My question on that kind of subject was closed. I wasn't exactly asking for a game recommendation, but rather for any games known to be similar to a particular one. I think that is a question that can be answered rather objectively.

Shouldn't that be a proper question for this site?

Best regards.

3 Answers 3


Ultimate, this kind of question is one of two things. Neither of which is useful in this particular form.

  1. It is an incredibly unclear question about what features are desired; the author only knows that they enjoyed one game and want to play another game "like it". Unfortunately, the relationships between games are not very well defined so it's very easy for this kind of thing to get out of hand. So if the author doesn't even know what to be looking for, we really can't help even if we allowed game recommendations.

  2. The resemblance to another game is a charade; the author knows what features are desired and is wanting of those features. The example game is just that: an example of what is being sought out. Labelling the question as a "game like X" is bad because two people can play the same game and now want completely different games afterwards; we can literally ask 2 or more versions of this question for every game in existence. So if the author wants to ask this kind of question, it's better to just ask for games that embody the desired features and provide the example than to ask for games like the example and explain what you're looking for.

So the conclusion from this is that people shouldn't ask this specific kind of game recommendation. Instead, it should be phrased around what is desired, and not something as ill-defined as its similarity to an existing game. As to whether those are acceptable, well, I'll iterate what has been mentioned many times that there is no current policy. So for the time being, I'd highly suggest that we hold back on these questions until we get one. A "final decision point" is in the process of being hammered out. We'll let everyone know when it is ready.


We could argue about whether or not you were asking for a recommendation, but that's really beside the point.

Game recommendations, and repository style questions (like your own), suffer from a very specific problem on the Stack Exchange engine. To help you understand what it is, let's first discuss what the engine does well.

The SE engine (and this applies to almost any SE site) does a very good job of spanning the information graph. It does this by treating every piece of information as a node. Certain tools, such as close as duplicate, allow nodes to collect information without filling the engine with redundant questions. Very simple questions (eg. how do you shoot in MW) don't clog the engine because of this feature. At its core it the principle that every question has an answer, and that by answering those questions we are able to span the information graph.

So why do Game-rec (and the equivilent recipe swapping on Cook.SE) suffer so much on the SE engine? In short, because they tend not to have answers. This may seem like a strange statement considering you can recommend a game and thus provide an answer, but it turns out that a recommendation doesn't bring the question to a close. Instead, it continues to accumulate answers. At no point can you say: The following answer is complete. I don't mean this trivially (ie, there are plenty of questions which are never fully complete), but rather practically. At no point does anyone ever decide these questions are complete. Instead each person continues to add their own opinions on the matter.

What's more, voting has a complete dissonance with the actual question. People vote according to which answer they personally feel fits. While this works well for questions that have answers, for open ended questions such as: "An RPG for PS3" this leads to disaster. Even if the original asker selects an answer he personally likes, the voting trends play havoc on the thread. In the end there is a complete lack of quality in these questions on the SE engine.

While other SE's have found the means to deal with this problem, it continues to be an ongoing issue here at Gaming.SE. There have been a number of suggestions, but the implementation of them all is lacking. The reality becomes that enough people feel we cannot support these questions that they largely become closed. Though a few early ones remain open (largely from the lack of attention they get) and the occasional one squeaks through (because people like the topic or the answers). In the end our community is divided and cannot bring itself to a final decision:

Either all repositories or none.


Yes, that should be a proper question for this site!

The question got at least three answers before it was deleted. I can assume at least some of the answers would be helpful for the OP, as well as for anyone who finds the question via search engine.

There are many people here who know a lot of different games, and are able to provide excellent answers, more than on most other sites.

The question was serious, answerable, not trolling, not offensive, and it doesn't take up appreciable space on the server. There is no reason to disallow the question.

  • game-rec has been off-topic for a long time.
    – user9983
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:09
  • @OrigamiRobot: I know, thats why I say it should be on-topic. I'm not saying it is.
    – jdm
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:15
  • 2
    I hate to tell you this, but this matter was decided well before you even joined our community. This is just the most recent relevant discussion on the matter, and it's nearly a year and a half old. I could go into great detail as to why the particular question is bad for Arqade, but I'd just be rehashing numerous existing arguments. Suffice it to say, anything that is opinion based (game recs, ITGs in a manner, some lore questions, and more) have a hard time on Arqade. Some are permissible, but most are quickly closed for good reason.
    – MBraedley
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:21
  • Also, meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/997/…
    – user9983
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:22
  • 1
    @MBradley, OrigamiRobot: I'm well aware of the current policy. Thanks for the links! Two points: I generally believe that a meta question deserves answers from both points of view, so that one can vote on them. I posted my point of view, and others can up- and downvote if they agree or not. Also, I believe that site rules can be revisited from time to time (the discussion goes back to 2010). Maybe my answer will have 100 upvotes in 2015, who knows? :-)
    – jdm
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:28
  • I am all for showing both sides and revisiting site policy, but the objective voting argument is never going to change.
    – user9983
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:32
  • 1
    @jdm If you're aware of the policy, then why did you voice your point of view here, where the policy wasn't even decided? There are many, many, many newer meta questions on the subject, a lot with conflicting viewpoints to vote on. If you really want us to revisit the discussion, ask a new question (please don't). But I can assure you, the outcome will almost certainly be the same as current policy.
    – MBraedley
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:49
  • 1
    Not to mention, you haven't addressed ANY of the points that made recommendation questions such a problem in the first place. If you really want us to take it seriously, show us WHY those points are either no longer a problem, or were never a problem in the first place.
    – Frank
    Jan 15, 2013 at 16:31
  • Please don't rollback the post again
    – juan
    Jan 15, 2013 at 18:04
  • @jmfsg Why not? That link served to demonstrate my argument.
    – jdm
    Jan 15, 2013 at 19:33
  • 2
    @jdm Please read the meta post Origami linked above. There are critical problems with game-rec questions. If you disagree, open a new meta question, and tell us why you think they should be allowed. So far, your arguments don't address the reasons why we don't allow them, so I'd also recommend you look at QA is hard, let's go shopping! and our own question about lists.
    – Frank
    Jan 15, 2013 at 20:14

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