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Right now these two tags have significant overlap, in that they both 100% equally apply to "I'm teaching a system to players for the first time" questions, with no distinction I can see between them to help choose the right tag.

  • : "Players new to a specific system or to RPGs in general."
  • : "Information, methods and tools for introducing GMs and players to a system and to help them pick it up."

Those are just the tag wiki excerpts (the popup when you hover over the tags in the tag chooser), but it illustrates the overlap nicely and the full tag wikis don't lessen the overlap.

Can we figure out how to separate these two tags into distinct usages, so we can unambiguously say that this question takes one and that question takes the other?


A working example:

I just retagged this question to have instead of , and only after noticed that wasn't actually wrong according to its usage notes. It's a nice clean example question that should only take one tag or the other and I have no idea which.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ My first reaction was: "We can probably just make system-introduction a synonym", but some of those questions definitely are system-introduction and aren't new-players. Which is a longwinded way of saying I have no idea. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Nov 13 '14 at 2:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman Yeah, they're not synonyms of each other, they each cover some different territory. But there are questions that don't use that different territory at all, where what element of the question that one tag actually covers is identical and redundant to the other tag. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 13 '14 at 5:28
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You would use [new-players] when you have new players. This can mean brand new to gaming, or new to your group, or whatever. You would use [system-introduction] when introducing a new system. You may be doing one or both at any given time. Therefore one or both tags may be appropriate. If you're dealing with brand new players on their first system, then I'd tend toward new-players and not system-introduction just because the latter has a slight connotation of not really applying to a bunch of new players' first game, but I see no reason to mandate it one way or the another or to fret over it.

Tagging is an emergent folksonomy. It does not need to be a strict logically correct hierarchy and overlap between two tags is not something we must do something about. Let people use the tags they find helpful and make sense to them. Overly curated tagging is IMO harmful to the point behind them and turns it into an advanced-users-only Dewey Decimal system instead of just letting people use terms that are meaningful to normal players.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The impression I get from your first two sentences is that you don't see [new-players] as really applying when the situation is "I'm introducing my existing group to a new system." Am I reading that right? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 15 '14 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, if we want a distinction I'd make the first one social and the second one system. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Nov 15 '14 at 21:54
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That question you linked can be tagged with both, because it's about both. Like mxyzplk pointed out, if the tags have overlap that's okay. Remember we have [magic] and [spells] too, and we manage having those just fine.

Rest assured the [system-introduction] tag does have its own unique use: for when someone needs an introduction to a system, or is introducing others to it. That's distinct from [new-players], and it's possible to have questions tagged only [system-introduction] or only [new-players].

I used [system-introduction] a lot during my partial burnination of new-gm, for instance. There were a lot of [new-gm] questions saying "I am totally new, please give me a basic rundown on this system" (or "a rundown on this part of the system"), and "I am new, also here is my question" is the exact kind of meta-tag usage I was targeting. I retagged these to just [system-introduction].

If it helps, here's unambiguous usage guidelines:

As you can see, not every type of system introduction question is about new players and deserves a new-players tag. And as you can see from a search, a lot of questions about new players have nothing to do with introducing them to a system.

But when a question's about an introduction for new players, it should totally have both tags. And that's ok.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not the places where they don't overlap, it's where they both make equal claim to a category of question. In this category of question, their other non-overlapping meanings aren't in play. They both claim to be, paraphrasing: "for questions about players new to a system". They shouldn't both make that claim, or we end up double-tagging a certain category of question, with no difference in what each tag contributes to the metadata, because, for those questions, there is no distinction in how the tags ask to be used. If there are nuances of difference, their usage notes should say what. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 13 '14 at 4:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ I get where you're coming from, but a particular category of question needing both tags is business as usual. A [system-introduction] for [new-players] needs both tags just like [game-design] for [magic] or [optimisation] for [dnd-3.5e]. Bear in mind that although [system-introduction] necessitates someone being new and inexperienced, it does not necessarily mean the [new-players] tag is appropriate - it often isn't, because it's often a question of the format "I am new, please explain a thing", where [new-players] would be a meta tag and inappropriate. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 13 '14 at 4:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I've expanded a lot on my answer, in case it helps you wrap your head around it. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 13 '14 at 5:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not talking about needing both tags though. I'm talking about questions where each tag adds literally nothing that the other tag doesn't, where they're interchangeable and the second adds nothing to the metadata. That's unusual among our tags. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 13 '14 at 5:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Coming from tags as a means of categorisation, I'm not sure that matters. Consider the cases where we tag fate and fate core, gurps and gurps 4e, or magic and spells. In all cases, the first of those tags isn't strictly needed, but absolutely helpful in categorisation. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 13 '14 at 5:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's a good comparison. "Which tag is right here?! Eh, whichever. Either or both gets the job done." \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 13 '14 at 15:49

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