So we have already restricted questions tagged with to "only allowed with concrete reference to the game", which in the tag wiki is defined as "a screenshot, video, etc".

My question is: what belongs to the etc? There are tons of things that aren't a screenshot, a video or a sound fragment but can still be used to identify a game without returning to recollection. Off the top of my head:

  1. Concept art;
  2. A texture extracted from the game;
  3. A sprite or other part of the game that's shown separately;
  4. A cosplay;
  5. A real-life sculpture or recreation of a character, unit or object in a game;
  6. A quote; (please ignore the rest, just go by the quote here)
  7. A really distinct name;
  8. A concrete reference to a different entertainment product that is parodying or satirizing the game the person is looking for. (many of the videos on this channel).

You could probably make a claim or counterclaim to any of these being a reasonable reference to identify a game from, which is why I want to establish rules surrounding this (and possibly add them to the expanded tag wiki) in advance.

I realize that often, the community response to attempts at defining topicality is "let's wait for the situation to appear before trying to determine rules". However, I feel it's important to establish rules like this in advance. That way, we can immediately point to them and say "sorry, this is not allowed" instead of giving the asker hope that it's allowed only to smack it down a few hours later after we debated them.

  • I thought we completed banned identify-this-game questions
    – BlueBarren
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 12:05
  • @BlueBarren Nope you can ask away if you have an audio/visual artifact of the game as described here
    – Jutschge
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 12:07
  • 2
    Just talking about cosplay, I'd have to say no. There is plenty of cosplay that looks like it could be from a game, but is actually from, for example, an anime. The point of the rules we put in place for ITG was to make sure that the question is a) able to be answered definitively and b) is actually a game. On these merits, concept art should also be out.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 12:15
  • 1
    @MBraedley - Concept art at least has the benefit of being official material and therefore more widely spread as part of ads/promo material etc. I agree that cosplay & fan art shouldn't be allowed
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 13:19
  • 1
    I disagree that we should make a complete itemized taxonomy of things that can or cannot be admissible in the general case. We should simply evaluate the situation on a real-case-by-real-case scenario
    – badp
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 13:29

1 Answer 1


A concrete artifact is exactly that; something we can point to and go, "What is that?"

That includes something like cosplay, promotional material, advertising, music (even remixes), and, especially, video.

What it does not include is anything where it comes from memory, or if the concrete artifact is not detailed enough for us to be able to help you. We've had users whistle a tune. That's great. But it's still their recollection of what the music was, so that doesn't count. We've had screenshots of black and blue bars, and while that's technically an artifact, it wasn't nearly enough to identify anything at all from it.

So, for your list,

  1. Yes
  2. As long as it's not zoomed in to the point of uselessness, yes.
  3. Yes
  4. Yes
  5. Yes
  6. No
  7. No
  8. Very no.

Let me elaborate the last one; the base reasoning is that it might be a parody, but we have no definitive proof of what, exactly, they might be parodying. We can certainly guess, and make arguments as to which we think it might be, but at the end of the day, it's still a guessing game.

Our exception is to remove the guessing. Give us something we can see or hear, and it goes from guessing what the asker is asking about, to identifying the object they have provided. It's less, "guess this game I vaguely remember", and more, "What is this specific thing called?"

  • 5
    I don't think it should include cosplay; it should specifically be an artifact from the game, which can be sound or video or a quote. Cosplay opens the door to unofficial art, which opens the door to bad or ambiguous unofficial art, which is a bad place. Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 12:16
  • 3
    I really disagree with Cosplays. Of course there are some very good and realistic cosplayers out there where you can see the character they're portraying but there are also a lot of cosplayers that have "generic" cosplays that would apply to a lot of different games. (Especially cosplayers that put on cat-ears and underwear and call it "cosplay")
    – Jutschge
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 12:18
  • 1
    When talking about cosplays I would like to point out quality can determine our ability to answer an ITG question using cosplay as the concrete artifact. You could potentially have users including some very unrecognizable costumes due to quality and we simply won't be able to answer them. So how do we gauge if a cosplay is even identifiable?
    – BlueBarren
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 12:24
  • If we're restricting it specifically to things from a game, I don't think we should be allowing advertisements, or sprites, nor music remixes. That represents a much stricter interpretation than what we've been allowing, to my understanding. I'd have no issue restricting it to things directly from the game, though.
    – Frank
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 12:24
  • 1
    I've also noticed an issue with accepting concept art as well. With the latest iteration of the Legend of Zelda there is this concept art. But if you were given this concept art and asked what game it belonged to could you answer "Breath of the Wild" if you were unfamiliar with the game's behind the scenes videos?
    – BlueBarren
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 12:42
  • 1
    @Frank Advertisements often contain actual screenshots from the game, but yeah, I'm all for a stricter overall interpretation of allowed identification questions. Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 13:11
  • 6
    Personally I draw the line at official vs unofficial material. Ads, Game concept art or official promotional material (like the art used for advertising the game, a graphics card or laptops etc) are either screencaps/video directly from a game, or official art that is meant to represent the game. Cosplay or fan art opens up a similar can of worms as ident from memory - in that everyone's interpretation may be slightly different and therefore (in theory) harder to identify.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 13:16
  • 2
    @Robotnik That would eliminate sprites, remixes, and probably those pesky multi game image contest things. We've got several questions that fall into those categories, I believe.
    – Frank
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 13:42
  • 1
    @Frank - I figured you were talking in-game sprites not fan-drawn ones. Remixes still use source material, multi-game compilations still use source material (putting aside the pesky multiple-ident problem there's nothing wrong with the source, just all the different games in one question).
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 13:51
  • @Robotnik If we're doing official versus non-official, let's actually do that, and not add in caveats for extra exceptions. That's what led to this position in the first place. Less confusion, not more. No remixes, no fan art, no cosplay.
    – Frank
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 14:22
  • 1
    @Frank - There are no caveats or exceptions with what I said. So long as something that can be pointed to is originally sourced from official content it's good enough for me - a still image from a TV show is just as valid as a still image from a YouTube compilation, in my opinion. Likewise I equate cosplay and fan art in the same realm as someone drawing a pic from memory - there's gonna be differences, creative licenses taken, deviations from the original that may (or may not) be enough to throw searches off. Allow the former, not the latter. That's my take.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 14:56
  • @Robotnik Remixes are the literal definition of creative license and deviations from the source material. They're that same one step removed from the source as cosplay. You can't allow one without the other. If we're going to be consistent, we need a clear policy to follow. If were going to disallow cosplay, we disallow remixes as well. If its not directly from the game, its not allowed.
    – Frank
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 16:03
  • 1
    You say no to point 8, which got me wondering about this question: gaming.stackexchange.com/q/209598/101016 ...
    – user101016
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 16:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .