Is the goal to help people or build an arbitrary resource of curated questions? What's the point of Arcade exactly? My understanding has always been as a place to help people with their questions for video games. However it seems like based on just how many questions get down votes, it seems the real goal is to only have a curated pre-approved list of acceptable questions and acceptable answers. What's the established purpose of the site?

tl;dr: A bit of both.


Stack Overflow (and later, the entire SE Network including Arqade) was built primarily to solve three problems with 'advice'-style communities on the net:

  • Well-Hidden Knowledge
    • The answer you're looking for is on page 47 of 84 of this obscure forum thread from 2003, and the thread has long-since been locked and forgotten.
  • Paywalled Expertise
    • Ask questions, pay for answers (ala Experts Exchange).
  • Inane/Non-useful topics drowning out useful ones and driving away experts
    • Social Banter, Overly simple 'X for dummies' questions, Long-drawn-out 'help' threads that lead nowhere and help no one. (See the Help Vampire problem).

You can see remnants of this from our official statement in the Tour:

Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about videogames and videogame consoles.

How does this help people?

Our ultimate goal is to help people by curating useful questions and answers, and having them be freely available (i.e. not hidden behind paywalls) and easily accessible (not hidden away in a random forum reply) on the internet. We want to be the place where 'experts' in games congregate and a resource Gamers turn to, we want to have questions (and answers) that are up to date and useful to people when they search for answers.

What do you mean by curation?

'Curating' is primarily handled in the form of voting (up or down), followed by editing, reviewing, closing/reopening, and finally deleting/undeleting. We also continue to update and clarify our policies here on meta as we discover topics and types of queries that work well (and not so well) for us.

While this may cause some headaches and stress for the individual that asks a question that is off-topic for us (or too broad etc), I think it's important to note that the community isn't targeting them, but a problem with their question that has been proven time and again to be a bad fit for us. We don't hold grudges: if you post something that gets downovted, that doesn't mean that the next thing you post will also be downvoted. Votes are based on the (perceived) quality of the content, not the individual asking them.


So to directly answer your question: Yes, we focus on curating our questions and answers and yes, sometimes this comes at the expense of an individual's posts, but we do so to help the majority as much as we can.

No system is perfect and not every topic can be adequately represented in a Question and Answer format. For some things blogs, forums, wikis (and game developer's Support Ticket system!) do it better than we can. But if you have a reasonably-scoped question that can be answered by a gamer, chances are it will work well for us.

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    Side note: I highly recommend reading through that Help Vampire blog post - while it's more targeted at programming communities it does shine a light on bad asking (& answering!) habits that crop up often. Once you start to recognise the patterns it becomes easier to avoid falling in the traps yourself (even as the experts 'helping' the vamp :-) ). – Robotnik Mar 29 '17 at 6:45
  • This makes me think of all the times people post questions they have answers to, just to answer it themselves... Seems to counter the purpose of "answering questions" and just serves the purpose of curating or gaining rep. – n_palum Apr 10 '17 at 17:24
  • @n_palum You're missing "sharing knowledge" :-). Self answering is explicitly encouraged by Stack Exchange, the idea being if you've solved a big problem you're having, you shouldn't keep it to yourself if it might help others. As someone who occasionally does this I can tell you it isn't rep that motivates me. Pride in my solution maybe, but not rep :-) – Robotnik Apr 10 '17 at 23:04
  • Yeah I know it's encouraged I just think sometimes there is a difference between sharing knowledge on some big problem you have, and just dumping every little detail about a game on here (especially when they first come out this seems to happen a lot) – n_palum Apr 10 '17 at 23:43

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