Why is this question considered off-topic while this one is okay as a community wiki?

What is the difference between them?

Also, how are questions converted to community wiki?

  • 1
    The CW question has been put in place of the ~270 individual game recommendation question we deleted recently. As for why that question has been closed, you'll have to ask who casted the close votes.
    – badp
    Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 8:50

3 Answers 3


The short answer as to why one is open and the other isn't is timing. Gaming.SE is a pretty new site, and our standards and best practices have been evolving and changing a great deal over the past 6 months - particularly with respect to how we handle questions looking for recommendations, lists, and other 'repository' type questions.

The CW question you linked from a few months back was a (failed) attempt at reconciling some of the rather heated arguments that were going on at the time regarding whether game recommendation requests and other, similar questions have a place at Gaming.SE. It was flagged as Community Wiki in hopes that allowing wider editing (NB: It was posted back when editing posts that weren't flagged CW required 2000 reputation - there was no edit review in place at that time) would improve the quantity and quality of the content in the answers.

Lets be clear here: Community Wiki does not mean 'this question that wouldn't have been okay is okay because nobody gets rep'. It's been (mis)used that way in the past, and was made a mod only flag for questions specifically for that reason. The point of CW is primarily for answers. On questions that receive a wide variety of answers that might partially answer a question, a good CW answer synthesizing all of them is a valuable resource. Questions and Answers get automatically flagged as CW when they receive very large amounts of editing or from a great many people - this is done to reflect the fact that the community has taken ownership of the post at that point. Questions cannot be flagged as CW directly except by a mod however because, quite frankly, there is little to no good reason for a question to ever be CW anymore.


Questions are converted to community wiki by mods, plebians cannot tag them as such. Answers, on the other hand, can be marked as CW by the answerer, either when first posted or later. If more than 5 people edit a question or answer, it can also automatically be marked as community wiki.

Denoting a question CW is usually performed for more subjective questions, or those that will by their nature change over time. As for your two particular examples, the open, CW question is permitted as it is a useful question that is where we can continually add information in order to have some response for those seeking game recommendations. The closed question essentially solicits a list, which while possibly useful, is currently "off-topic" for Gaming.SE.

  • I don't see the big difference between those two questions. The open question asks for a website list with new games, the closed one asks for a website list with game reviews. Can you please point me why one of them is considered "off-topic"?
    – user7634
    Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 23:09
  • Why are lists offtopic?
    – badp
    Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 9:05
  • 1
    @fail Lists without well defined boundaries/finite answer sets generally amount to *-rec, which is off topic. Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 9:12
  • 1
    I'll kinda amend LessPop's answer - itemized lists are off-topic, as they contain items instead of answers. One of the reasons *-rec are off-topic is because in most incarnations, they are itemized lists. Just being a list, though, doesn't make it off-topic.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 12:38
  • What is the difference between itemized list and list of answers? Can you link to some examples?
    – user7634
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 6:55
  • @DIMEDROLL An itemized list is one where each response is an item, not a solution to the question. For example, if I ask "What software exists to record gameplay?", people who separately answer with separate software are presenting items. But no single software is the answer to the question. Comparatively, if I ask "How do I record my gameplay?", I may still get a list of answers. But any individual software is an answer to my question. Also check out this specific answer on our rec policy.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 18:21
  • @Grace Thanks. According to information you supplied the closed question can be modified: "Where can I find textual game reviews without game rating?" Am I right? Should this renamed question be considered as off topic?
    – user7634
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 17:07
  • @DIMEDROLL Don't know if that's enough to get the rest of the community to agree to reopen, but that'd be where I'd start, yes. It's pretty much on the same grounds as the other question you linked once you put it there.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 17:24

We have provided some additional guidance at the blog:


TL;DR version

Most of the time, you should be asking yourself “How can I improve this post so that community wiki isn’t needed?” Community wiki is like a cheese knife: it is a specialized tool to be used sparingly, and only in very specific circumstances.

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