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Does this site support the computerized versions of board games?

Computer mahjong, computer chess, etc?


I'm asking because Board and Card Games is debating here whether they will support them. Their current stance is:

In my opinion, if the online version of the boardgame is still really like the boardgame then it should be OK.

So the question: "Where can I play boardgame x online?" is valid IMHO. But questions about the scoring system used in the online version are off.

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First of all, as stated by LessPop_MoreFizz

I think in those cases where the question is specific to said digital editions: Unquestionably. See:

However, I think the Can every game of Solitaire be solved? question should be moved over to Board and Card Games, as there is no difference between the electronic and non-electronic version. However, if the question would've been weither the computer checks solvability, it would certainly be on-topic.

(Naturally, this was not yet possible before boardgames existed, and should only be done if it succeeds.)

Do note that this only counts for those questions where it doesn't matter if the game is an electronic version or not. A rule of thumb can be, if the question was asked on both sites, on which site would it fit the best, and which one is duplicate. (or is it valid on both sites?)

(Example: Asking Can every game of Solitaire be solved? on boardgames would make the version we have here duplicate.)

  • my Solitaire app was indeed aimed at some form of AI that checks for solvability. – Ivo Flipse Oct 23 '10 at 15:20
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The topic of different sites may overlap. That a site exists is not enough for us to rule part of our topic space as off topic.

The launch of Poker.SE didn't make poker off-topic on BCG, and rightly so, because it doesn't matter. Poker is a card game, and thus questions about poker asked there should stay there; there is indeed a standard network policy to not migrate questions that belong to multiple sites "but more one than another".

Similarly the existence of BCG should not make us close questions about digital copies of card games as off-topic, just like the existence of SFF doesn't make lore questions about mass effect or dead space or skyrim off-topic.

Once you consider the "BCG exception" bogus, there is really no more reason to exclude such questions. Are they about videogames? Are they objective, or at least good subjective? Are they reasonably answered? Those are the questions we should ask ourselves when voting, not "can I make this question somebody else's problem?"

Do we have the right audience for it? We never can guarantee that. You can link the question on their chatroom if you're concerned. Do we close questions about the latest NFL title because there's probably very few people here playing that here? If Minecraft.SE launched, would we give up our right to handle those questions?

No, we wouldn't, because it wouldn't make any sense. It also doesn't make sense to reject questions here about a videogame just because it happens to be Klondike.


Strixvaria came back at me in chat asking me if this question would be okay for us.

Is the four move checkmate the fastest way to win a game of chess?

Is the four move check mate (1. e4 e5 2.Qf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5?? 4.Qxf7#) the fastest way to win a game of chess, or is there a quicker way?

The short answer is why the hell not. Let me walk you through the long answer before you stop listening. Consider a chess videogame that comes with achievements. One of them is:

Lighting speed!

Win a game in the fewest moves possible.

Now take the sample question proposed by Strix, actually asked here and put it the way a videogame player would ask it:

How can I win chess in as little moves as possible?

Please help me get the lightning speed achievement.

Now tell him that he'd get a better answer on BCG and close his question. He reasks it there and gets the answer as it was posted on BCG.

There is a quicker checkmate called the Fool's Mate which only takes 2 moves.

The moves that demonstrate the checkmate are: 1. f3 e5 2. g4 Qh4#

If you're like me you're now probably scratching your head. f3? Is that like a cell on the board? What about it? Is the move to just stare blankly at it until my adversary flips the table awarding me automatic victory?

See, there is a fundamental difference between the question as asked by Nathan Taylor and answered by Colin D and the same question as asked here: context, audience and the assumptions under which they're written. The same question here wouldn't use chess notation, but a bunch of pictures. It would maybe explain why it's the fastest in simple terms. The answerer may be a chess master but by recognizing that he's answering a relatively simple chess question to an audience of non chess players he can't assume the readers already know anything more than the very basics.

