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There is one particular set of questions, often starting with words such as "What are all of the..." or "Where are all of the...", for which the Q&A format suffers slightly in the modern, constantly updating age of videogames.

I'm going to use What are all the friendly and enemy ultimate sounds? as an example of the kind of question I'd like to talk about. The top answer has been edited 16 times at the time of typing this up, including special voice lines for different skins, new heroes added after the answer was written, and new voice lines after heroes' ultimates were changed.

Despite that, it is still out of date. All of the additions except for two were made by users other than the answer's author, and it is turning more and more into an "unofficial" Community Wiki answer. If the answer is to remain correct over time, it will need to be constantly updated.

However, edits that add new information are rightfully rejected as "Deviating from author's intent". If any of the information in an answer comes from a source that is not the answer's author, votes cast on that answer should not have an effect on the answer's author. At the same time, hoping that the answer's author remembers to come back every time new voice lines are added is unreasonable, as they might have even left the community entirely.

In short, when games are constantly updated, questions asking for lists of "all" of one set of items can produce answers that will be out of date or even wrong before long; items can be no longer part of the list, or new items can be added to the list. Assuming we don't want our answers to be out of date, I'm wondering what our policy should be in these cases.

The difference between list questions and other kinds of answer made obsolete by game updates is simple: when a game update makes an old answer no longer useful, that answer can be downvoted, and a new answer with new information can be posted. For list questions, an updated answer would usually end up copying the majority of the information present in old answers, driving up the total noise in the page.

I can see two ways to alleviate the problem:

  • Make list questions off-topic. Brutal, but it could be argued that list questions are not trying to solve a problem and therefore are not real questions.
  • Promote and create more Community Wiki questions and answers, as well as converting existing posts to Community Wiki. With this, the answers could embrace their status as a collection of small bits of information pieced together by several users instead of a single user's expertise.

What are everyone's thoughts?

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    I don't really think this is a problem exclusive to lists tbh, just that the example at hand happens to be a list – Unionhawk Mar 14 '18 at 17:49
  • Making list questions in general as off-topic is a bad idea; sometimes lists don't need updated and they are perfectly fine. I'm not sure rejecting edits that update the information is right though, if the edits are acceptable why reject them? – FoxMcCloud Mar 14 '18 at 19:31
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    @FoxMcCloud Technically, the proper course of action would be to add a new answer with updated info. This way, it's easier to audit the quality of information (it's easier to verify individual answers than a nebulous list of editing changesets). That said, in this specific scenario, making that answer a community wiki would definitely be the most appropriate course of action, but I don't know if mods can do that since the answering user would lose a decent amount of rep. – Mage Xy Mar 14 '18 at 21:40
  • The problem exists with many more answers than just lists. Especially games with big changes (Pokemon Go, WoW, ...) probably have tons of outdated answers. Lists are easier to fix by appending new items, but that would only solve a small part of the problem. – dly Mar 15 '18 at 14:44
  • Per: gaming.meta.stackexchange.com/a/2138/25371 ; when 5 people have edited the answer, it will turn into a Community Wiki. That is obviously false as more than five people have edited the question referenced. I don't know how or when this functionality changed, but some functionality like this seems like the appropriate thing to do for cases like these. – Bob2Chiv Mar 15 '18 at 16:04
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The help page for editing states:

Editing is important for keeping questions and answers clear, relevant, and up-to-date.

Questions like this that have been answered are often hard to maintain with the most up to date information. Currently as it is, these questions are on-topic, as the do relate back to gaming and can prove useful for those who play the game. I would say that for the example cited in your question, you can claim that it is about characters in the game, which according to our What topics can I ask about page, is valid:

If your question generally covers things such as…

  • Plot and characters in games

I don't know if creating a new answer like Mage Xy suggested in the comments is quite the right thing to do either... Referring to the example again in the question, if you added a new answer for each time a new character came out or sounds of the characters changed, you technically wouldn't be answering the question fully unless you included all of the friendly and enemy ultimate sounds (since the question was asking for all of the sounds).

I think the Community Wiki post approach would be the best approach, however it is a bit of a difficult thing to promote. For a question of this caliber, if you put all of that effort into making an answer with every characters ultimate sound, wouldn't you want to be credited for it? Most people probably aren't going to like the idea that they won't be getting the reputation points.

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    Adding new information to a non-community wiki answer is just as unrewarding as posting a community wiki answer. I personally wouldn't want other people to gain reputation off of my improvements just because they posted their answer first. If in both cases other users are asked to keep the answer up to date, community wiki is the way to go. – Wrigglenite Mar 18 '18 at 15:13

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