The guidance for the says:

For questions about the plot or backstory of a game with science-fiction/fantasy elements....

Having answered a couple of game identification questions recently, I thought I would look and see what others questions were out there. I discovered that there are a number of questions that are not about video games themselves, but rather about stories about video games.

E.g. Short-story about a boy's obsession with a video game about war
Cartoon: 4 kids transform into video game characters to save the world from a hacker and an evil program
What is the movie/show where a boy and a girl enter a video game?
70s/80s short story about a mysterious arcade game

According to the tag guidance, these questions are improperly tagged. However, before editing them, I thought it would be useful to get some feedback on what we think the tag should cover: only fantasy or SF games; or also fantasy/SF stories about video games?

  • I frequently don't pay a lot of attention to tags, but I'm pretty sure this situation has come up before...
    – DavidW
    Feb 20, 2020 at 22:44
  • 1
    If the tag guidance and actual tag usage disagree, we should first decide whether these questions are improperly tagged or the tag wiki needs to be changed.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Feb 20, 2020 at 22:52
  • @Randal'Thor Yes, that's what I'm suggesting we discuss/decide.
    – Buzz
    Feb 21, 2020 at 2:49

1 Answer 1


In my experience there are two main usages of , with a third used improperly but relatively frequently:

  1. Used alongside to find a video game the OP can't remember.
  2. Used as a media tag, like and , to specify which media the question is focusing specifically on if the main tag covers more than one.
  3. (Improperly) used when the question is about a video game but the main tag only covers the video game and its related media i.e. .

I don't think we also want the tag to cover questions where the work isn't a video game but video games play an important role. The tag is a media tag in all the cases, even the improper 3rd case, it's mainly used in so adding a "meta tag" functionality to it would go against its purpose.

It also doesn't add much value to the questions above by having it on there and because it is mainly a media tag it could confuse matters by having two, very different, media tags on the question.

Therefore, I say the tag shouldn't cover questions where works are about video games.

I propose updating the wiki excerpt to the following, or something similar; it's hard to be concise and explain its usages:

Use alongside the [story-identification] tag when trying to identify a specific video game. Also use alongside a work tag to specify you are only asking about the game. Do no use when asking about a video game when the main tag is only about the video game. Questions about playing the game or the mechanics are off-topic here, but may be on topic at Arqade (https://gaming.stackexchange.com/).

Of course I also have to say tags on SFF or a bit of a mess and misused all the time. Tag wikis and their excerpts are even more of a mess. A lot are out of date and a lot of the wikis are plagiarised directly from Wikipedia. The only reason most of the new tags have excerpts is because myself, and sometimes SQB, go through the new tags page occasionally and create them. So it's hardly a surprise that a) the excerpt is a bit out of date and b) the tags aren't being used correctly.

  • 1
    My suggestion: "Use alongside [story-identification] when trying to identify a specific video game. Also use alongside a tag for an individual work to specify you are only asking about the game. Do not use when there already is a tag for the specific video game. Do not use when a work merely is about a video game. Do not use for questions about playing the game or about its mechanics; those may be on topic at Arqade (gaming.stackexchange.com)."
    – SQB
    Feb 24, 2020 at 7:04

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