The question of whether or not we should accept questions about advanced chess theory on the site is purely academic and best dealt with by allowing the question to be open, suggesting that they ask it on BCG then letting it live there likely collecting no answers in the process. If the asker wants to make the jump, it's their choice.

Now I assumed there was a game with this as an achievement earlier to frame the question as a practical problem that you are facing, but I posit that it's silly to consider that a required part of why you'd decide to accept the question. Achievement whoring is as arbitrary a reason as any other to interest you in the answer to a question, it's just one many of us can relate with. We don't retort "Why do you need that achievement anyway?". The motivation shouldn't matter.

That's why I say, hell yes, please give us this question. That's the long answer.

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    I agree with the part about how we shouldn't let the existence of other sites affect how we define our own rules. I still don't think answering questions about Chess, MtG, Poker, etc. here (that aren't specific to video game version) makes any kind of sense. – Invader Skoodge Jun 29 '13 at 23:51
  • The difference is Poker is completely encompassed by BCG. It's not so much an overlap as it is a subset. Questions that deal with non-video game portions of board and card games should be migrated to BCG. If it's a question about the video game portion, it's fine here. – user9983 Jun 30 '13 at 0:17
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    @origami so should we migrate all the questions asking us to do SCIENCE and do graphs and whatnot to mathematics because it's not the video game portion of the videogame? No. Because that would be stupid. – badp Jun 30 '13 at 0:20
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    I really don't understand why you're putting words into people's mouths. Questions about the non-video game portions of these games are much more likely to get better answers on BCG. It's not about keeping them out of here, it's about getting the best answer for the asker. – user9983 Jun 30 '13 at 0:23
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    @ori see my retort to that in my edit to the answer, but "you could get a better answer on another site" in general is a non-starter as far as close reasons go – badp Jun 30 '13 at 0:47
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    You're still completely misrepresenting my argument. – user9983 Jun 30 '13 at 0:49
  • Then explain yourself better. If you can't be bothered to read what I wrote why are you commenting on it? – badp Jun 30 '13 at 0:51
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    @badp For what it's worth, I think you raised good points here. The idea of different sites answering similar questions in different ways based on the target audience stands out to me as a particularly good reason for why we might want to keep the question on our site. Furthermore, specific game logic such as AI might lead to the user making different choices or strategies compared to the non-video game version. – Mana Jun 30 '13 at 5:02
  • Both Strix and I are saying that questions with video game specific content should be allowed. If there is a "lightning fast achievement", that is video game specific. All you did was add a video game component. When my argument is "the questions need to have a video game component", you're not arguing against that here. None of that means that the questions without a video game component should be allowed. – user9983 Jun 30 '13 at 13:46
  • @OrigamiRobot That's what my last paragraphs is about. – badp Jun 30 '13 at 14:10
  • No, it's not. Your last paragraph is about whether or not getting the achievement matters. My argument is that the existence of the achievement matters. – user9983 Jun 30 '13 at 14:23
  • @Mana I agree, the assumptions taken when different sites are answering may cause confusion. However, that is what comments are for. If a user does not understand the terminology, they can either try their hand at search engines or make a comment asking for clarification. The MAIN reason I find badp's answer viable is the search engine aspect. If I search for "lightning speed achievement" then Arqade is where I should end up. – Batophobia Sep 24 '13 at 19:51
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I think in those cases where the question is specific to said digital editions: Unquestionably. See:

An example of a more borderline question might be Can every game of Solitaire be solved?. I'm inclined to say we're better off having the questions than not having them, but a comment link referring the asker to the (currently private beta) Board & Card Games.SE site would not be out of place or unwelcome either.

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As discussed in this related question, we may need to draw a line between a computerized version of a game, and a web application that merely supports a game.

For example, should we distinguish between this computerized version of Diplomacy and this one? Are both on-topic? Are both off-topic? Or are they different?

My personal opinion is that questions about the former are OK (because it is a computer game), but questions about the latter are off-topic because it is just a web application to administer a game that would otherwise be off-topic for us.

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