Here's my complaint: I recently asked a question about using the Nintendo DS as a controller for the Wii, something which I thought would bring a detailed answer about if this is possible, and if not then why it isn't. Instead, I am given a list of other controllers that work, and am simply told that the NDS just won't work without a compatible game. However, I want to know why it won't work, an what all the NDS can be used for with the Wii. Instead, I am told that this is off-topic and my question can't be improved because I haven't tried any compatible games.

In frustration, I have voted to close this topic, thinking that perhaps it was merely based on my opinions about what Arqade is all about. I want to know why asking about whether handheld units can work with similar TV consoles is off-topic, since I know very well that Nintendo has had somewhat of a reputation of making handheld units (or at least their cartridges) work with TV consoles since the Super NES.

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    your best bet is to break up your questions. I find some users see a small element off off topic, and thats it. This can easily be seen by Franks answer, as the only thing even mentioned is the comment you made on an answer. I would reword the question to "I have been told the DS can connect to the Wii. How do I go about doing this.. what sort of functionality does it offer".
    – user106385
    Dec 17, 2015 at 0:44
  • @Timelord64 Which would be great, if that's what was really wanted. The meta post here makes it very clear that why you can't is what's being looked for, even beyond the comment in the actual question. The rest is just contorting around that premise.
    – Frank
    Dec 17, 2015 at 0:47
  • @BorWal, I have edited your question to a more suitable form, after casting the final close vote. We can see if the community agrees with the new changes. You have already recieved a short answer on your other question, but I feel the answer to the current question would still provide you the background to understand the actual purpose. I did not even know I could connect my DS to my Wii. I do not really play either of them much, but understanding the purpose, and the practice behind it, is relevant to my interests.
    – user106385
    Dec 17, 2015 at 0:55
  • The question as asked is relevant. The underlying question, the one you're trying so hard not to ask, though, isn't. I didn't even vote to close, but when you try that hard to contort around your real question, you don't really have a very good question left. Discard the underlying intent, and it's find, all by itself. It's just not asking what you really wanted to know.
    – Frank
    Dec 17, 2015 at 1:08
  • Re-read my answer, then. It's pretty clear you want to know why you can't use a DS as a controller.
    – Frank
    Dec 17, 2015 at 1:15
  • Still, for what it's worth, a short list of what the NDS can't do for the Wii (the most common functions only - I'm not gonna ask why, this time, because this would require more technical knowledge than would be relevant to the question) would prevent further confusion for this question.
    – user128965
    Dec 17, 2015 at 1:27
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    That's...not even close to what I'm saying. But I'm done trying, so whatever floats your boat.
    – Frank
    Dec 17, 2015 at 1:41

2 Answers 2


Like I said on your question:

Your comments make it rather clear you want to know why the DS can't be used as a controller in general. That's off-topic, though, so you've modified the question to word around that. Now it's based on a false premise. One you know very well is false.

The comment I was referring to:

Thanks for the help, but it doesn't seem to explain very well how come the NDS can't be used as a Wii controller for functions other than playing a few games.

This makes it extremely clear you're not really interested in what the question is asking; you already know it can't be used. You want to know why it can't be. And that's not something we can answer; that's a developer design question, and you're trying to word around that. The only answer we can give is, "Because they didn't." The entire question is bending over itself trying to learn reasoning without coming right out and asking about that. Because then it would rightly get closed as developer intent.

Word of advice: If you don't actually want the answer to a question, you shouldn't ask it. Let someone who actually cares do it. We'll get a much higher quality question AND answer out of the mix.

  • Then ask the question. At no point did close votes start until you triggered it; you wanted a reason why you were getting downvotes, and I gave you one. But make sure the question you're asking is actually the one you want answered.
    – Frank
    Dec 17, 2015 at 1:10

The problem you appeared to be having was in clarification. While you were asking how to connect the two devices, you were giving a lot of backstory that appears to have distracted some users.

While it might not work all the time, I personally favour the format of asking the question in a clear manner, before explaining why you personally want to know, in a seperate paragraph.

If it is a two part problem (Im not sure if I can use it as a controller, but Im not even sure how to connect it), consider asking about the first problem, and ask the second question once you have had your initial answer, provided this does not give you enough of a jump to solve the problem, yourself.

I find some users can easily get caught up in the context specific to the user, when there is still a question that could help other users. As such, I have edited your question, and at present it is half way towards reopening.

Please keep in mind that 'but why?' questions always tend to attract negativity. A good answer will tell you why. If the answerer has not, it is unlikely they have any valuable information, apart from 'that is how they made it'.

Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with asking about game controllers. In fact, we have tags just for questions that do. It is the context of the question that often causes issues.

When in doubt, Keep It Simple, Simon. Keep in mind that some users may skim read, and if a particular part stands out, and is an obvious red flag, that might be all they need to hit "close". This is a practice we generally look down on, but with any human element, it should always be considered.

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