In this question, two new tags were created: verisimilitude and realism. I'm not sure that we need these tags, and I highly doubt we need both. Is there a different tag they should both become synonyms of, should we synonymise one to the other, or should we leave it as is?
While both are synonyms and the argument could easily be made why one is better than the other; neither tag should be kept because both were created from whole cloth as part of a question that was ultimately closed for both being too broad (never really nailed down a system or series of systems) and too specific (real-world historical poisons knowledge) and thus outside the scope of the site. People can and will ask verisimilitude/realism questions, but since both terms are very, very vague and their application extremely system specific and tempered by personal opinion they should not exist as tags. Someone looking for answers regarding the verisimilitude of D&D's vancian casting will not be aided by the verisimilitude of Cyperpunk 126.96.36.199.'s Friday Night Firefight System.
Here's the executive summary:
No, we don't need the tag(s) now, but we should not kneecap our future selves by informally banning them either.
Here's the actual answer that leads to that conclusion.
Trying to figure out whether we need the tag(s) is a bit like asking which carriage is faster: you can't ask which carriage is faster until you put horses in front of it, and then it's really a matter of which horses are faster. So the first question that should be asked isn't whether we need the tags, it actually is:
Are questions about verisimilitude or realism on-topic?
I'd say they're on-topic yes. They are, as we would expect the terms to get used, inherently about roleplaying games and the use thereof. However, being on-topic isn't enough to make a question acceptable here. RPG plots are also on-topic, but questions about where to find lists of plots are un-acceptable for our site's scope regardless of topicality. In the case of questions about verisimilitude/realism, the most likely thing is that questions will be inherently subjective. So the second question to ask is:
Are there any questions about verisimilitude or realism that aren't Bad Subjective?
I'm fairly confident saying that not every question about verisimilitude/realism is going to be subjective in the bad way. For example, the question that inspired this isn't problematic because it's subjective, it's problematic because it's (maybe) out of scope by requiring real-world poison expertise, and (maybe) too broad for asking about poison in RPGs in general. I happen to disagree with both, but that's beside the point since the point is: neither charge is founded on it being too subjective, and that's not the sort of thing people around here are going to fail to point out when a question is being evaluated for close voting.
So, verisimilitude/realism questions are on-topic, and at least some of them are going to be acceptably objective or good subjective. That leaves a final question:
Do we need a tag(s) to describe and categorise these questions?
I'd say no, with a caveat: I wouldn't go on a witch-hunt against the tag, I wouldn't ban it. My imagination is limited by humanity so therefore my provisional "no" answer is also limited – it's entirely possible that some questions will show up that demonstrate the tag's usefulness. In that case, the site would be poorer for having, I dunno, unofficially banned it or something. We should allow it to naturally show up again so that we have the chance to see if there are any questions that prove its worth. And if there really aren't any such questions, then none will show up. So:
No, we don't need the tag. But we might need it for future questions. Leave it an open question.
That said, should the poison question be reopened, I do think it deserves one of these tags...
If we do need the tag(s), do we need both?
Why verisimilitude instead of realism as the word to keep? "Verisimilitude" means "to have the seeming of realism; to behave in a way that makes sense; to have internal fictional consistency". That's what people mean when they use "realism" in an RPG context, so even when they say "realism", they are actually meaning what the word "verisimilitude" means. Thus, that's the word we should use and synonym to.
Verisimilitude probably isn't used by folks nearly as often as realism. But instead of getting rid of verisimilitude entirely, maybe just make it a synonym for realism. That way, people searching for verisimilitude will find the relevant topics, and we can condense the two into a single category. Clearly, when people are using either of these labels, they're probably trying to accomplish the same thing.
I have removed all instances of both.
Remove verisimilitude. I've never heard it used to mean what this question indicates it means. Nobody will search for it, and frankly, I doubt anyone else will use it.
realism, on the other hand, has actual potential value as a tag, and I would like to see it stay. It's a common term for this context, and one people might actually use.
I would get rid of verisimilitude and keep realism. Its a more common, easily recognisable word that people will understand. I would query whether verisimilitude is too narrow a term - how many questions would legitimately use it as a tag? How many questioners would even consider their question needing it?
I suggest combining them into one tag. verisimilitude-realism.
Versimilitude is a very common word in some gaming circles (the ones I read), which is used instead of realism. The reason for this, is that there is nothing "realistic" about a Fantasy world.
But there is no reason to have two tags, as it's really the same idea with one using more accurate language than the other.
See this blog post for more about it: http://www.rickneal.ca/?p=308
Also this reddit thread
People are more likely to type in "realism" by hand, but by having the hyphenated tag, we can avoid such confusion or debates in the questions, trying to understand what type of "realism" the questioner is asking about.