I don't like having to do this, but we've had a new "hot button" issue pop up.

The question deals with the handling of Subjective questions.

Specifically, the question Why do people play the same maps over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, and then some?

Personally, I voted to close this question because it's a subjective and highly opinionated question that is asking for lists as answers.

So far, out of the 30 people with non-instant close/reopen votes who can cast their votes, this question already has 6 close votes and 5 reopen votes.

There was also some discussion on The Bridge related to this question, starting here.

There was some discussion of this in the question's comments, but said comments have since been deleted.

In my opinion, this issue warrants further discussion, not the least of which because a mod asked the question and this raises possible conflict of interest issues with deleting comments/suspending users.

Related Questions:
Are we overzealous about “Subjective” questions?
Best/Favorite/Subject list type questions

  • The temporary suspension has been placed on Arda's own request.
    – badp
    Mar 27, 2011 at 19:43
  • 1
    I'm not sure if you're asking about the linked question in particular, or subjective questions in general; I think it's worth clarifying this question. Secondly, I'm not sure if the user left because of subjective questions, or because of other reasons - so I'm not sure how fair this is to cite subjective questions as a "leaving" reason.
    – Oak
    Mar 27, 2011 at 21:20
  • @Oak The bit about Arda is correct, as the chat logs show. But let's not talk about him where he cannot reply.
    – badp
    Mar 27, 2011 at 22:32
  • 3
    This issue had nothing to do with my break, at all. I've waited way too long to say that.
    – user56
    Apr 18, 2011 at 21:48

3 Answers 3


I potentially agree with badp that there might be room for good subjective questions, but unfortunately this isn't one of them. In reality, this question is a textbook example of a bad subjective question.

The reason is that it presupposes a worldview where the question asker is correct by using weasel words to frame the question:

Why do people play the same maps over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, and then some?

The question title, with its repeated usage of "over and over", indicates the practice is unquestionably monotonous and boring

This has been bugging me for a while

The question is framed as a personal pet peeve of the author, immediately injecting bias into it.

In addition to that, there is often hostility towards playing on maps that aren't so "blessed", from general whining and voting to switch to a "canonical" map to ruling them out of higher level gameplay — to the point where in a few Quake Live competitions, the "blessed" maps were barely enough to have best-of-5 duels.

  • Weasel-y use of "there is often hostility": really? Who acts hostile? Are there any sources to indicate this is a prevalent problem?
  • Dismissal of viewpoint other than the question asker's as whining
  • Usage of scare quotes to indicate terms ostensibly used by people who disagree with question asker are spurious
  • Anecdotal evidence ("a few Quake Live competitions") used to justify the existence of the problem.

So: is there a reason why new maps and new content is often called for, yet met with hostility?

Specious use of a Google search to justify the question asker's worldview.

Basically, in order to answer the question, one has to presuppose a series of questionable assertions made by the question asker that really come down to the question asker's personal opinion (no doubt influenced by selection bias). If one disagrees, one first has to challenge the entire premise of the question, which leads to confrontation and argument.

Heck, based on your account, this has happened.

Because of all this, I think the question clearly fails the guidelines 3-5 of Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. But its companion piece, Real Questions Have Answers has a little more guidance:

[...]Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page. To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where:


  • it is a rant disguised as a question: “______ sucks, am I right?”

But I really think this abridged version of Ask MetaFilter's guideline doesn't do it justice. The original Ask MetaFilter guideline (emphasis mine):

  • Questions that are some version of "What is the deal with X?"or "X sucks, am I right?" tend to not go well on Ask MetaFilter. Please do not rant on AskMe and pretend it is a question.
  • 5
    Interesting analysis. Something was always off about the question for me, but I couldn't quite put it to exact words. I think this treatise covers most of what about it concerned me.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 29, 2011 at 13:06
  • Guidelines 4-5 are about answers, not the question, and given by the answers I received and the comments I posted on them I wouldn't say I fail them. I agree that my tone isn't impartial, but then again it is objectively hard to get factual data about this other than "it's just what happens, have you ever played an FPS game for any length of time?" Indeed, answerers do not challenge this fact. Your points would have merit if I challenged the validity of the practice. I merely ask why it happens however.
    – badp
    Mar 30, 2011 at 6:33
  • At any rate, I've attempted to address your points in my question with some editing.
    – badp
    Mar 30, 2011 at 7:17

It's pretty simple. We have these guidelines:

We just need to apply them.


  • I thoroughly disagree the question is highly opinionated. It's asking why a certain social phenomenon happens. Where's opinion there? Opinion is an answer to a subjective question that isn't backed up by data; none of the answers I received did that.
  • I vehemently disagree the question is asking for a list. It's a way different beast than the "please suggest me a game" or "what is the best/favourite way to do X." None of the answers I received cause any of the game-rec problems (voting on items, not on answers; short content-free answers; etc.)
  • I absolutely disagree that we must close all subjective questions. It's simply an unnecessarily toxic way to think about it. There is no need to do so: Programmers has been hosting "subjective" questions easily for months now and, perhaps surprisingly, unicorns have failed to die as a result.

Yes, "good subjective" questions can be asked and answered successfully on SE; the burden on the proof to show the contrary is on you. Sorry.

  • 1
    As a moderator on Programmers, I gotta note that moderating subjecting questions can be challenging. As you see here, interpreting what's good subjective and what isn't can be difficult as different people will have different views and opinions. Questions also often end up being judged by their answers which isn't always fair. That said, FWIW, I agree that Gaming could tolerate some level of subjectivity. Your question in particular seems fine to me.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Mar 30, 2011 at 21:08

I'm afraid this is an opinionated answer:

To state to obvious; SE is a Q&A platform, a place for people with questions to find answers. A person with a question that needs an answer is a person with a problem that needs a solution. I use SE to find solutions to problems, and to help people by giving them solutions to theirs.

So in my mind the border for a useful question (subjective or not) is clear:

Will answering this question help solve a problem?

If yes, then the question has worth. If no, then there is most likely an ulterior motive to the question; be it reputation farming, ranting, or just wanting a chat.

  • Four votes, averaging at 0? Controversial.
    – Stu Pegg
    Apr 1, 2011 at 13:04
  • 2
    "I have a problem. I don't know what game to buy next." Just because answering a question helps solve a problem doesn't mean it is a good question for this site.
    – bwarner
    Apr 1, 2011 at 15:52
  • @bwarner: Ah, game recommendations. Also controversial. Will answering that question help solve a problem? Most probably not, as any answer would be a shot in the dark with that amount of information. Being that vague could also be interpreted as wanting to start a conversation.
    – Stu Pegg
    Apr 1, 2011 at 18:47

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