Miniatures gaming is on-topic, which never would have occurred to me without seeing the question or reading the FAQ because it feels different from "board" games and certainly isn't a "card" game. The niche filled by this site seems to be: not computer, not RPG, but otherwise, most types of games. Would "tabletop games" (or "tabletop gaming") characterize our scope better? (This is the term I've seen used at gaming conventions that support both these and computer games.)

(This is a question-question, not an advocacy-question.)

  • possible duplicate of Is "boardgames.stackexchange.com" a suitable url for a board and CARD games site? Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 15:20
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    This answer to that question overlaps this question. I understand that URLs are harder to change and deemed "less important", which is why I asked about the name independently of the URL. If changing both is possible, then yeah this is a duplicate. If the URL is fixed, we can still talk about the name. Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 15:26
  • Definitely a valid point - the two are separated, though a fair amount of discussion on the subject of "what should our name be" occurred in that previous question. However, a name different from the URL has only really happened when that same URL is registered and redirects the user to the appropriate SE site (e.g. seasonedadvice.com goes to Cooking.SE, whose design says "Seasoned Advice"). Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 15:28
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    When I think tabletop games, I don't think of board or card games. I don't disagree that the site could use a more inclusive name, but I feel like tabletop is just as limiting as board. Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 15:59
  • @OrigamiRobot Curious, if not board and card gaming, what do you think of?
    – ghoppe
    Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 18:00
  • @ghoppe - Wargaming and/or miniatures gaming. Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 18:02
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    Analog gaming. :P
    – Aarthi
    Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 18:20
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    It's a pity that "gaming with real live people in your living room" is too long. :-) Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 18:40
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    It's video gaming's fault. It appropriated the term "games". Now we are left struggling to name what we do in a non-confusing fashion. I used to play 40K at a game store called the Fantasy Shop. Often the you would hear the manger answer the phone, "No, not that kind of fantasy shop." Basically video games should give us the name back.
    – CaulynDarr
    Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 19:23
  • @CaulynDarr NEVER! Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 20:16
  • @MonicaCellio I play a lot of online board games, so sitting in your living room will not apply ;) but played with real live people could fit
    – gbianchi
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 19:05
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    I think one big issue with "tabletop" is that the games I most often hear called "tabletop" are RPGs. Which have their own thing.
    – Alex P
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 3:01
  • The line is fuzzy, especially since we allow Digital versions of popular board games. Is words with friends an allowed topic here? Yes. What about Civilization Revolution? No. The only difference between those two apps is their origin (one CAME FROM Scrabble, the other CAME FROM Civilization the Video game), they're both iPhone Games. Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 1:01
  • After re read this some more time, I (a non natural english speaker) will have problem found this site if the name is tabletop. Board games (although played across the network) looks better. Also card games is ok on the name (although magic has a deck, and some spaces like the graveyard, that make them a "board game", without a drawed board ;) ). So I think the name is ok as it is.. In any case, although is illegal, I can download the Puerto Rico manual, and make my own board implementation ;). so in a board or in a monitor, the game is the same!
    – gbianchi
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 18:01
  • @AlexP I think you'd be hard-pressed to find an inclusive word that covers Board Games, Card Games and Miniatures gaming but doesn't include RPG games. There is already a question about Mafia, which is arguably a RPG. Would a question about a "murder mystery" game belong here? Some overlap is ok. I agree that it's a problem if most people associate "tabletop" with RPGs but I don't see it that way.
    – ghoppe
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 9:57

3 Answers 3


I'd rather the name stay as "Board and Card Games" rather than change to "Tabletop Games." I think of myself as an avid board gamer and an avid player of card games as well. So "Board and Card Games" works for me.

Not being a developer, this is the first stack I joined and I might not have joined if it were it called "Tabletop Games." Why? Because I'm not a table top game player. I don't even know what this phrase means. I can see from the discussion above that there's other people who are fuzzy on what this phrase means.

Perhaps a few years from now when there are many more participants, "Board and Card Games" could be split into "Board Games" and "Card Games" as each has plenty of material to drive an entire community. Each of these phrases is commonly used and well understood. But I think there are currently too few participants to support splitting the site into "Board Games" and "Card Games."

So I believe sticking with "Board and Card Games" is best.

