Is it valid to ask a small list of games with (for example)

  • samurais
  • ninjas
  • dragons

in the main plot?

As a community wiki perhaps?


I have mentioned in the past, any subjective recommendation can be easily transformed into an objective one with relatively little effort. So let's put aside that angle for now.

I think we're fragmenting a situation that serves no benefit to fragment. I don't see why asking about the existence of a specific kind of element in the plot is any more or less "acceptable to have on the site" than the existence of a specific mechanic in the game, or if characters follow a specific theory of costume design. Picking any one of these criteria as being more acceptable is far more arbitrary than these lists could ever hope to be.

So my thought pattern is, these questions fit in the exact same fold as all other forms of game recommendations. Which currently is lacking of an official policy. We have strong arguments on both sides and no current winner. There is a "final decision point" being hammered out, but there is no estimated time for its presence. Until then, judge these exactly as you would judge any other game recommendation. But I personally recommend that we hold back on these questions until said decision; it'll make everything smoother for both sides than to continue waging this war.

And let us please stop thinking of Community Wiki as a solution. Reputation is not the only issue with these; votes remain on the same scale as the rest of the content on our site. But moreso, regardless of whether game recommendations are allowed, there exists far worse content, especially subjective, that I believe both sides of this war will agree is unacceptable; continuing to push CW as a solution is just leaving a wide open gap for these less-useful kinds of content to establish a foothold. Let's avoid making the same mistakes that the original trilogy did.


I feel like this is largely address in another thread.

I'm going to quote a discussion on cooking to help you understand:

Obviously, these questions relate to cooking. However, the nature of these questions makes them actively harmful to a Q&A site:

  • They can attract hundreds of answers for all the known variations (and more);
  • They don't target experts - anybody can answer them;
  • There are millions of potential recipes to ask for, which could quickly swamp the site.

Now replace cooking with gaming and recipes with games.

  • Well, I agree that these questions can't be answered, but I kinda feel some demand on certain sites. As the question I posted on the comments show it is being re-evaluated.
    – BrunoLM
    Oct 13 '10 at 1:56
  • @Bruno I'm not sure if you've spent much time on meta, but you should check out some of our tags. Re-evaluated implies there was an evaluation; unlike cooking, we are bereft of one. If you'd like to make a case for why we should support these questions, feel free to do so, but purely stating we should is insufficient at this juncture.
    – tzenes
    Oct 13 '10 at 2:08

In my opinion these sort of questions should be welcome here, and I consider them both interesting by themselves and beneficial to the site.

My only two (proposed) restrictions:

  1. They should be marked CW, both because the result is list-like and because these questions are far more appropriate for community effort than plain "how do I kill this boss" questions.
  2. They should not be allowed if they are two broad, i.e. there are dozens or more games that match the criteria. If that is the case, there's not much added value in such a question.
  • Oak, do you think that people will actually use the CW instead of posting one game per answer
    – tzenes
    Oct 13 '10 at 10:54
  • I agree with you Oak, it's a pity that question of this type are closed. I know that SE sites are mainly designed for answers, or question that can be objectively answered, but sometime even a suggestion is very welcome. And since CW does not hurt point system in my opinion they are ok.
    – Drake
    Oct 13 '10 at 11:48
  • @tzenes oh I'm talking about both using wiki and posting one game per answer. Wiki is useful for clarifying, adding information and (my favorite) adding screenshots. Someone will post a "yes, game X has these traits" and then someone else will add more information about the actual gameplay of X, the features that make it relevant to the question, etc. And yes, it's also useful for mitigating the reputation these high-traffic questions are likely to get, that was one of the original uses of CW from the get-go as far as I know.
    – Oak
    Oct 13 '10 at 11:50
  • Also @Drake, many of these questions can be stripped of their "recommend" or "good" words and then become very legitimate, objective, information-seeking answers. The example brought in this meta question is not actually seeking a recommendation per se, so it could said to be objective.
    – Oak
    Oct 13 '10 at 12:28
  • @Drake CW alleviates reputation, but it does nothing about votes. Which are very important. This isn't one of the "original uses of CW". It's actually a mutilation of its purpose.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Oct 13 '10 at 12:30
  • 1
    Ok, I mis-understood you. In that case how do you address the problems of: not targeting experts and that there are millions of variations on these questions that could (and one time did) swamp the site? Finally, how do you plan to implement not allow if they are too broad? If I can find a thirteenth game with ninja's does it get "some how" closed? If so, how to plan to deal with the problem "I think a shinobi is a kind of ninja" or "I think Solid Snake is a modern day ninja"?
    – tzenes
    Oct 13 '10 at 15:15
  • 1
    @tzenes regarding "what is too broad" - I think the answer is whether 5 3k users find it to be too broad. I hope that the only users who will vote to close such questions are ones familiar with the genre. Regarding swamping the site, we have already seen previous incidents with questions that were considered entirely legitimate but also came in many (endless) variation. I think that, barring the occasional abuse, we will not encounter a sudden flood of [game-rec]s. Not to mention that there's no official policy right now forbidding it, and yet there's no torrent of them...
    – Oak
    Oct 13 '10 at 15:57
  • Flooding doesn't have to be sudden if it's stuff that'll just continue to accumulate. Problem is not limited to large quantities at once.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Oct 13 '10 at 16:16
  • 1
    @Oak before people were actively closing them game-rec made upwards 15% of all questions and was the most popular tag on the site. Now while things have changed slightly, we still have a never ending deluge of game-rec style question. I would say the site is being flooded as we speak, just very slowly. The issue is not a "flash flood" but rather "coastal shorelines retreating". As to your other point, 5 3k users seem to find almost every game-rec too broad. Without a unified decision, it seems that will be the carrying message of the day.
    – tzenes
    Oct 13 '10 at 16:18
  • 1
    @tzenes but those 5 users don't close them because they are too broad, they close them because they are [game-rec]. I hope that if we do decide on a policy, those users would help enforce it, instead of going against it. Regarding quantity - I honestly don't know. I guess both of us don't want to see the front page permanently dominated by these questions; I just don't think it will be the case.
    – Oak
    Oct 13 '10 at 16:54
  • @Oak as I am one of those 5 people I can tell you right now, I close them because they are too broad. Given any set of characteristics (game play, subject matter, similarity) I am very confident I can produce more than 21 similar games. I think that all game-rec are too broad, which is why I brought up the point. Without good guidelines we're trusting the users and as a user, I'm saying: all.
    – tzenes
    Oct 13 '10 at 18:07
  • 1
    @tzenes that's a bold claim, you can find 21 valid answers to these four game-rec questions? And even if you do, I doubt many other users can. I can't, I wish I could.
    – Oak
    Oct 13 '10 at 18:23
  • @tzenes to clarify - I think the four questions in my previous comment are narrow enough. I think those three questions aren't. Everything in-between is more debatable, and for those questions I rely on users familiar with the genre(s).
    – Oak
    Oct 13 '10 at 18:26
  • @Oak so if I could supply the 84 games necessary (21 per question) would you then agree that all questions of this nature are too broad?
    – tzenes
    Oct 13 '10 at 19:01

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