I would like to ask the general approach we have to follow in tagging game names.

This question already shown the problem: wow or world-of-warcraft.

But there any many other examples:

  • hl2 or half-life-2
  • tf2 or team-fortress-2
  • mw2 or modern-warfare-2


Maybe we can use google to look which terms is the most used:


  • "tf2" About 4,960,000 results
  • "team fortress 2" About 6,480,000 results

in this case maybe team-fortress-2 would win.

What do you think? Any other idea?


3 Answers 3

The problem with acronyms is ambiguity. For example, is PoR Path of Radiance or Portrait of Ruin? That's just one off the top of my head but there will always be a lot of intersection once you expand the scope as wide as this Stack Exchange site is.

The problem with full names is length. Some games have names well in excess of the 25 character limit. I know one with a transcribed name of 107 characters, and the translation would be even longer.

So which to go by? I prefer full-name when possible, then go to abbreviations (acronym or otherwise) only if the name is too long. Because the full name will always be understood. It will aggravate us hardcore players who will probably search by acronym at times, but I think that in terms of being understood, the full name is best.

Indeed, I still associate mw2 with MechWarrior 2 rather than Modern Warfare 2 as the asker does. –  Whatsit Jul 7 '10 at 23:38
PoR = Pool of Radiance... sheesh. ;) –  squillman Jul 7 '10 at 23:49
Agreed but like we see in the beta user are using heavily abbreviated tags –  Mushu Jul 8 '10 at 0:04
@Marm I really don't think we can consider less than a day of existence of the private beta as a good judge of how everything will play out. –  Grace Note Jul 8 '10 at 2:20
what the tag for AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity? –  user59 Jul 8 '10 at 8:50
@marco I would suggest [reckless-disregard-for-gravity] –  alexanderpas Jul 13 '10 at 19:41
@alex 30 characters is too long. –  Grace Note Jul 13 '10 at 19:59
@Grace we're in a beta for a number of reasons, one of them being to notice that the tag length limit is too short. ;) –  alexanderpas Jul 13 '10 at 20:14
tag length limit is written in stone and will never change. I suggest reading my response here. –  Jeff Atwood Jul 16 '10 at 8:20
@Whatsit I still think MechWarrior 2 as well. –  Präriewolf Jul 20 '10 at 14:40
I also think Pools of Radiance and MechWarrior 2... –  tzenes Jul 25 '10 at 1:21

I disagree strongly with the other positions here.

if I say [fps] to you, you don't go WHAT? EH? WHAT IS THIS EFF PEEE ESS THING?!!

if I say "hey I was playing [wow] the other day" you don't go "huh? how do you play a WOW?"

The point is that you use tag terms accepted by the community and already in general use within that community.

If we were lawyers, we would have a [tort] tag. If we were bakers we might have a [torte] tag that means something similar yet different. It's not confusing, because, y'know, it's a site for bakers!

And any baker worth a damn knows a [torte] has nothing to do with a [tort].

I like to use short tags for very famous games like wow, tf2, hl2, cod, etc. This short version is also well known by Google and SEO will be not affected. For not well known games I instead would prefer long form. For games that share the same acronym and have same level of recognition for the community, like, for example Mass Effect, Mirror's Edge we should go with long version –  user59 Jul 16 '10 at 8:42
But the problem arises with abbreviations which have multiple uses. Is FPS first-person-shooter or frames-per-second? Both are extremely common among gamers and both are very different. Also regarding game names, future games with the same abbreviation as current popular games might become popular themselves, introducing ambiguities. It seems to me that picking a longer tag name approach is simply much healthier. –  Oak Jul 16 '10 at 9:04
The fact is, the gaming community uses the same acronyms to refer to multiple concepts. Sometimes within the same game. Which means that you have to rely on context to understand, for example, is "FPS" the genre or the game speed? In (good) question bodies, it is absolutely unambiguous what is being referred to. But in the tags, which are used for searching and filtering, if I want to look for the genre I should not have to sift through all game-speed questions. It's more convenient for the end user that we use unambiguous tags. –  Grace Note Jul 16 '10 at 11:52
@grace then use [framerate] instead. problem solved. [fps] is a bedrock genre, whereas frames-per-second is much rarer and should be demoted to "long ass tag hardly anyone uses" territory. –  Jeff Atwood Jul 17 '10 at 7:05
@Jeff doesn't that make the site less parse-able to new users compared to having the tags: [framerate] and [shooters]? –  tzenes Jul 25 '10 at 1:20
Due to tag length issues, I just had to create the tag castlevania-los. I thought of using the tag lords-of-shadow instead, but that doesn't tell you it's a Castlevania game, despite Castlevania being the first word in the title. –  user2974 Oct 9 '10 at 19:23

I still stand behind the idea put forth by Math Overflow and use both in one tag. The problem is that the tag length is currently limited to 24 characters, which is already far too short for many, many games so they get truncated:

  • serious-sam-the-first-en counter
  • call-of-duty-modern-warf are
  • strong-bads-cool-game-fo r-attractive-people

If this limit can be increased, we can tag games like this:

  • codmw2.call-of-duty-modern-warfare
  • ssfe.serious-sam-the-first-encounter
  • sbcgfap.strong-bads-cool-game-for-attractive-people

This way, when people tag their questions they can use either the abbreviation or the full name and they should find the existing tag.

do not think this is a good idea at all –  Jeff Atwood Jul 16 '10 at 8:19

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