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Following suit with TeX.SE's idea of making Standard comments for flags and down votes, it would be a good idea to have some of these comments of our own. They can be funny (contain gaming references) but should explain why the question is closed and provide useful advice as to where the user can go to solve their problem. Please put one comment per answer so they can be voted on whether others approve.

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I'm not even remotely fond of this kind of system. It's very disengaging to users if we're just machine-feeding them text, no matter how gimmicky or in-theme it is. The reason we're leaving comments at all is with the intent to educate users on how to be a productive member of our community, teaching them what has gone wrong and what they can or should do in order to improve. If the intent is to engage them to join us, then just reading off a script doesn't seem to gel at all with the intention.

We get a fair volume of non-answer material, but honestly I don't think it's nearly at any rate where we need to look into becoming automating our responses to it.

4
  • I'm the one that originally proposed this in chat earlier today. My motivation was to encourage more people to leave helpful comments on low-quality or off-topic questions by giving them a clear description of common problems that questions have. I've seen several users doing this already, and thought that it would be a good idea to collaborate. I agree that reading off a script is not at all desirable, but it's a step friendlier than a quick closure with no explanation. Not everyone lived through the game-rec debates of '010, and saying "Look on meta for an explanation" isn't one. – Brant Mar 22 '11 at 20:22
  • 1
    Part of the existence of policies, and one of the goals of the FAQ rewrite, is to remove the need to dig through Meta for an explanation. Not everyone lived through those debates, and a good FAQ prevents people from needing to ever have to. I prefer comments with closures all the time, I've stressed it since public beta period even before the debates erupted. There's no trade secrets to providing helpful comments, though. If you're going to be walking the user through the reasons why their post got closed, you may as well start off that way. – Grace Note Mar 22 '11 at 20:29
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    I'm not opposed to compiling short explanations of our main policies, which can be used as a basic reference when people want to just make a quick double-check on what our policies are. But I'm still strongly opposed to a standardized comment system. Especially a gimmicky one. – Grace Note Mar 22 '11 at 20:37
  • The choices are to either hammer out a comment that essentially says "you fail at this site", or spend a much longer amount of time looking for the resources we have on the site already that may be of use be they the FAQ or other, more general questions. I'm sick of those "personalized" close notes for game recs that don't even bother to point users towards what we already have – Nick T May 11 '11 at 14:42
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When does Game X come out?

Welcome to the site! Questions asking about release dates are closed as Too Localized or General Reference because they are specific to a short period of time or can easily be found through a simple search online. Please see the FAQ for more information on what questions to ask here.

Welcome to the site! Questions asking about release dates are closed as Too Localized or General Reference because they are specific to a short period of time or can easily be found through a simple search online. Please see the [FAQ](https://gaming.stackexchange.com/faq) for more information on what questions to ask here.

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Gaming Recommendations

Welcome to the site! Questions asking for recommendations are off-topic for a number of reasons. There is a general question about how to discover new games that might be useful to you instead. Please see the FAQ for more information on what questions to ask here.

Source of the above, for easy copy-and-pasting:

Welcome to the site! Questions asking for recommendations are off-topic for [a number of reasons](http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/qa-is-hard-lets-go-shopping/). There is [a general question about how to discover new games](https://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/11164/gaming-resources-how-can-i-find-new-games-to-play) that might be useful to you instead. Please see the [FAQ](https://gaming.stackexchange.com/faq) for more information on what questions to ask here.

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