  • Hmm, I thought "tabletop" came from gaming conventions (but I'm not avid, just a hobbyist, so my perceptions are suspect). Joe, prior to the discussion here, did you think miniatures games were on-topic here? (Possibly they're a small-enough segment to not matter compared to the other naming issues raised here?) Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 14:39
  • @MonicaCellio I have not attended any game conventions for over 2 decades but I play 2-4 games/week and used to play more than that. I think there are many avid players who don't attend conventions - and that includes everyone in my current circle of gaming friends. Because the name has an "and" in it, I thought of this as an appropriate place for any kind of game (except video/computer), including miniatures. But I hadn't really thought about miniatures specifically as the questions seem to be primarily related to board games or card games.
    – Joe Golton
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 15:15
  • @MonicaCellio Not sure if "avid" implies gaming conventions. But I've played hundreds of games of Settlers of Catan and thousands of hands of bridge, which both seem "avid" to me. I played so much Cosmic Encounter (eon) as a kid that I ended up compiling a database of game data which got published. I did attend 2 game conventions as a teenager but don't remember the term "tabletop games." Maybe that's a term that started to be used later?
    – Joe Golton
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 15:20
  • Thanks Joe. I didn't necessarily mean that "avid" requires conventions; just observing my own gaming group, we have a couple people who go to about one con a year and they bring back new games and terminology. So cons are a vector and I thought that's where "tabletop" came from, but it may be regional or I may be just plain wrong. And it's true that I don't know what terminology is used at chess/bridge/poker/go conventions (assuming those exist). Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 14:28
  • Though I asked the question I don't know if I get to accept an answer for a community discussion, but given all the comments I'm inclined to accept this one -- changing the name may cause more problems than it solves, so leave it alone. Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 14:29
  • @MonicaCellio 10-15 years ago I frequented bridge clubs and one bridge tournament (ACBL sponsered NABC tournament) and while I heard Bridge referred to as a card game I don't recall ever hearing the word tabletop. I'm not aware of conventions for card games but there are many tournaments organized for Bridge and Poker.
    – Joe Golton
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 14:33
  • @MonicaCellio You might want to wait a week or two more before accepting an answer to let any further discussion develop. It would be nice to hear from people who have lots of convention going experience in the past few years.
    – Joe Golton
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 14:35

Tabletop is a word who's common usage is more often associated with Role playing games (to distinguish them from LARP). Since RPGs are outside of the area of this site, I wouldn't use tabletop.

The main problem is we're in a period of transition away from the traditional categorization/naming of things to a new one, and it hasn't settled out yet.

If you HAD to pick a name, Parlor Games is probably the most correct. Clearly that word is never associated with Video games, and rarely associated with RPGs.

However, it's fallen out of common usage.

Most people use "board games" as a catch all term. For example, Traditional games like "Canasta" can be found with a "board game rank" on BGG.COM. Same with CCG's like Magic.

I also dislike the "and" in the title (I thing board games would be fine, even if it included CCGs), but that's certainly not universal.

The real question is not what do we name this site, it's where do we draw the line on what questions we want here. The choices are either to do it based on a definition (any definition) or based on the knowledge/interests of this particular community. If we choose the former, we need a descriptive name (like it has now). If we choose the latter, we can call it anything, since "The Community" will know what we mean instinctively.

  • "Parlor games" usually refers to stuff like Mafia or Pictionary, though -- group games with an emphasis on communication and little if any boards to be found. The games we focus on here -- stuff like Settlers, go, Magic, Cosmic Encounter -- aren't parlor games. I'm pretty sure that the original (Victorian?) usage likewise didn't include chess or wargames with miniature soldiers.
    – Alex P
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 14:33
  • Interesting; I haven't heard "tabletop" used for RPGs before, except when a LARPer is trying to clarify why what he's doing isn't like D&D et al. Maybe I don't go to enough gaming conventions. :-) Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 14:43
  • @MonicaCellio forum.rpg.net/forum.php Note the forum titles. (Although, if we go by their naming convention, the name of this site is "Other Games" :D )
    – Alex P
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 15:17

I agree - Tabletop Games is a better name. The other issue with the name "Board and Card Games" is the and. It makes it sound like card games are an afterthought, especially since the URL is only Boardgames. Now with miniatures included it feels like we should rename it "Board and Card and Minature and Collectable Card Games!" Did I miss anything? Tabletop is more descriptive without sounding contrived, and more "hip".

Tabletop feels more inclusive to Magic as well.

We are still in beta so it would be nice to change it now. Make the old URL redirect to tabletop.se too!

  • I have never heard anyone refer to MtG as a tabletop game. Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 12:23
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    @OrigamiRobot: I agree, but TableTop games is a broader term that is more likely to include MtG than Board Games. Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 23:46
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    GAMA(Game Manufacturers Association) which runs Origins and the Game Trade Show here in the US and represents the manufacures of miniatures, board games, RPGs and card games refers to the industry as either Tabletop Games or Hobby Games.
    – CaulynDarr
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 12:54
  • I vote that "Board and Card and Miniature and Collectable Card Games: Did I Miss Anything?" be the official new name.
    – Johno
    Commented May 21, 2012 at 15:20

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