We have some topics on Arqade that we do consider as off-topic. I will here talk about the four ones you can flag a question for:

  • Questions about unreleased or illegal content.
  • Questions about Game Design and Development.
  • Question asking for help identifying a game.
  • Questions that ask for recommendations.

Now I noticed that for the second topic, the description is giving to the author some advice so he can go ask his question elsewhere:

You might want to ask over at GameDev.SE, but be sure to read their FAQ

(By the way there is a point missing at the end of this sentence, I think it would be nice to add one.)

I won't talk about the first topic there because we surely do not want to help people on illegal stuff. Now for the identification or the recommendations of games, there is also some links which are here to help the author to maybe find the answer he was looking for. But I think it would be nice to actually give for each one of those topics an alternative website where those people could find the answer they are looking for. Maybe it was intentional to not give an alternative site which is not part of the Stack Exchange websites, in that case I was just not aware of it. I am also aware that you can't do that for everything (for instance the recommendation of servers), but I do think that it is possible for everything related to identifying and recommending games.

When asking this question, I was especially thinking it could be nice to give to the authors the opportunity to go ask their questions on the AskGames Reddit, which is exactly the purpose of this Reddit: looking for games.

I do think that just adding this kind of website recommendations could be beneficial for everyone. For the authors, and especially the new ones, they get another way to get the answer they are looking for, and it probably feels less rude for them than just getting an "off-topic" tag on their first question. For Arqade and its users, it actually shows that we are still willing to help somehow and that we are nice. And I do think that it is an important point.

What do you think about it?

  • 2
    There's no way this can scale to every type of off-topic question. Why are recommendations special that they get one? More to the point, our close reasons are clearly spelled out; enforcing our rules isn't being rude.
    – Frank
    Dec 24, 2016 at 6:40
  • You know, that line about GameDev always struck me as odd. Why can't we add GameDev to the list of "migrateable to" sites? Currently it only contains Arqade Meta. Dec 24, 2016 at 8:12
  • @DanmakuGrazer While I do agree with you on that point, this meta seemed to explain why. Basically because there is not much questions which need it, and people seemed to use it badly somehow.
    – Izuka
    Dec 24, 2016 at 10:25
  • @Frank I do agree that one site can't answer all the types of recommendation questions. For identification though, it seems that it would perfectly fit for every identification questions. For me the point is more to understand why we wouldn't do it? Identification questions are still really present nowadays, even though they are being off-topic. It would help the users, and maybe even people seeing this kind of question via Google or anything. I am of course not saying anything about the reasons we are closing that we already have debated, but more to still end up helping the user.
    – Izuka
    Dec 24, 2016 at 10:33
  • 1
    Migration is rarely used since most of the time questions which wind up on the wrong site aren't that great anyways, and the golden rule of migration is don't migrate crap.
    – Wipqozn Mod
    Dec 24, 2016 at 13:56

2 Answers 2


The problem with adding non-stack exchange sites in a custom close reason is that it means we're endorsing those sites as being a reliable and high quality resource for those types of questions. Might not sound like a big deal, but it means we'd need to constantly check these resources to ensure they continue to meet our standards. This is some added maintenance our close reasons just don't need, and our time would be better spent elsewhere.

That said, there's nothing stopping users from recommending other sites via comments (I point users towards /r/shouldibuythisgame all the time), which is a much better solution than changing the close reasons. A comment is just a suggestion from some user, not an endorsement from the community as a whole, so there's no need for us to spend time ensuring those sites meet our quality standards.

  • I did see you were also giving links to help indeed. Well, I do understand and mostly agree with your point there, even if somehow I do think then that it also applies to Stack Exchange sites. As the purpose of most subredits don't change with time, the purpose of most Stack Exchange site (such as GameDev in our particular case) doesn't change much too. So I am not sure if it's such a big deal. The other way around, it would mean that we are constantly checking if GameDev is indeed always meeting our quality standards. That might be the case, though I don't remember seeing any record of this.
    – Izuka
    Dec 24, 2016 at 14:18
  • 4
    @Isuka We can trust GameDev meets our standards due to being part of the SE network. We can't really trust a reddit sub will, since reddit subs go to shit all the time.
    – Wipqozn Mod
    Dec 24, 2016 at 15:43

Following a larger discussion around how we can better help users that visit our site, Arqade now has two questions for suggesting good places to go for off-topic Identification and Recommendation questions:

Thus, leaving a comment linking to these FAQs on relevant off-topic questions would be a good place to start.

Please also feel free to add fresh answers to these FAQ posts if you know of any other/new places that accept these types of questions.

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