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To elaborate on my question take the Steam Deck, which is designed as a handheld console, however, does have a "desktop" environment and can be used as a PC. From the tour I understand that questions about the Steam Deck would be on-topic, as it's gaming hardware, but what if the question itself isn't about games on the device?

For example, what if someone wanted to know how to install a PDF Reader on the device and (maybe) then use that within "gaming mode"?

This isn't limited to the Steam Deck, I've just used it as an example. If I recall correctly, an Xbox can (or could) have Windows Apps installed on it if you are in developer mode, so if someone was asking about that I assume that could be on-topic too.

I note that questions about Discord appear to be on-topic, so would the answer change if the question were about Discord and the console/device?

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  • What is the actual question you wish to ask? Can you include that for another example?
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 15:05
  • 5
    I, personally, wanted to know if anyone knew how to run the non-Flatpak version of Discord (which can be downloaded in a .tar.gz file) to run on a Steam Deck by launching it from Steam on the device, @TimmyJim . I can get the app to run without issue outside of Steam (on the Steam Deck), but not from Steam. I, however, did intentionally generalise the question, as I specifically didn't want to use the link question on Discord as a reason to make it on-topic, and I can envision other similar qusetions in the future as adoption of the device grows.
    – Larnu
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 15:09
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    Another possible topic could be web browsers on various consoles. Some (e.g. 3DS) come with built-in web browsers, others have ways to install them (which might or might not require rooting). A question might be, "Why do I get an Error A4B when trying to login to my online banking at [site] with the 3DS browser? Can this be fixed or does the 3DS lack support for some neccessary technology?" Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 18:02
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    The thing is I can see the question I want to ask being on-topic per the tour, and likely in the help center but I'm not sure if it's really within the spirit of what is on-topic, hence me wanting to try and gauge people's opinions. The alternative, I suppose, could be I take the time to post the question and it ends up setting precedence (depending on if the question is well received or not), but as someone unfamiliar with Arqade I don't know how well that could be received.
    – Larnu
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 18:06
  • An additional topic could be the GlucoBoy, which is medical equipment that connects to the GBA and turns the whole thing into a medical device. Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 18:40

1 Answer 1

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I'm inclined to say that your actual question regarding Discord and the Steam Deck would be valid for our site since we already established both Steam Deck and Discord questions as being acceptable. I consider Discord a Game-specific utility which is pointed out in our help pages.

But your example about how to install a PDF Reader on the device and (maybe) then use that within "gaming mode"? I don't know... I can't see that really being valid for the site. I would need to understand how this "gaming mode" part works, and how a PDF Reader could be used in the context of "gaming" (I don't see any way currently). This sounds more like a general software installation question.

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    Discord specifically was discussed here
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 11:09
  • So, in the statement "Game-specific hardware and utilities" being on topic, the sentence is actually saying that the question must be both, for it to be on topic, rather than about gaming utilises or game-specific hardware, is what I am understanding from this?
    – Larnu
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 13:03
  • @Larnu I read Game-specific hardware and utilities as it must be about one OR both. Not strictly both.
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 13:31
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    Following that train of thought: if I connect a PS4 controller to a tractor to play Doom and have questions about this, it is potentially on-topic? And when I turn my PS4 into a Network Video Server, this could work too? I'd probably agree with the first, but I have my doubts about the value of allowing the second.
    – Mast
    Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 12:52
  • @Mast those are pretty specific topics. I guess it would depend on if you had a question about the tractor or controller...? I'd probably say your video server question would be more suitable.
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 15:26
  • Instead of trying to draw lines on what is valid, you should ask if your actual question would be on topic here on meta. It's easier to determine that way.
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 15:28

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