Okay, this might be annoying only to me, but I have to ask the question. I work on the IBM i (aka iSeries, aka AS/400) and the primary language on that machine is RPG. Questions about that language are tagged [rpg]. There have also been questions on SO about role-playing games tagged as [rpg]. This can cause confusion for both sides. What can/should be done to clear this confusion?

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    This will become an even bigger problem if anyone starts asking questions about rocket-propelled grenades... I can see it now: " As a programmer, what RPG do you like to use on people who try to parse HTML with regular expressions?" – gnostradamus Sep 29 '10 at 15:31
  • @gnos: HAHA! love it! – studiohack Sep 29 '10 at 15:42
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    Obviously programmers of action games might need help in programming the weapons, so we will need [rpg-game-genre] and [rpg-game-weapon]. Also, while we're at it, lets establish [java-island] for those programming on Java. :) – sth Sep 29 '10 at 16:25
  • There is no fundamental problem with dual use tags. Until real confusion results, let it be... – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Sep 29 '10 at 16:37

At the moment, there are only 39 total questions tagged [rpg] on SO. They're pretty evenly split between games and the RPG language.

I think the real problem here is that [rpg] is being used for games at all. Of the few questions that are tagged [rpg] and are not about the language, there don't seem to be any that couldn't just as well be tagged more generically as [game]; in other words, it doesn't matter whether or not the game is role-playing. But even that's moot, as game development now has its own SE site.

My proposal is to manually wipe out the [rpg] tag on game questions, retagging to [game] where appropriate, and leaving the tag untouched on RPG language questions.

EDIT (response to comments):
The point I'm trying to make is that any question which deserves the tag [rpg] doesn't belong on SO in the first place. If you have a C++ question and you just happen to be working on a role-playing game, that's fine, but don't tag your question [rpg]. If the fact that you're working on a role-playing game matters to the question, then the question probably should be asked on Game Dev SE, not SO.

As a side benefit, this leaves [rpg] to refer to the language unambiguously. And with that being the case, there's no need for creating complex synonym trees or separate [rpg-game] or [rpg-lang] tags.

Of course, this will change again once rocket-propelled grenade developers start using the site, but when that happens, I'm out of here, you're on your own.

  • @Popular Demand: however, then the tag will be improperly used on RPG game questions when they should only be used for RPG-lang as you are proposing. We should though, have both tags, RPG, and RPG-Language, so that there is no confusion... – studiohack Sep 29 '10 at 14:29
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    @studiohack Unfortunately, using RPG and RPG-Language doesn't pass the "idiot in a hurry test". Someone posting a question about the language is going to see RPG and select it because they don't really care about the tag, they care about getting their question answered. RPG-Games and RPG-Language would be better, IMHO. – Michael Todd Sep 29 '10 at 14:35
  • therein lies our problem... – studiohack Sep 29 '10 at 14:36
  • I agree with @Michael Todd, completely removing [RPG] and making it [RPG-Games] and [RPG-Language] would make it more obvious that there is a choice. A person working on an RPG game will still use [RPG] if offered as a choice and hopefully cuts moderator time overall. – Mike Wills Sep 29 '10 at 14:50
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    RPG-Game is even worse than RP-Game, and the latter is already bad. It'll avoid confusion but it'll make us look like uneducated loaches, namely to the people who would actually need to use the tag. And for the otherwise, I agree with Pop that it isn't necessary as a tag on a question for SO. – Grace Note Sep 29 '10 at 14:55
  • @Grace, +1, but... will it really make us look like uneducated carplike freshwater cyprinoid fish of the family Cobitidae, of Eurasia and Africa, which have long narrow bodies and barbels around their mouths? (dictionary.com) – Pops Sep 29 '10 at 15:00
  • @Grace Note: But I imagine you feel that way only because these are tags, not paragraphs. We can't use a tag called "RPG-(this-one-is-for-role-playing-games)" because that would be silly. More descriptive, but silly. (And, BTW, do you care if gamers look at us as uneducated loaches?) – Michael Todd Sep 29 '10 at 15:00
  • True, the original answer here is a good solution. Especially with a game development site. The fact that a question is for an role playing means nothing for the solution of the programming question. While the question being for the RPG language does have meaning. How does this get implemented. Someone going through and retagging things? – Mike Wills Sep 29 '10 at 15:05
  • @Michael Being a gamer, yes, I do care. Second, why not [role-playing-game], if we had to have it? It's unambiguous and non-redundant. – Grace Note Sep 29 '10 at 15:05
  • @Mike It's going to require people to watch for it, yes. But given the small quantity, it's something the RPG language community should be able to monitor as they see questions come up with the tag. – Grace Note Sep 29 '10 at 15:06
  • @Grace Note because people are lazy. Also, what value does it add to the question by saying it is for a role playing game in the scope of SO? – Mike Wills Sep 29 '10 at 15:07
  • @Grace Note: Agreed, except that most gamers think "RPG" not "role-playing-games." Tough call. (And I'm a gamer, too, and still don't care if other gamers call me an unedumacated loach.) – Michael Todd Sep 29 '10 at 15:07
  • @Mike I don't think it has value, as indicated in my first comment. – Grace Note Sep 29 '10 at 15:08
  • @Mike, yes, since there are only about a dozen questions, a manual retag would be the way to go here. Just so you know for the future though, the mods can do mass retags and the admins might even -- given a really compelling reason -- poke at the database manually. – Pops Sep 29 '10 at 15:09
  • We can do mass retags, but we can't clear tags anymore (there has to be a target tag), and it won't work on something ambiguous like this anyway since then we'd clear it from all of the language questions as well. – Grace Note Sep 29 '10 at 15:11

We could have

  • Role Playing Games as RPG
  • The language RPG as RPG-Lang or RPG-Language
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    RP-Games is not a standard abbreviation of "role-playing games": unless someone read this exact topic, they'd never in a million years use [RP-Games] to tag or search for questions about role-playing games. – user149432 Sep 29 '10 at 14:02
  • Although the dropdown would popup and show it, but I agree there. – Mike Wills Sep 29 '10 at 14:05
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    @studio Is that a Wyoming cowboy? – NullUserException อ_อ Sep 29 '10 at 14:07
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    @Mark: what about tagging the games as RPG-Games? and RPG-Lang or RPG-Language? That way, the drop down would show both of these, and they can choose... – studiohack Sep 29 '10 at 14:07
  • @NullUserException: How did you guess? :-) – studiohack Sep 29 '10 at 14:08
  • We beat the Cowboys in a football game a couple of weeks ago – NullUserException อ_อ Sep 29 '10 at 14:11
  • @studiohack I like that idea. – Mike Wills Sep 29 '10 at 14:12
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    @studio Based on the tag usage, it seems people using it for the RPG language are the minority, and "RPG games" is redundant. I'd say [RPG] should be used for the game genre and [RPG-language] should be used for the programming language. – user149432 Sep 29 '10 at 14:17
  • @Mark: Okay, I edited my answer to reflect your suggestions...That is actually a better idea, like you said, the RPG is more widely used for games... – studiohack Sep 29 '10 at 14:19
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    I had at one time gone through and re-tagged some to RPGLE, but really that isn't a solution. RPG LE is technically a version of RPG. There are several more questions in RPGLE as well. Very few questions are not about the RPG LE version. Even that could cause confusion though. – Mike Wills Sep 29 '10 at 14:35

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