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So a question asking where to buy an XBOX Live Gold subscription with Bitcoins was asked yesterday, which was close as off-topic (and rightly so, since that was "Where to buy"). However, it appears that Microsoft does accept bitcoins, so the question has sort of morphed into how to buy use Bitcoins in the Microsoft/XBOX shop. As robotnik points out, that's on-topic, since we do allow questions asking about how to use gaming focused applications (see also: ).

Now, with that said... the question in it's current form is essentially asking "Does the XBOX shop accept Bitcoins as payment?". Now I'm not going to argue we should close the question on those grounds (because it could always be reworded if people disagree with 'is it possible' anyways), but it got me thinking. Do we want questions asking which currency options a gaming applications accept? Do such questions fall within our scope?

I'd normally offer some sort of argument for my position in this... but I honestly don't know how I feel about whether or not questions like that fall within our scope, and it doesn't appear to be a topic we've discussed before.

Thoughts?

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  • So the question "How do I pay with a creditcard for a game I buy on online shop?" would be good too? Don't think so, because I know this depends on location, bank and specific online shop. The information that works for the asker has a low chance of working for other users. – Arperum Feb 19 '15 at 11:38
  • @Arperum: I see your point about location. I didn't even think about that. – Wipqozn Feb 19 '15 at 11:44
  • If that was the only problem, the issue would be that the question needs more details to be answerable (without being too broad), not that it is off-topic – Sterno Feb 19 '15 at 12:53
  • Copypasta of my point from the other meta so it isn't lost: Xbox live could be considered a tool that gamers use. Following that logic: asking about a specific configuration/setting on said gaming tool would be on-topic, such as asking about parental control settings, changing display name etc - what makes the "payment settings" any different? It isn't a "Where to buy" shopping rec question, its a "How can I <action> with <item>?" Even if the answer is "Not directly possible", the question bears none of the hallmarks of a shopping rec. – Robotnik Feb 19 '15 at 14:04
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First, I'd like to address this from the angle of asking about "Online Game Service/Store payment processes" in general, and not the specifics of asking about 'currency' per se, although that is definitely covered under this topic.


I can see an argument being made both ways:

For

Online Game services like Xbox Live, Steam, Nintendo Play Store etc are built primarily for gamers to utilise (and for publishers, but lets not open that door today).

But these services are more than just a storefront. Digital content delivery, Account/Online multiplayer management, social features (chat, friends, messaging etc) and more.

As such, they are generally known as Services, with the Store just being another asset of the overall service offering. Gamer services of course falling under the topic area:

Game-specific hardware and utilities

Against

It's pretty close to incidental Knowledge. It's something we'd probably know by association (or be able to check in the Terms & Conditions, Instructions, or even know from personal experience.

Also: 99 times out of 100, a question like this will be easily researched or found easily. If so, they will probably attract negative attention as the OP wouldn't have done any 'homework', or even a Google search.

It's fairly close to shopping recommendation. It's hard to distinguish between 'How can I buy this' and 'Where can I buy this'

(If you have another reason against I'll be happy to add it here and address it)


Conclusion

I don't think we'll be getting enough of these questions to have the argument over them every time. The Bitcoin one is the exception, rather than the rule, because it is something that isn't immediately clear from the XBL payment system. I can't imagine many other questions about payment of services will come up.

I also think that if we are to cover game services & utilities in general, why would asking about payment options be any different to say, asking about using headsets to talk to friends, removing games from your account, or even participating in the Steam Summer Sale?

I think we should allow these questions. This does not mean suddenly every payment question should be left open: we should still treat every question on it's individual merits. For example, if a question about payment for online services is:

  • A genuine problem, issue or topic that needs clarification: Answer (and potentially upvote)
  • Easily researched: Downvote and answer
  • Unclear or not useful: Downvote, Potentially Close as 'Unclear' or a custom reason why you think it's not useful
  • Asking where to buy something: Close -> Off-topic -> Recommendation reason
  • Listing where to buy something: Flag as Spam
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