11

Tagging here on Gaming is problematic, it's the subject of frequent debates and rants, and nobody is really satisfied by the status quo. Our subject just doesn't fit very well into the simple and general tagging system common to all SE sites.

Instead of trying to get the square peg into a round hole just by hammering harder (with the occasional, desperate use of power tools and explosives), the better solution would be to add an organizational system that fits to the specific needs of our subject.

The fundamental organizational principle here are the games themselves, the vast majority of questions can be just tagged with one specific game, and it's an unambiguous and extremely useful categorization. But games are not first-class citizens here, tags are the main organizational principle.

I propose that the top-level "tags" tab is replaced by a "games" tab, while tags would still exist the main organizational unit would be a game. The games page could display a nice list of games with icons/cover art and e.g. sorting by release date or other game specific information like genre. This would also be an opportunity to put up referral links to buy the games like SO does with books on Amazon.

Tags would still exist, but each game would have a separate hierarchy of tags, avoiding our ugly hacks along the lines of and similar tags. This would enable us to finally come up with game-specific tagging schemes that are actually useful without causing all kinds of other problems.

The tag wiki could become more of an organizational focus when we actually have subtags for a game that provide some structure to our questions. It could outline the basic structure of our tags for that game, making it easier for users to find stuff and documenting the game-specific tagging structure at the same time.

Now, this whole idea has probably no chance of being implemented this way. Maintaining a completely separate system for just one site adds a significant maintanance burden. But there might be some ways to at least fake some of this user experience without having to completely redo the tagging system. And with the Diablo 3 craze right now we're the 3rd largest SE site right now, so we might be on the way of getting big enough to justify some custom development in that area.

  • 1
    How would this deal with questions that are not about individual games or even series? – murgatroid99 May 23 '12 at 20:34
  • I did leave that out as I haven't had any good idea on how to handle that so far. The series concept could be integrated into that, though it would make it even more complicated. There would probably still need to be a page of non-game tags, maybe as a subpage of the main "games" page. – Mad Scientist May 23 '12 at 20:36
  • 5
    Holy crap you scared me. With the new name, I was thinking "how on earth did someone get to 22.1k without me noticing!??" – Invader Skoodge May 23 '12 at 20:37
  • 1
    A good proposal, but tagging hierarchies (which is what this would essentially be in practice), have been met with lukewarn to hostile reactions in the past, with what we're doing (e.g., [diablo-3-*]) being the suggested workflow. – user3389 May 23 '12 at 20:44
  • 1
    @MarkTrapp I'm more proposing a second, separate taxonomy instead of hierarchical tags, I don't think exactly the same problems apply here. Though I still don't expect this to be implemented. SE seems very resistant to changes in the tagging system, and I can partly understand the reluctance to change it significantly for only one site. – Mad Scientist May 23 '12 at 20:47
  • 3
    This seems similar to Make a special tag class for “game tags”. too, or at least closely related. – user3389 May 23 '12 at 20:52
  • 1
    What would be some of the key benefits of this change that warrants a huge deviation in the SE form? I like how all SE sites can be navigated in exactly the same fashion despite their content - it actually is a great design. Aside from "looking neat", what are the big wins here? Referral links can easily be put in the tag wikis already. – Resorath May 23 '12 at 22:30
  • I think this idea has merit, and the technical resources required with implementing it could be justified by the fact that there might be other sites like Sci-fi and Fantasy that should also benefit from this – Private Pansy May 31 '12 at 13:21
6

I like the suggestion, but as already stated hierarchical tagging is a no go.

I suggest to create a new tab called games.

Every game would get a nice cover, a cleaned name like "Warcraft III - The Frozen Throne" instead of the ugly and a link to the tag itself. It would create the illusion that we use individual games instead of just tags and it would look cooler than the tags tab, that would still exist.

This mapping should not be that hard to code, as it would just require a few fields in the tags table like "game-name" and "cover".

It would be even cooler if each game could have multiple tags attached, just a list no hierarchy. Just to clarify this list needs to be updated manually. While the main tag is tags like or currently non existant tags like or could be also relevant for the game.

New users would have a pretty overview of all games and it would be obvious which tags are relevant for each game.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .