We had a question posted recently: There are games of this kind?

I voted to close this as a game-rec, but I'm not 100% sure that that's correct.

I think the asker basically wants to know if a certain type of game exists, and what that genre is called, rather than focusing on wanting to know a specific game that fits in that genre.

Note that the first answer mentions a few example games, but that the meat of the answer is that these are "turn-based tactical games".

So this got me thinking, is asking us to identify a genre on-topic? Is doing so a game recommendation?

  • tbh I read it three times to try and see if a re-wording would make it on topic but at the end of the day OP is still asking for a list of games first- the genre stuff is only tangentially related. We'd be putting words in his mouth if we tried to reword it as such.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 20:19
  • @Robotnik Yeah, that question needed some work, but the asker said he's satisfied with the answer, so no worries on that front. The focus of this meta question is squarely on future cases at this point.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 10:03
  • Are there other games in the same style/genre? - Game rec, all the way.
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 12:02
  • @Frank I suppose if you interpreted that as asking "name the other games in the same style/genre", which is twisting things a bit.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 16:46
  • It's requesting games that meet specific criteria. That's a game rec, any way you slice it.
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 17:46
  • @Frank Unless you slice it as not asking for games that meet a specific criteria, but instead asking about the existence of those games. At this point I think you're talking about the specific question that prompted this discussion though, so it no longer matters, as that one is closed and staying closed.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 17:58

3 Answers 3


I voted to close the question as off-topic for a different reason:

Questions asking for help identifying a game, whether based on a description, or feature list, or any other set of criteria are off-topic; this blog post might help. We allow an exception for identifying games based on an actual piece of the game, such as screenshots or audio clips.

The format of the question isn't great, which led me to an assumption that the OP is asking for a list of games that meet specific features (which is also off-topic).

I don't think the shopping rec reason is a good fit for a close-reason because the OP isn't asking for someone to recommend games... just list games that are in that specific genre. Anyway, don't use this opinion to vote to reopen to only close for a different reason.

Referring to DCShannon's meta post.. I think asking what the name of a genre for a specific game is fine (although it may receive down votes because the answer would be easy to determine with a basic search of the game in question).

  • That makes some sense. We might have the same problems with the OP trying to describe the aspects of the genre they want as with them trying to describe the aspects of the game they want. Requiring a specific game as an example would be like requiring a screenshot or other artifact.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 10:51
  • @DCShannon - I added a comment to the original question to help the asker out. Sounds like he just wanted to know the name of the genre and possibly a definition of the genre.
    – user101016
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 10:54

Yes. It is a "game recommendation" as in it asks us to find a number of games that fits a criteria. That's not something we allow, because we tried and it went poorly. The community especially disliked two things about game-rec in general:

  • having to guess what the asker was thinking of, as opposed to answering the question as it was asked (what would you REALLY like? what game are you REALLY trying to remember?)
  • the potentially unbounded number of games that could fit in the criteria, and how that affects answering and voting (1 answer per game? What does voting mean then? 1 answer with a list? Why not use a wiki then?)

The idea of giving a list of criteria to fulfill was born out of an attempt to circumvent the first point, but the second point still applies. Questions that ask to list games fitting a number of criteria are also off-topic.

However, if the criterion is a piece of the game itself, the question becomes objective and well-defined, and defining the set of games much simpler.

So while we wouldn't allow a question on what games you'd liked if you liked Laharl from Disgaea as a character, and we wouldn't allow a question asking for a list of games featuring Laharl, if you have a specific Disgaea CGI to identify, that's fine. We may not LIKE your question, but the specific nature of the beast means the arguments we use to close game-recs do not apply to game-id.

  • See also the relevant Grace Note essay on the topic. Warning: Grace Note essay ahead. meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/997/…
    – badp
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 10:04
  • 2
    This doesn't really seem to apply to the question I asked. I don't see anything in this answer that relates to genres at all. This is just about straight game-rec questions. Not that I disagree with any of it, I just feel like you answered a different question.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 10:12
  • @dcshannon ...and that is a criterion in the asker's list of criteria. Did just want me reply "yes it's off topic", or did you want to learn why it is?
    – badp
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 10:13
  • What? No, I'm asking if a question wanting us to identify a game genre is off-topic. Everything you have here is about identifying and listing specific games. If you think I'm misinterpreting that particular real question, then fine, I'm still asking if identifying a game genre, rather than a game, would be on-topic.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 10:28
  • I read over that Grace Note essay, and this type of question would seem to fit more into fact-finding than repository. Based on that, I'm starting to lean toward it being on-topic.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 10:38
  • @dcshannon he's asking us if there are games in whatever genre that is, not what the genre is
    – badp
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 11:19
  • Those are the same question. "If there are games in the genre" is "whether the genre exists". If someone asks me whether something exists, and it does, then I'm going to describe it in the answer, including what it is called. That's kind of beside the point, though. That question is just what made me think of my question. My meta question isn't "is this question on-topic", it's "Is asking us to identify a genre a game recommendation?"
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 11:23
  • @DCShannon possibly a worse question, I do NOT look forward to "what genre if this game [terminology]" questions, tyvm
    – badp
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 11:24
  • I edited my question a bit, it wasn't as clear as it should be on re-reading.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 11:26
  • 1
    @badp - regarding your comment on "'What genre is <game> [terminology]" - any reason why you don't like them as questions? 99% of games have well-defined genres and the remaining 1% would be classified soon enough, they're within our expertise to know and answer. I mean, -1 them for lack of research effort if you want, but they're answerable and on-topic IMO
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 20:29

It should be on-topic.

There are several types of games, and each genre as distinct features. First Person Shooters are based on a First Person Gameplay, involving shooting some kind of projectile. Call of Duty? Yes. Link's Crossbow Training? Yes. Both are FPS.

Now what if I ask, are there any games in the Zelda franchise that are also FPSs, the answer to that question would be indeed off-topic, as it would be asking to identify a game. Link's Crowssbow Training to be exact.

But what if I asked if any there's any game who has attempted to be a first person shooter, but while using a medieval weapon? Would that be on topic? That's what this discussion is about.

I think it's on topic because

Game mechanics and terminology

are on topic.

Therefore, should a question regarding whether X is an RPG or an FPS ; or a question regarding whether if there's a game in y genre should be on topic - Do not confuse this as having an answer dictating that games should be given in a list, where every answer is equally valid. No. It's a simple yes or no question, who can be backed up by an example, preferably something that is generally known in order to give a good example:

Are there any games in a Fantasy Medieval Setting with character customization?

Yes, there's Skyrim

Has anyone ever tried to publish a game revolving around Market?

Yes, Rookwood studios with The Guild 2

  • 1
    I think the difference is (at least by how I'm reading the question), he knows a game of the genre he is specifying, Rainbow 6 Siege. The question title doesn't really match the body of the question. The question body seems to be asking for a list of games that match similar criteria to his game, which is an off-topic question for the bullet point reason Catalogues (listing games that fit specific criteria or are like an existing game).
    – king14nyr
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 15:15
  • In which case would warrant an edit to either the Title (making the question off topic) or an edit to the body (fixing all issues with teh question)
    – Oak
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 16:17
  • I think I agree with this. And @king14nyr, the question that prompted this meta question would likely need edited a bit, I agree.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 10:02

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