This question that I asked, about what the video games being referenced in a DOOM Eternal screenshot were, got closed for being off-topic for reasons I don't fully understand.

Now, re-reading the [game-identification] tag description, I think I may have been mistaken in tagging with that, but I checked beforehand whether "reference-sourcing" questions were on-topic for Arqade before I posted that, and everything I saw pointed to them being fine. For example:

Has there been some scope change or meta discussion I missed that means asking questions about references in games is no longer topical, or is there some other aspect I'm failing to understand?

  • I'm suggesting to make the description of the game-identification tag clearer in this post (please also read the comments before commenting or voting - I think the question gets misinterpreted).
    – Joachim
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 19:32

3 Answers 3


I think this question is fine. This is a question that primarily:

  • Points to an in-game thing
  • Assumes it's some sort of reference, nod, in-joke or easter egg
  • Asks what that thing is, or what the reference/in-joke is

I personally call this an 'Easter Egg' question, and we have plenty of examples of this type of thing being perfectly on topic as you've found. Here's a few more:

Your question shares a passing resemblance to a Game Identification question, purely based on the fact that the references on the bookshelf are games. If they were books referencing famous devil/demon themed stories, movies, TV shows etc like Supernatural or Buffy, I don't think it would've caused a controversy.

Thus, I personally think that the question isn't close enough to the sort of 'Game Identification' question that we try to avoid here, and should remain on-topic. I voted to reopen as such too.


It appears that your question has been re-opened, which it deserves to be.

Something to note: the tag is a pretty touchy topic in this community, which is why I believe it was closed. Questions using the tag typically require some sort of artifact from the game you want to identify, and I think someone didn't consider the book titles being enough of an artifact for each game reference.

As much as we try and avoid it, sometimes questions fall into a grey area and the community gets to figure out if it's off-topic or not. I'm glad that this question is open, because I think it's great content.


I'd like to propose an opposing opinion: This question should be closed because it shares too many similarities with other off-topic questions.

Though the screenshot is indeed from a game, the question is asking to identify the referenced games within the screenshot without supplying an identifying artifact from those games. The only thing the asker provides is "clues" to the right answer. This clearly falls under in the puzzle category, which we've already outlawed in this meta discussion. And even if we don't categorize this question as a puzzle, it's still effectively just a list of ITG questions without supporting artifacts. You could ask the exact same question without the supplied screenshot and just transcribe the hints into the body text.

Another reason this question should be closed (at least temporarily) is because the game that the screenshot came from is not available to the public yet. The screenshot is a marketing tool, and the contents of the screenshot are subject to change by the time the game actually launches.

Disclaimer: I compiled this answer based on the discussion had in chat about the question's viability. See the chat logs for more detail.

  • as old as this answer is, I still must point out that if you are being disagreed with 2 to 1, you may want to rethink your point. Just bringing that up because I've been in that boat a million times. Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 22:03

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