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If you cannot remember what a game is called, how can you have footage or screenshots? Unless it's in a YouTube video (or any other video sharing site). A game is identifiable through a list of features, so why is this off-topic?

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To be honest, I find that calling these questions to be a bit of a misnomer with how the current policy stands (and I'll come back to this later). The thing is, "Game Identification" as a topic area is broad enough to stand for two separate types of questions:

  • Memory-based - which are off topic:
    Example: "I remember a game with a duck. What game is it?"
  • Evidence-based - which are on topic:
    Example: "Here is an <image / video / soundbyte> of a game, which game is it?"

The first is off-topic because - at it's core - information presented to us as a memory cannot be verified as correct. What if the user doesn't remember correctly? What if they think they're remembering a duck, but it was in fact a rooster?

Furthermore, any answers will be unable to be verified as correct by anyone but the asker. This is a big problem, as Arqade (and Stack Exchange in general) are built upon the premise that any users (including yourself) will be able to vote on answers based on their quality. With memory based game identification, we cannot be sure of the quality, so voting is almost meaningless.

Evidence-based is another ballpark entirely. The question might be about an image from a TV series where one of the characters is playing a game. It might be based on a sound clip from a game mod which the mod author pulled from another game. It could also be an advertisement for the latest gaming laptop, graphics card, game console, or digital service, or even a shout out or easter egg in another game.

These can be verified as correct by other users and do not rely on the OPs memory for information. This is why we require an audio or visual source for game identifications. As I said, 'Game Identification' is a bit of a misnomer, a closer approximation would be "Game References in other media", but that doesn't make a good tag name.

  • I understand where you are coming from, but rather than voting off-topic and throwing the question aside, isn't there some way we can help? – CrabtasticGoat Sep 9 '15 at 1:55
  • @CrabtasticGoat - I usually point them to Arqade's chat and/or /r/tipofmytongue. Sometimes I'll even have a guess in the comment, something like "Sounds similar to <game>, but if it's not, you could ask on <Chat>/<TOMT> who are better suited to helping you :)". This can be done in tandem with voting as off-topic. Also note that having an off-topic post against a user's record isn't a bad thing, so long as they understand the reasons behind it and learn from it so as not to do it again. – Robotnik Sep 9 '15 at 3:54
  • I usually called memory-based "identify-this-game" (the old tag) and evidence-based "game-identification" (the new tag) – badp Sep 9 '15 at 8:13
  • @badp - sure, that's how I remember them as well, however the terms themselves: 'Game Identification' or 'Identify this game' generally mean the same thing. Not to mention that new users see the tag and automatically assume we accept the memory based ones too. I would've suggested a rename of 'Game Identification' to be more specific if I actually had an alternative to offer, the best I have come up with is [games-in-media] or [game-media-reference], neither of which I particularly like. – Robotnik Sep 9 '15 at 10:22
  • Is the Identify-this-game tag still relevant? Can I use it to get help remembering a game using memory-based evidence? – CrabtasticGoat Sep 9 '15 at 23:08
  • @CrabtasticGoat - no, it was removed when we made them off-topic – Robotnik Sep 9 '15 at 23:10
  • I just think there should be a way we can help remember a game through memory. Maybe if a new tag was introduced? – CrabtasticGoat Sep 9 '15 at 23:13
  • @CrabtasticGoat, we do not want questions on here that require discussion to be answered. Remember, this is a sister-site of a programming-based Q&A. While certain situations are different concerning video games, ie. "I cant remember what that game was called", we still have to stick to the main idea of the Stack Community. "Questions and Answers. No Chit Chat". If you have a question that asks for identification, without evidence, you will often be directed to the chat channels. This is already the best place for a question of this nature. – user106385 Sep 9 '15 at 23:38
  • Okay, thanks for clearing that up. I guess another site would be better for memory based. Maybe just a friend :P – CrabtasticGoat Sep 9 '15 at 23:40
  • @CrabtasticGoat - to clarify: No, they're off topic, it's even one of the primary off-topic reasons people can choose when voting to close a question, and is listed on the Tour page as one of the five absolute things we don't allow here. Needless to say you'll be fighting an uphill battle to make them on-topic again. As Timelord said, the best place to ask for help identifying games based on memory is chat. – Robotnik Sep 9 '15 at 23:48
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General Summary of those other questions listed as reference: So people can validate an answer or not.

Simple as that.. if a question can only be guessed at by the community and only Ok'd by the asker then we tend to frown upon it here. If you dont have a picture I invite you to join us in the chat room The Bridge and ask about it in there.. nothing is off topic to chat about.

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