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This is about the question: Naruto fighting game with Hulk and Homer Simpson?

According to our game identification policy - What are the requirements for asking a game identification question:

Game identification questions based only on the asker's description of a game are off topic...

If you include a screenshot, audio file, or other tangible media from the game itself then we make an exception and your question is on topic. The reasoning for this exception is outlined here and here. Note that there needs to be reasonable proof that your artifact is actually from a game, more so that just you think it could be.

The included image is not actually a screenshot from a game, but just a sprite. I asked the OP where they got the image, and OP replied: 'I found it by searching "mugen hulk."' This meant that the image could very well be not from the game itself. The sprite seems to be from one of the 'Marvel versus' games developed by Capcom. In an older revision, OP described the image as "it's either the exact Hulk, or pretty close to" before changing it to the "the exact Hulk".

According to the same meta post above:

Clarification: This distinction is based primarily on use case.

  • We support the use case where someone sees or hears a thing that is clearly from a video game, and wants to identify more concretely what video game it's from.
  • We do not support the use case where someone remembers something about a game and wants to identify what game it was.

Editing questions from the latter category to include an artifact from the game does not remove them from that category, and questions of that nature should still be closed and deleted as per the normal process.

I believe the question falls under the latter, off-topic category. OP remembered something about a game, included an image that they got from googling (that may or may not be from the said game), and asked here to identify what game that was.


Addendum 1:

Another issue with the question is that image is not a screenshot of a game, but just a sprite, meaning it could come from any of the 'Marvel versus' games developed by Capcom, or any of the games developed using the Mugen game engine with the 'Hulk' character.

Quoting one of the meta posts which lead to our current game ID policy, "Here is a thing. Look at the thing. Do you see the thing? I would like to know what this Thing is Called." A plea for sanity:

Essentially, with ITG, you're dealing with little more than a game of charades. You are at the mercy of the asker's inherently incomplete or inaccurate memories of a game, as well as their own limited capacity to express the content of their memories. And that's before we even get into the issues of being able to properly identify whether an answer is even correct...

From the media alone, other potential answerers won't be able to identify the game at all. Only OP can say whether a given answer is correct. OP actually self-answered their question and wasn't even able to identify the game at all, only the game engine.

I believe the question falls under these categories:

  • Off-topic due to the lack of media coming from the game itself
  • Should be closed as 'needs details or clarity' due to the provided media lacking enough details to identify a specific game (it's just a sprite of a character that appears in multiple games, and not a screenshot of a game)
  • Off-topic due to actually being a game engine ID question and not a game ID question

Addendum 2:

OP has answered this Meta post saying that:

I didn't know whether the Hulk was the exact Hulk until I recreated the game (until which I never claimed otherwise anyway)."

OP self-confirmed that the media is from a game, only after they got an answer. This does not conform to our policy according to previous consensus at these meta posts (some emphasis are mine):

Is it appropriate to ask for reopen votes on correctly identified ITGs?

We don't allow game identification questions of the "help me remember this old game" variety. The exception if you have a screenshot is primarily there for those situations when you, say, encounter an image of a game in some other media, but can't identify specifically what game it is. Essentially, it's for "what is this thing that I'm looking at?" questions.

Whereas, in your case, you originally asked for assistance identifying a game based on your memories of it and descriptions thereof. This is something that we consider off topic. There are a whole host of reasons for this, but the short version is, that it's just not a kind of question that conforms well to our software platform, and to the culture of our community. In your case, you were lucky enough to figure it out after the fact. That's great and all, but turning around and editing a screenshot of the game into your question after you've figured out the answer - and a screenshot that prominently identifies the game to boot - means that... well, you're no longer asking a question. At which point, it doesn't belong here either. There's just no there, there.

Congrats on figuring it out, but as I've been saying a lot lately, answerability is a poor metric for evaluating the cromulence of a question. Just because a question is answerable, doesn't mean it works here, just as just because a question is unanswerable doesn't mean it has no place.

