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There's no specific discussion on Meta nor any mention in the tag wiki of how we should be using this tag and whether or not it's being used properly, so I wanted to discuss it here. We currently have 198 questions with the tag, and it seems like either our current policy is not being enforced or the current policy has changed, both of which should merit some discussion and/or documentation.

Current Policy

Our current standing policy regarding tagging with the platform is that we should tag it when a question is either about the platform itself, or about a property of the game that is platform-specific. While we dabbled with the idea of using platforms for sorting (fav/ignore) in the early beta days, we dismissed this because of how unwieldy it would get given the tag limit (5) and the way many games have mixed genres (3rd person action RPG tower defense!) or genres that are just plain hard to try to classify (what genre is Jetpack Joyride?).

This policy seems to have been reinforced on that question as recently as this past November.

However, we did have someone ask about an exception for iOS games on that question, which received very little attention, and in the past month, we've had several new questions being asked about iOS games where the user appended the platform tag on them.

Current Usage

These questions are, in my opinion, good examples of the tag usage under our current policy:

However, I'm not so sure about questions like this:

As you can see, we have several cases where the tag is being misused under the current policy and we've been getting more and more questions with a seemingly unnecessary tag.

What do we do?

We need to either go through and tag these properly in accordance with our current platform tagging policy, or we need to determine if we're making an exception for and then communicate that clearly through notes in the tag wiki and this discussion here.

Now, the argument that I linked earlier asking about an exception for iOS games asked for it on these grounds, bold mine:

In addition to the favorite answer, I think there should be a special case where the adding the platform can help answerers find questions more easily. I would even except an exemption for iOS only. Given that there aren't very many questions for iOS, and the games themselves are only popular for such a short time, it is very useful to be able to search just based on the platform. I think as RLH points out that this would benefit old platforms as well.

So, more generally - I suggest to add the suggestion that platforms be added when the volume of questions for the platform is low.

However, I think we run into the issues of determining a reasonable threshold for a "low" amount of questions. On the first page of tags, these platform tags are listed:

  • x595
  • x560
  • x422 (I'm treating Steam as a platform because we do require tags on questions to conform to the "platform-specific question" or "question about the platform itself" policy)
  • x363
  • x198
  • x179
  • x133

We can't determine how many of our questions are about all games on these respective platforms because we have been enforcing the policy fairly well, so many games that are multiplatform are not tagged here. game questions have an inordinate amount of (what I believe) are unnecessary tags.

I'd like to note that the same argument for games has been brought up before in the same vein as , that due to the low volume of questions asked on the platform, we should allow them for searching/favorites.

Do we need to do a massive cleanup, or do we want to re-evaluate the criteria for which we allow platform tags? Personally, I'm learning towards cleanup and more consistent reinforcement of policy, for which we'd need the help of our users who play these games in order for us to judge whether or not the platform tag is appropriate.

  • I don't have a dog in this, but I think the better argument for an exception is that the vast majority of iOS games only ever get one question asked about them. ios is still better than untagged, which is what most are doomed to, even if we drop the iOS tag from all of the Tiny Tower and Infinity Blade and what have you questions. – LessPop_MoreFizz Mar 28 '12 at 16:34
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    @LessPop_MoreFizz internally I agree with that, but externally the platform tag taking precedence over the game tag is problematic for search results – Ben Brocka Mar 28 '12 at 16:59
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    @BenBrocka When the alternative is no tag, I fail to see the issue. – LessPop_MoreFizz Mar 28 '12 at 16:59
5

My personal opinion is to keep the iOS tag around and tag one-off iOS games as simply . However, I'm all for consistency and standards so instead my suggestion is...

iOS games should be tagged with their game name, and only their platform when the issue is unique to that platform, same as every other platform tag. New users for one-off games who can't create the tag yet can use as a placeholder until a higher rep user edits in the new tag for them.

It is not a perfect system, but at least it is consistent.

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And yes, I agree clean-up and enforcement is the way to go.

  • Although it is nice to know when the game is iOS, just because I haven't heard of 99% of them due to a new game coming out every 5 seconds – Resorath Mar 28 '12 at 17:23
  • I can say the same thing for other platforms, especially when a given game isn't a AAA title. iOS just has a higher release rate. – MBraedley Mar 30 '12 at 19:00

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