ourselves here.

As always, if a specific question doesn't have enough information to answer it, then close it for being unclear.

If the question clearly describes the concept, and it's a gaming concept, then who better to say whether there's a term for it, and what that term is, than the people that play games all the time?

If you insist that questions need to solve objective, practical problems, then these questions would solve the problem of the asker not knowing how to effectively communicate with other gamers about the games that they play:

"Hey, I'm missing something on my screen." "What?" "The... y'know, when you attack." "What are you talking about?" "It's all around when you attack things, letting you know how it went." "Whatever man, I'm busy."

or

"I'm missing the damage numbers. How do I turn those on?" "Go to your settings and enable damage text."


Reviewing the last relevant meta post about our current policy - Do we want to support “Is there a term for x” questions?

The two top-voted answers in that meta post are:

  1. The answer by DCShannon saying: Yes. (currently at 20 votes)
  2. The answer by badp saying: No. Only questions that ask to define a term in the context of a single game should be allowed. (currently at 17 votes)
No community consensus

There has been no community consensus in that meta post for years now. DCShannon's "yes" answer has had a few more votes than badp's "no" answer for years and not just a few months or weeks ago. See this SEDE query with the scores over time (credits to @Schism for providing the SEDE query in their comment). Notice that for most of the meta post's existence, the two answers were voted to near parity (i.e., no consensus).

I'm wondering why the answer with the lesser votes to the relevant meta post is the policy, when there was no consensus in the first place.

Tag wiki policy information should be based on community consensus

Related meta post: Should a question be closed because it does not align with a tag’s wiki?

At the time Wrigglenite edited the tag wiki to explicitly mention the current policy (on Sept. 11, 2018), the scores were +22/-6 (yes) and +24/-4 (no). Even at that time, (almost 3 years ago) there was no consensus. I believe that edit shouldn't have been made in the first place.

Later on (in June 2020), pppery suggested an edit (that got approved) removing that part stating correctly that "there does not appear to be consensus for this rule." This edit was later rolled back by Frank, with no reason stated for the rollback.

Policy suggestion not followed properly

badp's answer (the current policy) states that only questions that ask to define a term in the context of a single game should be allowed. Multiple examples are given at the start of their answer.

Currently, most of the questions with the tag will be off-topic if that policy suggestion is implemented. Most questions tagged with apply to all games or to a broad game genre. The policy suggestion is not even followed properly.

Conclusion

The current policy is not based on community consensus in a meta post, and worse, is based on the answer with the lesser votes (whose policy suggestion is not even followed properly). So, I'm saying yes, we should change our policy because it shouldn't have been the policy in the first place.

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In my humble opinion, this category is likely to illicit lower quality (or at least less interesting) questions, but I don't think they'll be such low quality as to be a nuisance. The potential for great answers somewhat blunts that concern anyways. I would foresee most of these questions having objective answers, and those that need subjective answers would fall towards the good-subjective end of the spectrum.

I think we should just rely on our normal quality standards for deciding if these types of questions should be closed or remain open, not make the entire category off-topic.

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No.

To align with the 'no game identification except if you have some very precice information' directive, I would say the ­terminology tag works in the way of explaining a term, not giving a loose description and getting the term as an answer.

So a question like the one asked in the post would be off topic. But a question like this would be on topic What does BM stand for in Gaming?

-4

I recommend leaving the policy

I'm providing this opinion as someone with minimal experience on Arqade, but I was trying to understand what compelled the creation of this policy. In doing so, I reviewed the original meta question you cited plus the multiple example questions in that meta.

As someone who is not an expert on Arqade, but who is very familiar with a lot of video games and general SE question criteria, I would strongly recommend retaining your policy. The questions that the original meta question cite are of a nature that I'd say none could be answered definitively as the original querent is coming from a place of ignorance that's often inhibiting them from progressing on researching their answer and which would be better resolved via chat or on a forum.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, indeed, not all questions are suitable for SE format. And this isn't the fault of the querents, but the bulk of their problems stem from a lack of sufficient knowledge which is inhibiting them from asking a question. The solution to this is usually a discussion, the end result of which will either answer their question or arm them with sufficient knowledge to write a better question.

-5

It's been weeks, and this question is featured, but with no apparent consensus formed.

I'm leaving this answer here simply to allow the community to vote to keep the current policy:

  • "What does X mean?" is allowed. For example, you may ask what "bunny hopping" is.
  • "Is there a term for Y?" is off-topic. For example, you may not ask if there's a word to describe firing ordinance at the ground, and using the explosion to elevate yourself.

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