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So I've been browsing Board & Card Games for a while now, I've used it to ask many questions and try to help when I can. I've noticed that Magic The Gathering is probably around 75% of the content on this site. Should this warrant a separate site specifically for MTG?

Disclaimer: I love MTG also, it's just that it seems to overshadow the rest of the games out there.

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    This was proposed recently and declined as 'This proposal would tend to drain audience from an existing Stack Exchange site.' – diego Sep 21 '16 at 19:13
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    Also I know it seems like Magic is a lot of our content, but questions tagged magic-the-gathering are only about 30% of the questions on the site (2215 out of 7212). – diego Sep 21 '16 at 19:15
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    @diego: Ok thanks for that, I searched quickly and didn't see this proposal. I agree that draining users from one site to another isn't optimal. Also, I didn't do the math, just based on personal opinion of what shows up. Thanks for the info. – IronWilliamCash Sep 21 '16 at 20:21
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    One other thing we have to take into account is that this site has a large established base of users, reputation, and duplicate closure targets in the magic-the-gathering tag. – murgatroid99 Sep 21 '16 at 22:50
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Good question!

There are reasonable criteria for suggesting that Magic should have its own Stack Exchange — such as a desire to attract a community of Magic-focused players who don't identify with the "board games" label — but, from the perspective of this site, its presence isn't a problem.

Here's my argument for why that's the case:

1. Magic isn't drowning out the other content.

For example, I've got Magic as a favorite tag, so here's the front page for me right now:

B&CG SE front page screenshot, 9/22/2016, with 4 Magic questions out of 11 questions total highlighted

That's about a third of the content. Someone who's not a fan of the game might grumble a little, but if they block the tag they'll easily be able to browse the site and see questions they're more interested in.

In contrast, over on RPG Stack Exchange, I've got tags related to D&D/D20 (D&D3.5, Pathfinder, D20 system, D&D4, D&D5) on my ignore list, and here's where that gets me:

RPG SE front page screenshot, 9/22/2016, with 15 D&D-related questions out of 16 questions total greyed out

This is what actually dominating the content looks like.

So why doesn't D&D have its own Stack Exchange, then? Well, that brings us to our next point...

2. In the view of this site, Magic is a part of the broader "board games" ecosystem and community.

A lot of the board-game questions are about what you could call "designer board games" or "hobby board games" — board games that appeal to fairly dedicated players, who enjoy them as a hobby above and beyond the average person's exposure to board games. Many people in that community have played Magic, whether casually or devotedly. Many hobby board game shops are only able to survive because they sell Magic products and run Magic events to get people into the stores.

There's some tradeoffs there: some folks will argue that you could build a bigger or better community if you focused on Magic players who think of themselves exclusively as Magic players. But this site does clearly demonstrate that "board-games" people are happy to ask and answer Magic questions.

And that overlap means that...

3. Magic questions help us get answers to other questions.

By its nature, B&CG isn't a site that attracts a lot of "generic" questions. (There are some: about how to design games, about customizing game components such as miniatures, about structuring board game tournaments.)

It's actually really, really helpful to have a popular game or two that create a constant trickle of questions. Because it means a significant portion of the "expert" user base has something to do on the site every week. This keeps them coming back so they're around when questions about other areas of expertise arise.

Like, imagine you have a user who's really knowledgeable about Magic, Carcassone, Netrunner, and historical recreations of ancient board games. Having that user regularly visit to answer, vote on, or just skim the Magic questions means their eyes are there when questions about the rarer topics come up.

It's similar to how Java and C++ constitute a huge volume of Stackoverflow questions, but splitting either into its own site would hurt Stackoverflow because the people answering Java or C++ questions are also there answering questions about more specialized or esoteric topics. Just like lots of experienced programmers know and care about Java and C++, lots of experienced board-games players know and care about Magic.


Note that I'm not addressing the perspective of a different site. I'm sure there are arguments for why a unique Magic site might be great for that site and its prospective community (you can read them on Area 51, probably). But the key question here is "Is Magic bringing B&CG SE down?" And the answer is, "You can rest easy, because it's actually lifting it up!"

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    Thanks for your response, very helpful insight on why it should stay. I'm new to the "meta" part of stack-exchange and this was very helpful in understanding the way it works. – IronWilliamCash Sep 22 '16 at 20:26
  • "Magic isn't drowning out the other content." It certainly feels that way ;) – Pod Oct 10 '16 at 9:35
  • @Pod If you ever feel like the content that you care about is being drowned out, there is an easy solution. You have the ability to filter your search by tag. Add the tags that you care about to your "Favorite Tags", and you will forever be able to find those questions with a single click. Add the tag to your "Ignored Tags" and check the "Hide ignored tags" box, and you will never see those questions again. – Rainbolt Oct 19 '16 at 18:01
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Alex P answered this well, but I thought some might appreciate the historical context. There have been attempts, as described in the history of this site:

What is the history of game stacks on Stack Exchange?

Note that there was a MtG-only site using Stack Exchange 1.0, then 2.0 software. It closed in February 2014 due declining activity.

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