We're running across an increasingly common occurrence in which a user asks an identification question with an artifact that people are concerned isn't from a game, the question is closed in very short order (often in a matter of hours), then somebody outside of the question recognizes the artifact and answers in the comment since they can't actually make an answer.

For example, see here, here and here (or, for relevant meta question, here). Then a handful of questions I don't have the link to since they were deleted without discussion.

So, what happens now? The question, as per our canonicical question, is on-topic:

Game-identification questions are okay only if you include screenshots, audio, or other tangible media from the game.

We support the use case where someone sees or hears a thing that is ostensibly from a video game, and wants to identify more concretely what video game it's from.

It's also on-topic as per the help message that is given to the user when they want to improve the question, and the one delivered by the close voters:

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. See our Game Identification Wiki for more info and for help with your search.

So, right off the bat, things are confusing for a new user. They went through the trouble, they read the help topics, and the question is closed despite following the requirements to the letter because voting users aren't convinced. There is nowhere in our help, nor in our canonical question, that it's the responsibility of the asker to personally convince voters of something, and it's only been lightly discussed here, with only three votes majority on what seems to have become our official stance, with our official stance not even being accepted.

But then somebody comes in and proves that the artifact is from a game. So now it definitely meets the criteria of belonging to a game, right?

Well, no. Because of a more hidden requirement that the question must stand on its own and can't rely on comments as proof of the thing coming from a game, despite everybody in the room agreeing that the artifact is from a game.

So, then the user just needs to go back and edit the proof into the question so that the question now has proof and it can stand on its own, right?

This was tried, and was rejected, because answers can't be edited into the question. Which is even more confusing, because the question can't be answered while it's on hold and comments shouldn't be used as answers, and the user spent an hour trying to prove that the artifact was from a game only to be refused from adding in the game that it's from and why he thinks it.

So, finally, the idea would be to create a meta question trying to get the question re-opened, since meta can historically be used to override community votes. Which, also didn't work historically, since users just deleted the question against the community consensus anyway, with the reopen plea having the exact same vote majority as the stance on artifacts users think are from a game that was used to close the question.

I think this is creating an unwelcome experience, and it's no longer just an odd legal loophole in Arqade's non-standard rules. Not in the sense of users feeling unwelcome because of having high bars of entry to maintain a quality QA site, but because I can see in the comments and the edits of at least one user a clear and active desire to meet the barriers for entry, meeting them at least four times with four separate comments and edits in the exact same way I, a veteran user, would do, and then getting repeatedly higher bars put in front of them until we've reached the point of edits being silently rolled back and then being chastised for adding in literally the exact information they were asked for. Because they received their answer before they got the chance to react to their close votes and actually want to follow the rules and be a good Arqade member.

