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I'd like to make a case for Easy Questions.

I sometimes ask something, and get a flurry of downvotes and get told to just Google it.

I find it a little bit dumb. I mean, isn't pretty much any question just googleable? The internet is far and wide, pretty much any question, even more for older games, have an answer somewhere that isn't Arqade.


And dont get me wrong here. I'm still gonna bash things like 'How do I press A' as too easy. But things like How do PSN levels work? yes the information can be found, but it's not an answer that is written in the sky it's so easy.

I think that mentality is stunting the growth of Arqade. If we just want questions that are not asked everyday, that are so unique that the information is nowhere on the internet, we have questions that are not googled often. And if they are not googled often, Arqade doesn't show up often in search results.


In return I see that blocking easy questions might be a good thing. With no easy questions, we don't have 50 questions a minute on the site, it blocks a lot of the noise that could be on this site. But on the other side, I think that those easy questions would, over time, sort themselves out. Yes we would have a lot of them in the beginning, but after a while, those questions would have been asked before. So they wouldn't just get asked again and again.


TLDR: Questions should be considered too easy when it's something so easy to know that you would doubt the intelligence of the asker to need that answer. Asking for questions that cant be answered by a google search probably slows the growth of Arqade in the long run.

  • Your tl;dr kinda contradicts your main point because, well, aren't you getting down votes precisely because people consider the easy questions to be something so easy to know that you would doubt the intelligence of the asker to need that answer"? Also, we kinda expect people to show their work and what they tried and such, so easy questions get hammered because they look like Rep grabs because you aren't doing any work first to find the answers. – Ash Aug 8 '17 at 18:05
  • I'd say that doubting the intelligence was more for questions like 'Hey what do you push to go forward in Mario Kart'. But I can see your point for the RepGrab thing. But at the same time, good questions should land more upvotes. I guess my point is more why does it get trashed by downvotes. downvotes should be more for questions that are completely bad, and not something that you feel is a rep grab. If you think it's a repgrab just down vote on it? – Fredy31 Aug 8 '17 at 18:09
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    Superb mistype here : Down vote on it -> Don't vote on it – Fredy31 Aug 8 '17 at 18:17
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    Down votes are a way to say hey, there is something that needs to be adressed because this question doesn't work for whatever reason. – Ash Aug 8 '17 at 19:19
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    I see all that, but the easy questions not being there make that SEO wise, Arqade is hard to come by. On a community growth standpoint, right now we only get some users coming from referrals by a user to friends/communities, or coming from other SE sites. If we were to work to be there on common asked questions about videogames in google, we probably would be growing faster as a community – Fredy31 Aug 9 '17 at 18:30
  • @Fredy31 I find arqade results when googling fairly often tbh. – Ave Aug 11 '17 at 9:25
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    It may be worth noting that questions that get downvoted for being "easy" may end up with a net positive in the long run. There are numerous occasions where I Google something simple, first link is for StackOverflow, and the first comment on that question is a lmgtfy link. – Batophobia Aug 14 '17 at 16:26
  • If you have a question quite easy to answer but you don't think this answer is easy enought to find or not clear enough you can still ask the question and answer it yourself in a very nice and clear way. I've done it once and since the question has been seen 1000 times so I think this helped. – Fabich Aug 16 '17 at 22:53
  • @Avery thats probably because Google considers your previous researches and history to give you results. Go on a website often, it will happen more often in the results. – Fredy31 Nov 21 '17 at 18:24
  • I do get arqade results on duckduckgo too, which doesn't have history feature or any personalization of that nature. – Ave Nov 22 '17 at 6:18
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We accept easy questions. That's not in dispute. But we do expect askers to make a modicum of effort before asking here. We won't close them. But that doesn't mean they're good questions.

Look at the down vote tooltip: "This question is not useful or does not show research effort". Downvotes' primary purpose is to signal to future readers that this question isn't worth their time. And no effort questions are exactly that. That's exactly what you should expect to happen.

Put in a little bit of research before asking here. Doesn't have to be a lot. Just something. Anything at all, to show that you've tried to solve it yourself first.

