I asked a while ago a question about whether we needed the tag for chess, and the community felt that, yes, we needed the tag.

Tags being there to help users find interesting question, I see often new game devs asking questions about 'simple' games such as 'pong', 'breakout', 'snake' and 'pac-man', and I often feel that they could have searched a bit more before asking their question.

To help these new game developers find more resources on this site, should we introduce tags for 'simple' games such as:


I generally don't think we should introduce tags just because we have similar tags, but instead we should let those tags show up organically as actual questions are asked where they are the best fitting tag for the specific question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ By that you don't mean that "these tags should not be used at all", but rather if someone asks about it and tags the question as such, and it fits the question, "sure, let them have it", is that it? \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt May 10 '17 at 10:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's basically it, yes. I especially don't think it's particularly worthwhile to go back and mass retag existing questions; it seems like a lot of work to look at every question containing the word "pong" and decide if that question fundamentally needs a pong tag or if that's ancillary to the real question, et cetera. \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 May 10 '17 at 13:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Doesn't retagging also churns old questions back to the front page? \$\endgroup\$ – Pikalek May 11 '17 at 20:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Pikalek Most methods of updating the tags will count as "edits" and thus bring the questions to the front of the "active" view, yes (which isn't a problem or reason to avoid it, usually, but can be a little annoying for people who use the "active" view primarily). \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 May 11 '17 at 21:03

The intended use of tags is to represent a category that might attract specific experts. I can see how would be worth a tag; chess is a very complicated game, and as such, I would expect that there could be some experts in chess game development.

In contrast, I do not perceive the likes of pac-man, breakout, pong and arknoid to be as complex to warrant expertise specific to these games. In fact, I see some potential issues with the way two of the proposed tags have been used, so far:

  • has currently only been used on two duplicate questions. They both roughly ask 'can I make a legal Tetris clone'. I would not expect a tetris expert to be as reliable in answering these sort of questions as I would a legal expert. In these cases, appears to be a metatag, and should be removed.
  • has currently only been used on a handful of questions. They all appear to specifically ask in regards to completing a mechanic for snake, specific to the developing platform that particular user is using. Once again, I would not expect a snake expert to be able to reliably answer questions pertaining to any random development platform. I would expect the expert in that development platform to offer the reliable answers. As such, once again, I consider this tag to mostly (if not, completely) be used as a metatag.

I am therefore against creating tags for the further mentioned 'beginner games'. If new developers look for resources, they are likely more interested in finding said resources relevant to their platform, regardless.

I would also suggest we consider whether we need the or tags. I am on the fence, on this matter, but there seems to be a clear misuse thus far. At best, they need a clear usage guideline.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think it's because a game is 'simple' that it prevents developers from being 'experts' in these games. If a developer has successfully released a snake game, they might want to help others with the big issues that new developers face (which are simple issues for more advanced developers). \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt May 10 '17 at 10:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, if a developer has appropriately released a Tetris game, they are more likely versed in the legality of it than a developer who has not, as tetris has a particular aspect to it. In any case, they'll have to consult with a legal expert before releasing the game. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt May 10 '17 at 10:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlexandreVaillancourt, that involves quite a few assumptions. The notion stands; I'm listening to a legal expert before I listen to a particular title expert in regards to the legal aspects of that title. Furthermore, you can release a million snake games on one platform, and still easily be oblivious to how you would perform even the most basic functionality on an alternate platform you have never used. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock May 10 '17 at 10:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ "and still easily be oblivious to how you would perform even the most basic functionality on an alternate platform you have never used." This is also assuming a lot of things. I've never really done anything with Unity, but it's the 3rd tag on which I have the most upvotes. The tags are there to help users answer questions; if the question is about the mechanic of a snake in a snake game, a non-expert c# programmer could come up with a perfect snake algorithm written in non-perfect c# and still answer the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt May 10 '17 at 11:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the question is about a language issue, but is tagged 'snake', then perhaps the 'snake' tag is meta and should be removed from the question. But that's an issue with all the questions, not specifically with the tags proposed here. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt May 10 '17 at 11:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tetris is NP complete & there are experts that grapple w/ the related consequences of that, so the capacity for expert questions exists. To date, no such questions have surfaced here, & the potential for such questions isn't necessarily grounds for keeping the tag; I do agree that thus far, it's been used as a meta tag. \$\endgroup\$ – Pikalek May 10 '17 at 15:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ likewise, if a tag is currently only usable as a meta tag, it currently has no value on this site. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock May 11 '17 at 1:12

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