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    Related 1, related 2, this is not the first time this has come up. The entire reason game id strictly from memory is off-topic is because it creates a guessing game. Going through the guessing game anyway and then retroactively adding a random screenshot if you guess right is an abuse of the exception.
    – Unionhawk Mod
    Jan 21, 2019 at 17:30
  • @Unionhawk From Related 1 : Site Policy Rule #2: We allow one single exception, for when the question asker has a concrete artifact from the game. That answer has a clear lead over the accepted one.
    – user149305
    Jan 21, 2019 at 17:56
  • @Unionhawk From Related 2: I asked this question originally with no screenshots, outside of the guidelines of Arqade (whipcrack!). The users from my linked questions added their artifacts. This link shouldn't be applicable to the problem I'm trying to solve.
    – user149305
    Jan 21, 2019 at 18:01
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    I don't think that's a sufficient artifact. I can upload a random song on SoundCloud and tell that I hear it from a gameplay of <insert random game>. The existence of an answer doesn't relate to the quality of the question. The required action is to fix the question to meet the minimum bar, regardless of the answer.
    – antimo
    Jan 21, 2019 at 18:13
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    @GGMG I recommend reading the entire answer in #1 instead of just picking out a particular piece of it.
    – Unionhawk Mod
    Jan 21, 2019 at 18:18
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    Incidentally though, I did misread originally. I read this as a standard "memory ID question gets reopen votes after it is answered in the comments". I recognize my mistake now.
    – Unionhawk Mod
    Jan 21, 2019 at 18:22
  • @antimo I appreciate that, but your concern isn't noted anywhere in the official answer. A song from a game is explicitly on-topic. Mistrust of the asker, the assumption that the asker will just lie about their source, and the reaction to finding out that the user is telling the truth is not, and runs contradictory to the wider stack exchange requirement to assume good intentions from users..
    – user149305
    Jan 21, 2019 at 18:25
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    Possible duplicate of Where do we stand on artifacts the asker believes are from a game? Jan 21, 2019 at 18:26
  • I would like to point out that either the user has the game and recorded it on his own soundcloud or has the source and instead uploaded on his own soundcloud. This could be used to boost some kind of visualization counter on his profile other than actually wanting a question identified.
    – Moacir
    Jan 21, 2019 at 18:26
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    @Moacir That was addressed in the comments. They ripped it from a video that they don't want to post because of content in the video.
    – user149305
    Jan 21, 2019 at 18:42
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    Let me make this very clear for, hopefully, the last time. You cannot use an answer to judge whether a question is on-topic. In the latest example of this kind of question, the answer was posted in a comment, and then edited into the question. This information did not come from the OP, and is, in fact, the answer itself. It is up to the asker to reasonably prove that their question is related to video games, and for game identification questions, that means reasonably proving that their artifact comes from a video game. A soundcloud link is not a video game, unless we blindly trust OP. Jan 21, 2019 at 19:10
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    @Wrigglenite Hate to tell you, "blindly trust OP" feels like an awfully cruel way of phrasing "assume good intentions", and yes, it's required by authority far higher than us: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/240839/….
    – user149305
    Jan 21, 2019 at 19:15
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    I don't even know what you're trying to quote from me out of context. But if you want to enlighten me, I can set you straight. That'd likely destroy your argument, though.
    – Frank
    Jan 21, 2019 at 20:02
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    If you go back to the question, you'll notice that I was the first one who tried to fix the question and make it on-topic, and now you're accusing me of wanting to keep questions closed for no reason. I don't think this is the best way to have a discussion, so I'll just say that not all questions are on-topic, and moderating content is not unwelcoming to new users. Jan 21, 2019 at 20:02
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    @Wrigglenite Agreed, this is getting us nowhere. Asking for info, getting it, and then refusing to act on it because the facts came in on the wrong order is absurd, and I want no part of it.
    – user149305
    Jan 21, 2019 at 21:53

2 Answers 2


Let's ignore the policy discussion, the edit war, the 'answer' in the comments, and the heated debate for a second, to focus on the question itself. This was the original question body:

Hi could anyone help me to identify this soundtrack? checkout the soundcloud link


I voted to close, because at the time, all we had was a soundcloud link. No explanation, no context, No reasonable explanation from the OP that it could have come from a video game. The soundcloud song was uploaded by Xolmer (the question OP), so there was no more information to be gleaned from the soundcloud file either, no song description, no comments, no artist attributed, nothing. So rightfully, our users were asking OP for some context:

Hi Xolmer, welcome to Arqade. Do you have any additional context on where you got this or where it originated from? At a minimum we want to ensure this is actually from a game. – Gigazelle

The next thing that happened was the OP stated this in the comments:

I've got it from a video that had a castlevania gameplay in it. - Xolmer (Question OP)

Ok, that's better, but still not great. We have some context, but what would really solidify that is this original 'castlevania gameplay' video, which was requested:

Why don't you just link the clip directly, so we don't have to trust you on where you heard it? – Wrigglenite

and denied:

The clip is kind of a nasty meme so I had to only upload that specific ost since that video had multiple music in it – Xolmer (Question OP)

and requested again:

Please help us in helping you. Is there any reason why you couldn't link the video and tell the timestamp where the clip plays? As of now, that should be the easiest way to meet the "artifact requirement". – antimo

So - still ignoring the policies and the edit war and the 'answer' etc - we're in a bit of limbo. All we need is the original source video so that we can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the music came from a gaming context, but we don't have it. So at this stage, as per our "requiring a game artifact' policy - it should remain closed.

