The tag game-systems is apparently a synonym for game-recommendations. I think that this should be changed is self-evident. Please fix this.


2 Answers 2


I'm in favour of doing the following:

  • Remove the synonym. There's no reason nowadays has to be a synonym of anything, and "game systems" doesn't mean "game recommendation" so the synonym doesn't make much sense.
  • Do nothing else special with it. We don't need to burn it or encourage its usage or anything — just remove the synonym then let it be a normal ordinary nonexistent tag with no special attention.

After that we let people figure out whether they'd like to use it for anything per normal. If nobody uses it then there is no harm done. If people find a good usage for it, great. If people find a bad usage for it we can address that then per ordinary protocol: correct its usage, discuss it on meta, burninate and/or blacklist it, whatever. That's a bridge we'll cross when we come to it.

Whilst I acknowledge SevenSidedDie might not see a legitimate usage for the tag, I see that as a wholly separate and unrelated matter to whether or not this tag should be a synonym.


I don't think we have a valid use case for the tag as a non-synonym, and without a use case there's no compelling reason to un-synonym it.

I think it's too generic to be useful

The question that prompted this currently has tag “types” of (generic-campaign-setting-tag)(specific-system)(main-Q-subject)(specific-system).

Just like a question about the Forgotten Realms with doesn't also need , that question doesn't seem to need us to have a tag to allow adding a “(generic-game-system-tag)” to it.

There's almost no attempted usage over 7 years

Further data on whether we have a valid use case, historical usage shows near-zero demand for the tag:

  • Before being made a synonym, had near-zero usage and all its uses ([1], [2]) were of the the kind described above: a superfluous tag that wasn't doing any useful work for us.
  • After being made a synonym early in the site's life (~6 years ago, April 2011), it has only ever been selected for a new question once before today's question. (See the ‘2’ in the “Renames” column beside in the list of tag synonyms.)

So, there does not seem to ever have been much call for the tag. That doesn't surprise me since it seems like it's a superfluous tag in meaning and historical usage.

As far as I can see, we just don't have any questions, or any potential future questions, that would be correctly tagged with . Seems like such a question is either properly tagged with a specific system's tag instead and only, or that such a question would be asking for game recs and be off topic anyway. Lacking questions that are properly tagged with it, we would have no need for the tag.

What to do with it

Of the three options I can see, I'm okay with (1) and (2):

  1. Leave it as-is, because what ain't broken doesn't need fixing. This has the virtue of keeping a tag that I think is hopelessly generic from getting used, and there's some logic (if you squint only a bit) for it being a synonym of .

  2. Unlink it as a synonym and ignore it, thereby effectively burning the tag.

    It is somewhat unclear why it was made a synonym in the first place. Being a low-use tag on non-rec questions, it's a slightly odd decision. It was done by a mod pro-tempore before we had elections, and there doesn't appear to be any discussion on meta that might illuminate the reasons. Then again, as a site we were still figuring out how to make this whole thing “go”, so maybe it's not that odd.

  3. Unlink it as a synonym and encourage its use as a master tag.

    Because of being hopelessly generic and there being no real demand, I don't think this is a course to take.

As I said, I'm okay with either (1) or (2), with a slight preference for (1) because it's less intervention to do and the situation's been fine for about six years.

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    \$\begingroup\$ We could however still un-synonym it because it's not really a synonym, and then like ... let it be dead. Or see if people find anything like a decent usage for it. If nobody uses it, all's fine; if we use it well, also good; if we use it poorly, burninate and (if necessary) blacklist. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 24, 2017 at 12:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ every single use of [game-systems] will be terrible, it's a synonym of [rules] if nothing else. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Aug 24, 2017 at 18:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ I could go either way, though I'm more strongly of the opinion that it's a bad tag, so I prefer leaving it as-is, or unlinking and pro-actively treating it as a bad/burnable tag. (Post updated.) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25, 2017 at 1:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question is basically 'is X a game system or a campaign setting?' If X was Forgotten Realms I'd still want a 'systems' tag or some such since the question is about what constitutes a system. I guess I can't really think of anything besides "Is X a game system" "What is the difference between an X and a game system" (where X would be, like, 'a campaign setting' or 'an expansion' or 'an optional replacement combat system' or w/e), and 'What is an RPG system?' as questions properly tagged with it, though, so maybe it's ok just to ban it. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25, 2017 at 9:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ The only one that wouldn't really be able to use any other tags is the last one and you could BS a game-design or theory reason for asking and then tag it for that, as a legal fiction. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25, 2017 at 9:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer What comes to mind as potential legitimate uses of the game-system tags is high-level game theory & game design questions. (On the other hand we don't need the tag for them, since we've got theory & game design tags.) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25, 2017 at 11:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer I do see that thinking — it's a legitimate categorisation division. The trouble I'm seeing is practical: while it's a nice logical binary, in practice we have (near?) zero questions that would usefully be tagged with [game-systems], despite logically it being a pleasing flip-side to [campaign-settings]. (Meanwhile we have lots of usage for the latter.) Practical usage is the alpha and omega of tagging, so without practical usage needs, the logical isn't material. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25, 2017 at 15:26

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