We've got a class of questions related to game identification that we seem to be rather inconsistent on.
We've gotten several questions where the asker wants us to identify something, and believes the original source is from a game, but has nothing but their memory to back up that assertion. This...sorta meets our artifact criteria, and we seem to be more accepting of visual artifacts, but we're still all over the place. I find that rather problematic, especially with how we're not even clear on what we think a concrete artifact is. I got a lot more disagreement than I was expecting there, which leads me to believe we're taking a harder stance than I was assuming.
So this is an attempt to see if we might be able to clarify a small part of our game identification exception. We seem to be playing magic word syndrome with them as well; just add, "I think this came from a game, but I can't remember which", and the only way to know is to prove it. Answerability makes for an extremely poor metric, but that seems to be our current stance; we can prove or disprove it, and we keep it either way.
Our old game-id text said:
Questions asking for help identifying a game, based on a description, feature list, or any other criteria are off-topic; this blog post might help. One exception is identifying games based on an actual piece of the game, i.e. screenshots or audio clips.
We didn't even follow that, really.
Our new close reason states:
Game identification questions that rely solely on memory are off topic here. If you find a game in a video, advertisement, news article, movie and so on, and you have a picture, video/audio file, or other medium to point to, we can answer that.
These questions don't even meet this criteria; all we have is a good faith belief from the asker that thinks their source is a game, and nothing but their memory to go off of. Isn't the whole reason we don't allow identification from memory the fact that it's pretty darn fallible? How does a non-game artifact, along with memory, somehow produce an acceptable question that meets our game-id exception?
- Which game's sound effects feature in the song 'Floating Above the Earth' by The Grassy Knoll? - The asker answered themselves, and is unsure the sounds actually come from the game.
- Is this scream from Majora's Mask? - Maybe it is? Maybe it's not?
- What game is this symbol from - We closed this, and only after someone figured it out did we reopen it. Not sure I like the process, but it seems to have sorta worked.
So what do you think? Are these questions valuable? Do they produce good answers? Or should we disallow them without concrete gaming artifacts?