Now, let's bring in the rest of it:

In Revision 3 - The OP added in their comment that they heard it in a video containing Castlevania gameplay. This is good - context is important, but not enough for us to reopen on those grounds alone. (See above breakdown of the question).

In Revision 4 - The OP added in information that was gleaned from the 'answer' in the comment. This is bad - if this information remained in the question, it's really no longer a "question", or to put it another way, it's no longer an "actual problem" to be solved. You had a bad question, got an answer anyway, and are using the answer to turn the question into a good question - it doesn't work like that.

This information was rightfully removed (even if done so in the wrong way), because our policy is to not add in information or artifacts that were found after the answer. Emphasis on 'found after', because if we got that original video that Xolmer was talking about, that actually could be grounds for reopening.

So @Xolmer - if you're reading: Link us the original video from where you extracted the music, and you'll probably get the question reopened. Until then, I just don't see that we have enough in the original source to satisfy a reasonable expectation that it came from a game.

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    Surprisingly, I agree with most of your assessment. The only part I don't is the end; against all odds, we got a successful guess. At which point, it's never been our policy to reopen game-id questions. He's got his answer, but there's still no question there that met our requirements.
    – Frank
    Jan 22, 2019 at 1:14
  • @Frank Thanks, good to know. RE: the last point, it comes from a lenient interpretation of LessPop's answer, finding (and then editing in) images after the fact is a no-no, but extracting a portion of something then witholding an original source? It isn't really the same thing, which is why if Xolmer is holding back some hail mary of an original source that they extracted the music from, I'd personally be more inclined to give them a pass once they link it. Although I completely understand if that's not how you interpret it :)
    – Robotnik Mod
    Jan 22, 2019 at 1:33
  • I'm more concerned with the way it seems to be an end run around our exception; the guess was already made, the asker has his answer. There's no real need to even keep the question anymore. The ongoing insistence to get the asker to check some boxes to keep his question is only going to feel like busywork, and sets a bad precedent for the other game-id questions, which we have traditionally deleted, not reopened and answered.
    – Frank
    Jan 22, 2019 at 1:43
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    I knew we elected you as a moderator for some reason :) Thanks for this well worded post that said mostly what I was trying to formulate in my head for an answer.
    – Dragonrage Mod
    Jan 22, 2019 at 2:30
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    Yeah, likewise. Thanks for keeping a cool head.
    – user149305
    Jan 22, 2019 at 2:42

Y'know, this entire debacle could have been avoided if the asker had just responded to Wrigglenite's original comment, and edited in where it came from, or even just told us.

Instead, we get a sound artifact entirely disconnected from it's source medium, and as per our previous meta, we curated it properly, as we need more than the asker's belief it is from a video game.

Once the question is closed, and someone manages to correctly guess, we don't reopen it. Our policy is to delete them, not reopen them, because they're no longer questions.

This was closed properly, and should not be reopened. Next time, the asker can provide the proper context, and this won't be a problem.

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    You'll have to forgive him, he had less than four hours to react, based on the timeline. And you've linked the policy to questions that were invalid as per our official help line with no artifact at all. How about questions that perfectly met our official guidelines with an artifact from a game?
    – user149305
    Jan 21, 2019 at 19:28
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    @GGMG Curation has no minimum time limit. Once you post, your question is subject to curation. Users should strive to be around for a time after posting, for exactly this reason. Wrigglenite's comment within an hour, so there's no excuse.
    – Frank
    Jan 21, 2019 at 19:30
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    I strongly disagree that comments, despite their ethereal and uncurated nature, have the ability to damn questions written to the letter of our help guidelines. And I strongly disagree that your linked meta discussion represents any kind of consensus, it's a lead by four votes, unaccepted, only touching on artifacts that still are unconfirmed, and clearly not working as intended. -1.
    – user149305
    Jan 21, 2019 at 19:48

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