I noticed a question that uses the tag, and out of interest, I clicked on the tag to look at the other questions.

Here they are, in full:

History shows that this tag has very limited use. While the question range is limited, they have also mostly been closed. This leads me to two assumptions:

If we delete the tag, we would only need to cater to two of the questions, as only two only feature this tag:

  • What is a good book on gamification? speaks for itself. We have a recommendation request that has not received any real traffic. This question could simply be deleted.
  • Bartle taxonomy formula appears to be the one exception to the pattern of questions being closed. We would need to determine an alternate tag to use, though I do not feel I know enough about the subject to offer a good suggestions. That said, brief research tells me that it relates to a classification of players. I do not understand how this actually relates to gamification, in the first place.

If we improve the usage guidelines, perhaps we should include a disclaimer to warn user's that this tag is commonly associated with off-topic questions, and to ensure their question meets our question guidelines?

For a point of reference, here is the excerpt:

Gamification is the application of gaming elements to non-gaming contexts.

Here is the body:

Gamification refers to the process of applying mechanics and elements typically employed in games to non-game contexts, often with the goal of increasing engagement or interest in something.

This tag should be used for questions about the process or mechanics behind gamification of some subject matter.

Perhaps we should focus more on the correct use of the tag, rather than an explanation of the term. I feel that linking to the Wikipedia page, alone, is enough to invite users to conduct their own research into the definition of gamification.



2 Answers 2


Just because we haven't gotten many reasonable questions yet isn't reason enough to blacklist the tag. Low-usage or incorrect usage don't make a tag eligible for blacklist, deleting, et cetera. They are sometimes factors in how quickly we process a decision to blacklist a tag, but they aren't usually problems with the tag itself.

Gamification as a topic is acceptable here, and will remain on-topic until somebody makes a meta post that provides some fairly compelling evidence that the topic is detrimental or otherwise out-of-scope for the site. So the tag has to stay, because there's otherwise no other mechanism to label questions about the subject.

From the looks of it, the tag's description and wiki both look fine. I don't really see a point to including any kind of "questions with this tag are often off-topic" notice in the tag because

  • The questions using it that were off-topic were not off-topic because they were about gamification; two were off-topic because they're asking for lists of things (book and reference resources) or were hugely open-ended.
  • We don't actually have a problem with people asking off-topic questions about gamification. Three off-topic question is not an alarming trend.
  • It creates undue prejudice against the topic for no other apparent reason than it's low-traffic. This is a slippery slope.
  • I very much doubt anybody who is interested in using the tag on a new question will read or notice it anyway.
  • \$\begingroup\$ You make some good points in regards to clarifying the tag. I previously backflipped on delete vs clarify, in part due to the other answer, in part due to your clarification of "blacklisting". However, I am content with this answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gnemlock
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 6:37

Remove the tag

Gamification is all about applying game-like mechanics on things that are not games. This should make it off topic, as it's not about making games.

By the way, the Bartle question is mistagged; I've made an attempt to replace it have replaced it with more appropriate tags - it's not about gamification.


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