10

There are a ton of websites out there... I mean a ton! Some of them relate to gaming, some of them do not.

What is our policy on gaming websites? Do we consider them a valid topic of gaming discussion? Are they relevant to what we are trying to accomplish (answer specific, localized questions about video games)?

This question has no mention of gaming and is strictly a question about how 'legit' a website is. Only after clicking a potentially suspicious link do users discover that it is a game sales website! We are not lawyer.stackexchange and tracking legality of websites is a little out of our button mashing jurisdiction (especially considering our diverse nationalities).

How does this correspond to gaming, and why hasn't it been closed? Do we really want potentially dangerous sites linked and mentioned in our community when they provide no value to the gaming community?

5

Asking about the existence of gaming-oriented websites is currently within our scope. We have fielded questions like "Is there a website for ranking by achievements", and haven't really been opposed to it. For the most part, many of these don't even need to ask about a website but could ask for a tool, and in some cases a website just happens to be that tool.

Asking us to do a legal check? Not so much in the long run, I don't think. We may deal with various basic gaming legal questions, but I do not believe we are not a service to vet websites that people aren't sure about, even if they are gaming.

There's discussion on chat of transforming the question from "Is this site legit" to "Should I buy anywhere other than PSN" (roughly, ask Brant for details), so I haven't taken action other than removing the direct link. I have closed the question for now.

  • @Grace If we do alter the question to provide some value to the community (as you suggested) the website link will still be removed in an effort to make it more generic. I would like to see the link removed during the decision to salvage it or not. Whether its closed or not the link provides no value and its 'legitimacy' is under question. Edit: Closing was probably sufficient, thanks :) – Aardvark Feb 18 '11 at 18:00
  • @Aardvark Removed the link. – Grace Note Feb 18 '11 at 18:03
  • FWIW, the only thing that stopped me from editing the question into a more generic (and non-specific-website-mentioning) one like "Are there any legit non-Sony websites to purchase PSPGo games?" was that the existing answers would be left awkwardly worded. I'm not sure what the SOP is for situations like this. – Brant Feb 18 '11 at 18:11
  • @Brant At some point, the practical option for transformation is to destroy the original question. Revising so as to invalidate existing answers is to be avoided as much as possible. And if the original question is unsalvageable otherwise, then deletion is a route. – Grace Note Feb 18 '11 at 18:15
  • @Grace is the plan then to keep the existing question closed (the user will be able to access the answers for his specific case) and put a link in it to a new 'generic' question that Brant can draw up? – Aardvark Feb 18 '11 at 18:19
  • @Aardvark Either that, or we just delete it and move onwards. I'm not particularly leaning towards either resolution, so hopefully we can get more than 3 people in on this. – Grace Note Feb 18 '11 at 18:23
  • I would've left it open and let the community handle it with downvotes (removing the link was enough IMO) – juan Feb 18 '11 at 18:33
  • So how come you can ask about the existence of a gaming site, but not the existence of a mod? gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/17145/… This question seems OK to me, other than the asking for a list part. – bwarner Feb 23 '11 at 18:15
  • @bwarner "Is there a site that does X" is basically an extension of "How can I do X", where the acceptability is based on what X is. The same goes for mods - when "Is there a mod for X" boils down to "Does this kind of game exist", then it runs afoul of our repository policy. See the logic from my answer here. – Grace Note Feb 23 '11 at 18:20
  • @bwarner To put it another way, think about how the question can be transformed away from a list by subtracting the item component. "What websites are there that list Little Big Planet levels?", subtract websites to get "Where can I find a repository of Little Big Planet levels?". "Is there a mod for spies in Civ 5?", subtract mod to get "How do I play Civ 5 with spies?". The latter is the same "transformation" that would happen with asking a game rec. – Grace Note Feb 23 '11 at 18:28
  • @Grace In your other meta answer, you state "it depends on how concretely defined the problem/concern to be solved/addressed is". In this case the problem seems very concrete, and if you edit out the sentence where he asks for a list of all of them, it seems like there can be a single correct answer that would satisfy everyone. I think this is much different than asking "What are some good mods", which I agree is bad. – bwarner Feb 23 '11 at 20:49
  • @bwarner There's still a difference between asking for a resource to get something done, and asking for a game to play. From what I can tell, everyone else finds that the question is closer to the latter, while you feel it is more like the former. So, being that I don't own the game, my previous comment judged it on that premise, that playing Civ 5 with spies is more like playing a different game. If you can prove that it's less a custom-map/game type scenario, and more something else, then it probably stands to be reopened. – Grace Note Feb 23 '11 at 21:00
  • @Grace Spies are a unit from Civ 4. He's just asking if there is a way to re-introduce that unit in Civ 5. That doesn't sound at all to me like "playing a different game". – bwarner Feb 24 '11 at 1:51
  • Isn't should I buy anywhere than PSN incredibly subjective? Imaging asking a hardcore Apple user if you should buy from anywhere other than iTunes? They're probably going to say no and immediately give a list of reasons why, while another, more neutral user might give some other reasons why buying elsewhere is not a bad idea. – GnomeSlice Feb 24 '11 at 2:57
  • @Gnome Where's the subjectivity there? Just because you have multiple choices, it doesn't mean you can make objective points supporting each. – badp Feb 24 '11 at 9:42
1

Questions about Gaming Websites, and particularly in terms of verifying the usefulness of or locating resources?