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    I think what Fredy is really trying to say here is that there's no clear distinction between what a "low research effort" question is from user to user. If every question requires a bit of research to show it's a good question, then quite a few questions should be downvoted on this site. There's an emerging double standard here, and I think that's what he's getting at. – Kaizerwolf Aug 9 '17 at 19:37
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    Asking about how playstation levels work is indeed an easily google-able question. At the same time, some of my recent questions about Final Fantasy 12 could be considered easily google-able, but they were not downvoted. – Kaizerwolf Aug 9 '17 at 19:37
  • Of course there's no clear distinction; its a subjective judgement. The point of showing effort is to demonstrate the question's value to the community. We can have questions that don't show any, but are still valuable, for a myriad of reasons. That said, asking a question that takes literally five seconds to google demonstrates neither effort, nor value. – Frank Aug 9 '17 at 21:38
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    @Kaizerwolf This is a community driven site. If the community thinks the question is "not useful", they are also free to vote for that reason. The same with "lack of research". If the users of this site thought the question was good, it would be voted up. There is no clear guide of "What will get my question upvotes", nor should there be. We are community driven, people are free to vote down if they feel it warranted, the same as people are free to vote up for that reason. – JMac Aug 10 '17 at 15:13
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    I knew who posted this by the third line of reading. When you say that downvotes are to 'Signal to future readers that this question isn't with their time' Yes... But I don't really agree that this is the case with these questions. If anything I think that some of the less complex questions are often the most helpful on the site, and also tend to draw the most traffic. I have long been a supporter of many questions other users sometimes deem 'too easy' mainly because I really do think that questions like 'how do PSN levels work's draw tons of traffic to the site. – GnomeSlice Aug 12 '17 at 14:44
  • Not only that, I think a wider variety of general knowledge questions positions arqade as a 'go to' location for information as opposed to a place for more esoteric questions only. This also encourages new visitors to contribute. – GnomeSlice Aug 12 '17 at 14:46
  • @cazc Asking questions here just for the sake of having it here isn't really useful. You know this, Gnome. We're not trying to replicate every bit of gaming knowledge on the internet. We don't need to draw extra traffic; we need to maintain quality standards. – Frank Aug 12 '17 at 16:47
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    All I'm saying is that just because one user deems a question low-effort because it can be answered relatively easily doesn't mean the post can't be a well-written, quality piece of content that can be useful to people doing just that - browsing search engines for help. That's how we grow the userbase – GnomeSlice Aug 12 '17 at 16:51
  • @cazc We don't have to grow the userbase; that happens naturally, all on its own. And a lazy question can get a good answer despite the question showing little to no effort. That's one of the reasons we don't close them, but they absolutely for sure should be down voted to show that we don't appreciate being treated as their own personal research assistant. – Frank Aug 12 '17 at 17:42
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    Fair enough, but that's not the same thing as low quality right? An 'easy' question can still uphold quality standards. If you're basing your quality judgments on question difficulty then I'm sorry, but I don't agree – GnomeSlice Aug 21 '17 at 15:02
  • @Cazc A question that displays zero effort is, by definition, low quality. It doesn't have to be hard. What it does have to be, however, is useful. A five second google search is not useful for anyone. – Frank Aug 21 '17 at 15:11
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    @Frank I simply don't agree that low quality and low effort are the same. Yes, a lot of easy questions are crap but that's not because they're easier to find answers to. – GnomeSlice Aug 21 '17 at 16:38
  • @Cazc Then I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree. Experts stick around because they have interesting questions to answer. Low effort questions welcome new users, but drive away the very expertise the site needs to grow. We have standards for very good reasons. Meet them, and you'll have no issues. Don't, and this is the sort of thing that can, and should, happen. – Frank Aug 21 '17 at 17:01
  • @Alex At the end of the day, Arqade is not here for absolutely everything related to gaming; we do some things well, and some things not so well. In an effort to keep experts, interesting questions are key. Five seconds of googling does not an interesting question make. We'll keep it, but it most certainly should be downvoted because the asker made zero effort to answer it themselves. – Frank Sep 17 '17 at 23:04
  • RE: "And a lazy question can get a good answer despite the question showing little to no effort." That's true, but the opposite isn't. If the low-research question hadn't been asked, you wouldn't have had that great answer. That's the thing with question, knowing to ask the right one, simple as it may be, is a trick of it's own. And without Q, you don't get Q&A and you don't get quality. Sometimes easy questions are an opening for something better and I don't think you want to discourage such questions by voting them down (at least not in all cases). – JJJ Jul 5 at 3:20
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Earlier the goal of Arqade used to be creating a comprehensive knowledge base for game related questions, other than opinion pieces or indeterminately long lists. As such, even for 'simple' questions that were actually useful, it was encouraged to ask them, and if no one else responded then to provide a full answer yourself.

Now it seems the consensus has changed to relying on Google as the primary authority and serving as an addendum for more complex info. Which isn't really a bad thing, except that Google is an indexer not a data provider. How to answer mentions

Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline.

Well, its very unlikely there is only 1 site storing easily searchable data - and even if it goes down, there is Google cache etc.; but it is a disadvantage to relying on external sites.

Personally, I am fine with either including or excluding them; but after going thru the first page of questions just now I do think it looks better when most of them are thought provoking and not low-hanging fruit anyone could easily answer even without playing that specific game.


so unique that the information is nowhere on the internet, we have questions that are not googled often

I disagree with this - in fact, unique and useful information that isn't easily found elsewhere is the exact kind of stuff for which someone would visit Arqade and remember it. Easy answers will be there on 10+ sites, and then it becomes an SEO game instead of providing an actual need.

Unique is not same as Unpopular , unless its for the kind of questions that we close for being 'Too Specific' to a particular user.

so unique that the information is nowhere on the internet, we have questions that are not googled often

I think our goal should be a site that aims for good game knowledge, not looking at marketing metrics. If the only questions missing are easily searchable, we still get traffic from anyone who has genuine difficulty and avoid those who cannot be bothered to do a simple search. That's not really a bad thing, even if it reduces overall visitor numbers because majority of people are dumb or lazy.

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