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A couple months ago, David Fullerton posted a proposed new name for gaming.stackexchange.com: Game Council (see this post for details). Some members of the community supported the name, others were indifferent, and a few opposed it. We took these suggestions into consideration, and have gone through several rounds of brainstorming to try to come up with alternatives. Unfortunately, many of our ideas for new domain names are unavailable. Because of that, we decided to take a step back and develop a set of criteria for what a domain name should have. Here is what we came up with:

Criteria for a domain name

These are basically non-negotiable:

  • It must be available (can be parked, blank, backordered, but can't have a website attached to it)
  • It must be a .com (no .net, .co, etc., unless it's "really awesome" (but no .ly))
  • It must not be associated with a trademark (for example, stagesix.com is not associated with a website, but stage6 is associated with DivX)
  • It must not contain hyphens or other similar characters

These are things an ideal name would have, but are a bit more flexible:

  • It should convey the idea of Q&A, advice, knowledge, or community
  • It should suggest gaming, or something related to gaming (e.g. levels, playing, quests...)
  • The Twitter handle should be available
  • It should be memorable - ideally a strong visual brand can be created around it

We believe that Game Council (gamecouncil.com) basically fits all of these criteria. However, we want to give all of you one more chance to suggest names, with these criteria in mind. To do so, we are going to take a new approach: I created a chat room called Naming for Gaming that will be open until the end of next week (Friday 5/4). Between now and then, feel free to go into that chat room and suggest names.

Here are the rules for participating in this chat room and making suggestions:

  • Please make sure that your suggestion fits the criteria above.
  • In general, this chat room is not for discussion. You should only use the chat room to make suggestions. However, we will have 2 designated discussion times on Wednesday 5/2 at 3 pm and Thursday 5/3 at 3 pm (EST). If you want to have a lengthier discussion about this process, a certain name, or anything else, feel free to pop into the chat room at either of those times.
  • If you like a certain suggestion, star it to ensure that it gets our attention.
  • While we will take your suggestions into consideration (and maybe even use one of them!), the final decision is up to Stack Exchange. If someone suggestions a name that fits all of the criteria, we may use it. If not, we will go with Game Council.
  • By making a suggestion, you agree that we are free to use it. You won't be compensated for the suggestions you make, regardless of whether we choose to use it.

For your reference, we have gone through a round of suggestions from the community before. You can see the post here. Unfortunately, although some of the suggestions were great, none of the ones that fit the criteria above were available.

This is an exciting time for Gaming.SE. The site has grown so much in the past few months and the community is so engaged, that the next step is to start promoting the site to new audiences. To do that, we need a strong brand to work with. Hopefully after this next week, we will have it!

closed as too localized by Invader Skoodge, badp Jun 29 '12 at 14:52

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    I disagree with the idea that it should convey Q&A and/or gaming. We can make it do that by building a memorable brand image. Look at "Kotaku". What in the crap does that mean? But everyone knows what Kotaku is now because they built an image. The name does not necessarily need to be informative; it need only be memorable. – Invader Skoodge Apr 26 '12 at 18:09
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    Could we please stop linking deleted questions and act like they aren't? I really don't want to beg somebody to copy & paste it for me each time :( – CruelCow Apr 26 '12 at 18:25
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    @CruelCow I undeleted it. – Adam Lear Apr 26 '12 at 18:31
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    @StrixVaria read that with the emphasis on should, as opposed to must. The must criteria are non-negotiable. The should criteria are more flexible, and are basically points in its favor if it has them. Update: I tweaked the post to make this more obvious. – David Fullerton Apr 26 '12 at 18:59
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    @DavidFullerton What is the reasoning behind mandating .com ? Consistency? Legal Issues? – Raven Dreamer Apr 26 '12 at 20:15
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    @RavenDreamer I would assume it's the fact that people default to .com and think it's somehow reputable. Dot-coms get all the attention. – Matthew Read Apr 26 '12 at 20:56
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    Sorry, tried to edit this in but missed the 5 minute timer. I think most people agree with me. While this post states 'a few opposed it', if you actually look at the last linked question the top two questions (with vastly more votes than the others) both state that it's an awful name and we shouldn't use it. I agree with the motivations here, and I realize this is an incredibly difficult set of criteria to fulfill...but I personally feel we're better off staying where we are than going with a bad name. Especially one that can be downright misleading about the way the site works. – Shinrai Apr 27 '12 at 14:22
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    @Shinrai meta participation is not a representative sample at any rate. – Raven Dreamer Apr 27 '12 at 17:44
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    @RavenDreamer - I see Ben Brocka's post (which says he doesn't like it because it doesn't represent the site properly) at a score of 55 and Matthew Read's post (which says he doesn't like it for several reasons) at a score of 34. So actually closer to 90. – Shinrai Apr 27 '12 at 18:25
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    "A few opposed it" yeah right. – kotekzot Apr 27 '12 at 18:27
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    @Shinrai It could be at most 90, but there's no reason to assume that some of the 55 on Ben Brocka aren't a superset of the 34 on Matthew Read. – Raven Dreamer Apr 27 '12 at 19:30
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    Agreed with Raven, but also agreed with Shinrai that "some supported, a few opposed" is technically true but obviously misleading. "There was disagreement about the name" would be a better statement; it avoids owning up to the poor reception without putting a spin on it. – Matthew Read Apr 27 '12 at 19:33
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    Yes, and people may have voted because of the arguments, rather than because of their individual preference re: the name. – Raven Dreamer Apr 27 '12 at 19:40
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    @MatthewRead owning up to bad decisions is a virtue. I hate it when people in power try to create a false consensus to avoid responsibility. Only 12 people voted for StrixVaria's answer, which was the only one that mentioned liking the name. A bunch of people voted for "whatever, let's get it done with" answers, and a bunch voted for "worst name ever" answers. – kotekzot Apr 27 '12 at 22:10
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    so what's the verdict? :) – l I May 7 '12 at 21:48
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Should the ".com" only restriction be absolute? What about domain name hacks (youtu.be, etc.)? They seem to be increasingly common nowadays, usually for URL shortening but occasionally for the whole brand (o.co).

I think the major pitfall here can be the extreme cost to register certain TLDs versus the banal .com/.net/etc., but that could be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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    If you have a non .com suggestion that you feel would be particularly awesome, throw it out in the chat. But in general, we are pretty set on it being a .com. – Lauren May 2 '12 at 18:55
  • What would the chances be of getting a Swedish country code TLD (.se) be? It just feels natural now. – MBraedley May 8 '12 at 22:26

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