Other SEs are discussing which questions are too general or easily answerable by google/wikipedia etc.

Example , Example, etc.

I was wondering the same thing about gaming. Someone had pointed this out about WoW earlier. And I agree that we should answer whenever we can improve the collective knowledge of the community.

But lately I have feel it is becoming more and more an interactive walk through place. Basically, here are the things that I feel need more clarification

  1. Solving puzzles, most of these can be found easily in walk throughs / youtube.
  2. Stuff that can be answered as a direct link off to the wikia for that particular game. Esp. in regard to spoilers/stories, unless it is a clarification of a subtle point.
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    If we can't ask 1 and 2 what's left to discuss of games such as portal 2 or mineraft?
    – badp
    Apr 20, 2011 at 7:32
  • that is exactly what i am wondering. what is the value-add if someone could just look at a walk through for portal Apr 20, 2011 at 7:50
  • 1
    Related discussion from our early days: meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/559/…
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Apr 20, 2011 at 14:50
  • @grace i saw that, maybe i should have linked it in the question too. That was one the best things liked about the community that RTFM/lmgtfy is not appropriate answer to an 'easy' question. I thought now that everyone else is discussing similar stuff, maybe it was time for some introspection :) Apr 20, 2011 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


I kind of agree with the flowchart posted in that blog post:


Notice the third question. Questions which aren't trivial, like solving puzzles, should be answered by us. Things I consider too trivial - and thus close-worthy - are questions such as

When was game X released?

How many games did Blizzard release?

What CPU is inside the PS3?

i.e. things that don't require any thought and can't benefit from opinions, just dry data which is easily found elsewhere.

Even if something is presented in a well-known source, if the answer isn't trivial then it can indeed belong here. For example:

How much damage does the pistol inflict in TF2?

Seems simple enough, but with critical hit %, damage reduction by range, other server settings etc., the answer might be more complicated. These kind of stuff should be welcomed here, in my opinion.

  • according to the flowchart, answers to puzzles can easily be found by google and hence should be closed. Unless it is an obscure game with no walk through that is Apr 20, 2011 at 7:52
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    @bronze as I've just written, in my eyes the third question in the flowchart excludes puzzles.
    – Oak
    Apr 20, 2011 at 8:12
  • hmmm... i think we might need to define "interesting for experts" in our context. IMHO, if it has very many ways of solving and you want just one => not interesting. If is very difficult and has only one strategy => interesting. Others might have different opinions. Apr 20, 2011 at 8:16
  • @bronzebeard exactly the opposite. If experts disagree about the best way to accomplish a task, the question is interesting: one answer might not work for the asker/visitor, but another will. Plus, it's a rare opportunity for gaming experts to bikeshed and come up with answers others haven't thought of. It's exactly the type of subjective question that Gaming.SE needs. If there's only one answer and that answer is Googleable, that's not very interesting to experts. The only answer will have been rehashed to death.
    – user3389
    Apr 20, 2011 at 18:50

What is the harm in having these kind of questions? Is there some negative effect to letting people ask them? Because I think we get into a very slippery slope if we say that anything contained in a walkthrough is off-limits. Personally, I never look at walk-throughs, because I don't want to risk learning a bunch of spoilers while I look for the one little piece of info I want.

  • the reason I brought this up was because in my opinion, Gaming::walk-through = English::dictionary = HTW::wikipedia. All the same arguments that are valid for them, should apply here as well. But from the opinions on this discussion, I think I might be wrong. Apr 21, 2011 at 5:10
  • @bronzebeard Consider - if you need a trivial word, you can directly look up that specific word in the dictionary. If you need to trivially understand a phenomenon, you can directly look up that phenomenon in the encyclopaedia. Comparatively, if you need to solve a puzzle (which I don't particularly consider trivial), you first have to look up the game, then look up which walkthrough might have it, then search for the answer inside of all the text of the walkthrough. And after all that, it's not even guaranteed to describe it in a way that you can work with.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Apr 21, 2011 at 12:34
  • i tend to disagree that walk through(s) are difficult to find or non-exhaustive, for most of the popular games there would be LPers on youtube, and on IGN there will be giant walk-throughs with images. For particularly hard puzzles, there would again be multiple videos made. But all that is beyond the point, my concern is that, does gaming.SE provide walk throughs? Because if yes, then the discussion is moo :) Apr 21, 2011 at 13:01
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    @bronzebeard It's not about the difficulty of finding walkthroughs, it's about the complexity of finding information within a walkthrough site. A walkthrough for a game isn't the same step of finding the solution to a puzzle that finding an article for your specific other concern is. It's two steps at minimum - find the appropriate walkthrough, then find the element you need. That's why I believe we should be able to handle questions about singular problems in games, even if they can be found in a walkthrough.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Apr 21, 2011 at 16:37

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