After editing, this question makes it clear that it is about Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game, the 2010 version from Fantasy Flight Games, not the 2002 version (the rather similarly named Sid Meier's Civilization: The Boardgame).

As aramis points out in the comments, there are a fair few games called Civilization, so disambiguation is likely to be an ongoing concern.

Clearly it needs a tag, but what should the tag be called?

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Unless there are two questions on any game, it doesn't really need a tag as it will get removed automatically by the system after a period of time.

For those two, we might need to go with and .

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I believe that tags should be used to classify, not to identify. This is one reason why tags would be removed from the system if they're not joining questions.

Things to consider about tagging are the usage patterns. I can see three usage patterns for tags:

  1. Looking at the tags on a question to help figure out the question (e.g. which civ game are they talking about?)
  2. Selecting questions based on tags (e.g. search results of a tag, or filtering out questions based on tags)
  3. Selecting appropriate tags for a question.

So, consider two different tagging schemes, for the proposed question:

A. 1 tag per game



B. No unique tag per game, but a unique collection (if known)

[civilization] [glenn-drover] [eagle-games] [2002],

[civilization] [kevin-wilson] [fantasy-slight] [2010]

How do these stack up on the three use cases?

1A. If I know the publication date of the game I'm familiar with, then I'll know that it matches or doesn't match the game I'm thinking of. Otherwise, this doesn't help me know.

1B. If I know any of the publisher, designer, date, etc. of the game, then I'll know if it matches or not the game I'm thinking of.

2A. I have only 1 tag to search or filter on, and I, again, must know the game based on date.

2B. I can search or filter on a wider range of games.

3A. I need to know the publication date of the game in order to tag the question. This may be difficult to obtain.

3B. To tag the question, I only give what I know about the game (designer, publisher, date, etc.) and it's also allowed to leave it ambiguous. In an ambiguous state it's still useful for searching and filtering and even disambiguation, even if not complete.

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  • Very interesting. My first concern is that using 4 tags per game seems like a lot, and doesn't leave a lot of room for tags for other reasons. – Pat Ludwig Dec 30 '11 at 5:24
  • What's the maximum # of tags? I'm trying to maximize utility here. – Neal Tibrewala Dec 30 '11 at 7:49
  • 5 or 10 depending on who you ask. Either way, it gets used up fast when talking about multiple games, or say, a game and its expansions. – Pat Ludwig Dec 30 '11 at 16:30
  • Well, part of my point is that all the tags aren't required. I'd probably leave out the date, as I think it's less useful as a "classification". Basically, you can classify just the question using tags, or you can classify the question and the game it's about using the tags. Consider how useful a search like "strategy"+"martin wallace" would be when trying to figure out techniques for a brand new martin wallace game (this is under the assumption that game designers tend to have favorite mechanics) – Neal Tibrewala Dec 30 '11 at 20:34
  • Let's see what other folks think. This would be a big change and set forth a tide of people editing nearly every question. – Pat Ludwig Dec 30 '11 at 20:36
  • wouldn't this only change questions with games that have the same name? I'm not suggesting we remove game-specific tags entirely, just that we treat the tag like a 'name' instead of a unique-id, and use additional tags to disambiguate (while adding utility) – Neal Tibrewala Dec 30 '11 at 22:09
  • once a few questions get retagged in this style, it seems only logical that it be extended to other questions (that may not need disambiguation). I don't see an easy way to tell people not to do that (and enforce it). Taken to the extreme, most questions on the site get edited for tags within a few weeks. – Pat Ludwig Dec 30 '11 at 22:22

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