This question currently has the title "What game is this from?" and an image with an alt content of "enter image description here".

With this edit, I tried to add the only characteristic OP mentioned to the title (that the game is probably "an old Japanese arcade platformer"), and provided an alternative text for the image that’s not wrong (like the current one) and possibly useful.

The edit got rejected; not by OP, but by two reviewers (who seem to be experienced, according to their stats), both giving the reason

This edit does not make the post even a little bit easier to read, easier to find, more accurate or more accessible. Changes are either completely superfluous or actively harm readability.

In my opinion, this reason does not apply:

  • It makes it "easier to find" (title and alt are effective for SEO; but even for the internal search, having relevant keywords in the title makes this question easier to find)
  • It makes it "more accurate" (the default alt value "enter image description here" is of course not accurate)
  • It makes it "more accessible" (the alt attribute is one of the most important ways to help visually impaired users)

Furthermore, I think this edit shouldn’t have been rejected at all, especially because the title "What game is this from?" is not telling anything more than what the question’s tag conveys; it’s essentially clickbait (probably the reason why this question appeared in the SE hot list).

  • The title change is superlefous; it provides no additional details beyond repeating what is asked in the body. It's already pretty concise, it doesn't need misleading information added to the title. That said, I completely missed the alt text of that suggested edit. That sorta neutralizes the edit; if you make one for just the alt text, that would get approved, I think.
    – Frank
    Sep 30, 2015 at 1:03
  • 2
    @Frank: I don’t agree. The title does not have to state "additional" details which are not included in the question; it has to describe what the question is about (naturally the most important details from the body can, and typically will, be repeated in the title). By not including this in the title, everyone would have to click at every question to learn if it’s relevant for your own expertise. A title like "What game is this from?" would apply to all identification questions ---- for non-identification questions, an equivalent title would be "I have a question".
    – unor
    Sep 30, 2015 at 1:11
  • For game identification, we're going to get a lot of generic titles; it's in the name of the business. Check the tag for examples, if you're going to edit it, at least make an attempt to make it part of the question, not just append a bit of detail from the body. The way you did it doesn't help readability at all.
    – Frank
    Sep 30, 2015 at 1:13
  • 1
    @Frank: If we get so many generic titles, isn’t it even more important to edit them? -- Regarding the wording of the title: might certainly be that there’s a better wording possible; however, if you had a better idea for how the wording could be improved, accepting/rejecting+editing would be the appropriate choice, not rejecting and keeping the generic title; especially not because the suggested title hardly "actively harm[s] readability" (as the close reason reads), or does it?
    – unor
    Sep 30, 2015 at 1:24
  • I believe your suggested edit actively harmed readability. That's what the reject reason is. There is no requirement to reject & edit. Like I said, though, I completely missed the alt text. If you want to improve the title, use the existing questions as examples for acceptable titles.
    – Frank
    Sep 30, 2015 at 1:39
  • @Frank: Okay, so we seem to disagree about the readability of the suggested title :)
    – unor
    Sep 30, 2015 at 1:55
  • I just saw this, after adding descriptive text for that image. Whoops :)
    – Robotnik Mod
    Sep 30, 2015 at 4:34
  • It's easy to miss an alt text change. You really only see it if you view the edit as markdown, which is not the default view.
    – Sterno
    Sep 30, 2015 at 13:35
  • 1
    @Sterno: In the default view, it dims the image and puts a red border around it, but yes, it’s easier to miss than a text change; which is exactly why I put a notice into the edit comment. As Frank explained, he missed this, too (which can happen, no worries) but it seemed unlikely to me that both experienced reviewers would miss both signals, hence I assumed there might be an issue with providing alt content in this community.
    – unor
    Sep 30, 2015 at 14:33
  • Same thing with this rejected edit. sigh
    – unor
    Jun 16, 2017 at 5:40

1 Answer 1


Titles should be straight forward and in the form of a question. Your suggestion:

What game is this from? (probably an old Japanese arcade platformer)

There are two problems here. First, "probably" should not be in the title. What if it's wrong? So the whole phrase should go.

Even without the probably, this still isn't in the form of a question:

What old Japanese arcade platformer is this?

This would be better, but since we didn't actually know that for sure, we probably shouldn't make that change. Probable information is best explained in the body, not in the title. What if this were an old Commodore 64 game instead? Then people would be skipping the question over incorrect information in the title.

In this particular case you shouldn't add that information to the title since it is possibly untrue. In future cases you should try to keep titles in the form of questions.

  • I added "probably" exactly because it could be wrong. That’s the point of this word, so I can’t follow why it shouldn’t be in the title because it could be wrong. -- This guess/assumption is the only characteristic OP could provide, and having it in the title is better than not having anything: by having it in the title, users have at least something to decide if it’s worthwile for them to visit the question (e.g., users only interested in 3D ego shooters would likely ignore the question; users interested in platformers would likely visit it).
    – unor
    Sep 30, 2015 at 3:45
  • Right, but we shouldn't try to fit conditional information like that into the title. It's not the word probably that was the issue -- it's that the information was only probable. Only the original poster could make the decision as to whether that info was likely enough to be put in the title. If you're only interested in 3D ego shooters, it's up to you whether you look at more generic questions or not. Even though it's probably not a 3D ego shooter.
    – Brythan
    Sep 30, 2015 at 3:53
  • While I think all titles should be a direct question, that is not actually a requirement. But you explain the whole thought process brilliantly. Im pretty sure the game ended up being on snes..
    – user106385
    Sep 30, 2015 at 6:05
  • Its also worth noting that we dont accept ID of characteristics. And although the "could be this type" helps OP, it wont necissarily help other users in the future, which is what our main objective is
    – user106385
    Sep 30, 2015 at 6:06

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