Sure, we've done and can do that.

[Is-This-Legal]? No thank you, or, as C. Ross put it so eloquently in chat:Fire.

-2

Now I know that website questions are a difficult thing to handle but in general I think it's better to leave them open. Now let me explain why:

First off let me list some of the biggest pros and cons of these questions.

Pro

  • Very pouplar / Gamers will search for it
  • Answers can have a good explenation of why a website is good or bad
  • Can show new or unknown websites to the gaming community

    Con

  • Can lead to link-only answers

  • Answers could be opinion based since usually there are multiple websites that match the criteria of the asked question.
  • Could show poor research effort.

The three biggest problems (and why they aren't that bad)

Actually I think the only thing we should worry about when it comes to the bad part of these questions is the third point.

Link Only Problem

The link only answer problem is true but let's be honest... There are a lot of questions with answers that are "too short" and a link-only answer just is basically the same as a "Yes or No" answer (and we don't close these questions, we just delete the bad answers). In the end a good answer always tries to explain the why, no matter if it's a Yes/No, a How do I do this or a Link Question.

Opinion based answers

Now this sounds a bit more difficult at first but I also don't see a problem too big to handle in this. The only thing that could happen here is that discussions about which website is better start. Everyone who answers the question can explain why they recommend this specific website. And yes the evil word "Recommend" has been spoken but it's not a real recommendation, since the asker should ask what he is looking for and unlike "I need a new Fantasy game like skyrim" websites about gaming information aren't a matter of personal taste. You could only find it more structured or maybe you like the design more (as long as the website is about the information the asker is looking for). Also if you get multiple answers it isn't necessarily a bad thing since you can expect multiple websites that serve the same purpose.

Poor research effort

As I've already mentioned this is the only thing that really is a big problem. You can find most websites with easy google search parameters like "Skyrim Mods" (Nexusmods), "WoW DPS results" (Simcraft) or "LoL Guides" (Mobafire). But I really feel like "Poor research effort" gets ignored far too often. I've seen a ton of questions with a lot of upvotes where if you google it the result shows up multiple times (yes most of the time also before that question was asked). Now of course when I see a question like "Where can I find League of Legends guides" I will downvote it because seriously... It's not that hard to type "LoL guides" into google. But a question like this can be specified. You could say for example "Where can I find lol guides for gold elo?" and if the asker asks tells in the question that he tried some of the websites google showed him but they don't work out, well then we have the potential to get a new maybe unknown website.

Finally I'd say those questions are still a grey area in terms of "can be asked" or "mustn't be asked". They have the potential to be good but they also bring some risks (but then again which question doesn't). Anyways I think those shouldn't be Closed. Downvote? Well maybe. If the question really Is bad dowvote it as hard as you can but don't close it. The answer to this question can still be an excellent one.

Now those examples were about website recommendations but what about the "How trustworthy is website X"?

As Grace Note already mentioned these questions are mainly for lawyers and we aren't lawyers. We are gamers. But one thing to keep in mind is that Gamer != Gamer. There are different kinds of gamers. There are the ones that just play games casually, there are the ones that Experiment with mods, the Professional players who earn their money with gaming and then there are also the researchers and Theorycrafters. Personally I'm a guy who is really into research and theorycrafting and I'm not the only one out there. So what I'm basically trying to say is: If you are someone who just plays a game and you learn things by playing that's totally fine but that doesn't mean a question about a website can't be answered! On SE it's "Experts answer your questions" and we are experts. But no expert can know everything. If you see a question about the validity of content of a Simulation or Statistics website don't just downvote and VTC it. Maybe you don't spend hours researching and calculating stuff in a game (which is totally fine) but there are actually people who'd rather calculate and search for information than play to learn a game.

Another thing to keep in mind is that questions about gaming software (even if it isn't the game itself) are allowed. And gaming websites should be considered as "gaming software". I know, I know... it's not an application itself but it's a website thats only purpose is providing information to one or multiple games.

TL;DR

Website Recommendations

  • Should be upvoted and answered detailed if they show research effort
  • Should be downvoted but not always closed if they show no research effort

Questions about website Content

  • Should be Closed and deleted if the question is about legal issues or has nothing to do with the content of the game itself
  • Should be left open if it's about the content of the website in relation to the game

Most questions about websites can be good questions and almost all of them can lead to good answers so don't just close them mindlessly.

  • Questions that ask for website recommendations have the exact same problems as any other recommendations, and have more problems on top of that. I'm sorry, but no. Arqade is not an asset location service, and nothing you've said changes that. You're just kind of disregarding the reasons we don't allow recommendations in the first place. – Frank May 26 '14 at 20:14

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