User asks an identification question with a game artifact, has it closed, gets answer after closing, and wants to fix the question

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.


Allowing the question could lead to other users asking game ID questions describing games from memory and just adding googled images that may or may not be from said game, as a workaround/loophole to our "must include (clear and definite) media from the game itself" requirement, which is problematic for reasons already mentioned in the meta posts linked above.

2 Answers 2

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A grey area for sure...

From my perspective, the most common reasons why questions get closed are (in order of most common):

  1. They provide no artifact from the game itself and only memory recollections.
  2. They provide a "mockup" drawing or other user created artifact that depicts something from the game.
  3. They provide something from somewhere that they think is from the game, but aren't sure (this is the grey area reason).

In this case, we fall into point #3. You also pointed out in the edit history of the question that originally the OP wasn't sure if it was from a game or not, and later found out it was. It was this revision of the post where I closed the question, since I categorized the question under point #3. However, it was also I who reopened the post after the edit was made that clarified that the provided sprite was indeed from a/the game. I could no longer say that the question fell into one of the three points above.

OP remembered something about a game, included an image that they got from googling (that may or may not be from the said game), and asked here to identify what game that was. Allowing the question could lead to other users asking game identification questions describing games from memory and just adding googled images that may or may not be from said game, as a workaround/loophole

All true. But lets consider the following: the post is no longer written in way that denotes this. What if the question was asked originally the way it is now? Also pretend the comments were never written. Does this change your perspective?

Bottom line, I would say in most cases where a game identification question like this is asked (that being one that includes a speculative artifact that may or may not be from the game by searching the internet), it's valid to close it, and I believe the community usually determines this and votes appropriately. But for this particular question, I think it is fine to leave it as is now.

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  • "the post is no longer written in a way that denotes this." I think later editing a game ID question to "correct" a previously off-topic one (because of faulty media) is not allowed as per our game ID policy: "Editing questions from the latter [off-topic] category to include an artifact from the game does not remove them from that category, and questions of that nature should still be closed and deleted…" I've also edited my post to add other points of concern on the question (like the provided media not having enough details to identify a specific game). Jan 5 at 2:54
  • @galacticninja I somewhat disagree with that point on that post. It's seven years old at this point too. Perhaps the community may want to revisit this?
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Jan 5 at 4:11
  • I can understand the reason behind the policy requiring screenshots or other media to be included for game identification. However, I do find it odd that adding such information after creating the question wouldn't be grounds for reopening it. I thought the whole point of the closure, editing, reopening cycle is to redeem such questions. I am curious if any other Stack Exchange site(or category of question on them) has such a policy that basically says: "Get it right on the first shot or your question is forever cursed to stay closed."
    – Booga Roo
    Jan 16 at 0:10
  • @BoogaRoo That has been discussed in these meta posts: Is it appropriate to ask for reopen votes on correctly identified ITGs? | User asks an identification question with a game artifact, has it closed... "editing a screenshot of the game into your question after you've figured out the answer - means that... well, you're no longer asking a question. At which point, it doesn't belong here either." "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." Jan 16 at 8:54
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I didn't know whether the Hulk was the exact Hulk until I recreated the game (until which I never claimed otherwise anyway). However I disagree with the ongoing policy - had my question been closed earlier, I wouldn't have gotten the critical pointer which ultimately yielded the desired solution. Besides, if the Hulk wasn't from the game I sought, it had to be from somewhere - and I could easily re-ask the question as "where's this exact Hulk from".

I question whether "must be answerable" should take precedence over "can be useful". Machine learning and signal processing questions, for example, often have questions where there are valid but much less "definitive" or "provable" answers, yet they provide great value and are considered valid StackExchange questions. Innocent until proven guilty spares burden on both askers and moderation: if nobody knows, then nobody answers - dead questions don't bite.

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