Background info on what meta tags are is on the StackExchange Blog.

The Story so far:

We've had a meta tag problem for a while. Perhaps since the origin of the site.

Over the last few months I've been proactively removing certain meta tags from any question on the front page. The majority of those have been and .

Why these tags are bad:

One of the defining characteristics of a meta tag is that it can't stand on it's own. If these tags exist, then people can, and do use them as the only tag on a question.

Next Steps:

Build consensus - I've spoken to the other mods and a few of the more active members of the site and I think there is consensus on removing these tags. It'd be better to have that consensus be explicitly stated here on meta.

Remove the tags on older questions - Over the last few months, due to normal front page rotation, the count of has decreased over 10%. However that still leaves 438 as of this writing, and another 161 on .

If you agree with me that these tags should go, feel free to join in on my effort. Ideally we don't want to flood the front page with old questions. But something like 5 at a time is cool. Then pause for a few hours, see if those old questions get pushed down again and do 5 more.

Alternatively, you could note a couple new questions that need editing, but first, clean up some older questions, then edit the new ones to put them back on top.

I believe slow and steady will win this race.

Identify other meta tags - I'm sure there are more. For new nominations, please put them in an answer (1 per) to allow debate. If we get consensus, we'll edit them in here on the question and open season on them.

Removed meta-tags:

I'm deleting the answers for the below to focus attention on the open discussions.

suggested by Shujaa suggested by bwarner

  • 1
    Closing this. rules and strategy are GONE! I think it's a good time to close this question. Any future tag discussion should stand alone as a new topic. Thanks everyone!
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 4:38
  • Just wondering, did you hassle the developers and they wiped the tags? I didn't see a massive Q flood on the front page.
    – user1873
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 2:41
  • @user1873 - Shog9 pitched in and cleared the rest for us.
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 3:04

8 Answers 8


Get rid of them.

As I've discussed before every game question is essentially a rules question already.

I'm a little more wishy-washy on . But if a question isn't a rules question I'd say that it's very likely to be a strategy question. That would lead to 90% of the questions on the site being tagged or . That would make them not terribly useful.

  • 3
    The main problem with strategy is that while I'm pretty good at, say, MTG strategy, I'm pretty crappy at Risk strategy. It's unlikely that someone following the strategy tag would be able to offer 'generic strategy advice' that would follow from game to game. There is some, but its much less likely to actually be useful as a tag.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 20:52
  • @corsiKa should we have separate tags for mtg-strategy etc then, do you think? Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 17:41
  • 4
    @Pureferret I think "mtg" is enough. If it was a particular strategy, like "mtg-control" or "mtg-zoo" then yes. But not "mtg-strategy".
    – corsiKa
    Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 19:15
  • I've been trying to tag things with formats if they're strongly format-dependent -- mtg-modern, mtg-commander, &c. -- and avoiding other subtags. My reasoning for this is that any question about Zoo should probably include Zoo in the title, to make it clearer what you're talking about, whereas you could compose a very clear question about EDH that doesn't say "EDH" in it a bunch of times.
    – Alex P
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 14:19

Another nominee: Used 4 times, never as the only tag.


I deleted a couple of instances of this tag earlier, before realising that it wasn't the tag.

  • I've done that myself :)
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 17:40

looks like a candidate as well.

  • 11 questions here. Once we achieve consensus, go for it.
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 22:24
  • @PatLudwig about how long do you want to wait / how many votes to achieve consensus? Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 16:41
  • I'd think the minimums would be a week and a +5 differential. There's no rush, we have our hands full with rules and strategy as it is :)
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 17:38

is sometimes used when people ask the difference between two games or a game and expansion.


Per our definition of a boardgame, multiple players need to be involved. I'm not seeing a use case for this tag.


This one I'm unsure of: . My gut reaction for is that it's a meta-tag and should be removed. Then came up and I like it, which is terribly inconsistent. Maybe they're both okay after all.

  • Those seem to be the flip side of "beginner" which was one of the original 3 meta-tags discussed in the SE Blog post. As such, I wouldn't be sorry to see them go.
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 18:40

I don't know if this is a meta tag or not, but this doesn't warrant its own question when we have a depot here for it.

Is too much like ? I try to use the criteria "Can someone be an expert in X? If so, then X is a good tag, and if not X is a bad tag." So someone might be an expert in MTG Rules, but you can't really be an expert in "rules".

So, is considered a meta tag?

  • That's a more difficult question for me. I use the house-rules tag to filter out questions I do not want to look at. That use of tags isn't necessarily enough justification on its own to continue using the tag.
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 20:34
  • I can't imagine a good question using only this tag. I'm still not totally convinced that that should be the only test of what a good tag is. I like the house-rules tag as well, it's nice to have a consistent system for identifying these types of questions. Similar tags include variants and versions. Commented Oct 27, 2012 at 2:27
  • Is a tag a good tag just because it's useful? I know that sounds like a dumb question but I mean it 100%.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Oct 27, 2012 at 2:38
  • I don't think house-rules should ever appear alone. We can't really talk about house rules in the abstract; we pretty much have to be talking about a particular game (or game family), right? Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 19:36

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .