4

Question in point:

https://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/11700/what-are-all-the-games-in-the-mama-series

I don't consider it in any way or form related to . The only possible flaw here is that it might fall under the "too trivial" clause, but in this specific case the asker said he specifically looked online for that data but could not find it, only partial lists.

However, apparently others disagree - badp considers this being close to a game-rec or a game catalog, something I don't quite understand. It does ask for a list of games, yes, but that list is finite and absolute - there's no game that is maybe on that list. From my comment on that question:

A catalog is more where each user can contribute an answer of its own, and all can be valid. Here there's only one possible correct answer - the one that lists all the games in the series. Any other answer will be an incomplete one.

I might be missing something, though, and I would like to hear more what the community thinks about it.

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    While the answer is pretty good, I find these questions to be pretty useless. Yes, now you know all the games from a series, but how are you going to act on it? If you couldn't figure out which games there where, do you expect you can find them for sale somewhere? Or do you just want to know if you have played them all? – Ivo Flipse Apr 29 '11 at 12:01
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    @Ivo If I really like a game, I would like to see what other games there are in the series, and then I can search for where I could get them. Sounds pretty useful for me. – Oak Apr 29 '11 at 12:04
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    That sounds like a game-rec in disguise to me with a small pinch of identify-this-game, well you know how I feel about those... – Ivo Flipse Apr 29 '11 at 12:16
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    @Ivo What makes it a game-rec? What makes it an ITG? To me it doesn't sound even remotely like any of them. I guess that's why I'm asking this here, since I appear to miss something. – Oak Apr 29 '11 at 12:30
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    "I would like to see what other games there are in the series, and then I can search for where I could get them" to me reads like: "Heey! Any suggestions for games I could be playing right now? Oh wait I know this series, can you tell me if there are more games in it?" Which is similar to game-rec in that it asks for games you could be playing, what other use would it have? As for the fact that he couldn't find any other games in the series is pretty similar to not knowing what game you are looking for in the first place. – Ivo Flipse Apr 29 '11 at 12:51
  • @Ivo Nobody wants to help you choose a new monitor for a computer on superuser, but collecting specific game titles is a pretty big part of gaming for many people. To me it sounds more like "hey, my girlfriend/dad/friend loves this series and I want to make sure I can complete the set for them this christmas". I know gamers who will ramble on about censored releases, the nuances of regional distribution, and how a game for platform x is not the same as the one for y. And that's completely on-topic. – user6234456 Apr 30 '11 at 23:17
  • I think this is absolutely on-topic. – GnomeSlice May 4 '11 at 0:20
3

Isn't this already covered by the emerging "general reference" close reason?

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/02/are-some-questions-too-simple/

general reference

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.

That close reason is experimentally enabled on scifi.se and english.se.

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  • I agree that the "general reference" is indeed a potential close reason for these questions. In the linked one, however, the asker explicitly said he searched online but couldn't find any such resource... – Oak Apr 30 '11 at 9:22
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    @oak utterly untrue, since the first answer says, and I quote The best source for all of them is most likely Wikipedia: go to their page on the first game and expand the "Cooking Mama video games" block at the bottom. That is the VERY DEFINITION of a general reference question that should be closed. Are we now responsible for peoples' inability to use search? – Jeff Atwood Apr 30 '11 at 9:31
  • you do have a point there, I didn't look too closely at that answer. – Oak Apr 30 '11 at 9:39
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    You often need an expert to tell you that when wp lists 8 titles, and your friend heard there were 9, that's because a foreign title is actually the same as a local title. The answer lists "Crafting Mama (DS) (Cooking Mama World: Hobbies and Fun in Europe)", and wikipedia has no info on crafting mama - that's probably what got it the checkmark. The answer even points out that the official site gives multiple conflicting lists, by region. – user6234456 May 1 '11 at 22:09
2

I don't know that "finite and absolute" is a good enough criteria. If I ask for a list of all games that have ninjas, that list is finite and absolute also. Nobody can question that a game has ninjas. But

  • The list will grow over time
  • It is nearly impossible for anyone to be certain they have all of them
  • Answerers are tempted to write answers with one or two examples, which breaks things.

Wikipedia is much better at maintaining lists like this than we are, I think linking to them and closing the question is appropriate. (I actually voted to reopen but then reconsidered. Unfortunately there is no way to retract my vote)

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2

Yes, they are lists. Lists aren't a problem. Itemized lists are the problem. These lists are closer in nature to the kind of questions like "What are the unlockable weapons in Sora?", where you'd be daft to post only a single entry per answer. These are the kinds of questions that attract a proper, one-list-inside-one-answer type of solution that we want to see. The author is also not seeking just a single item, as is the case with itemized lists. Anyone who posts one-per-answer is, well, being terribly unhelpful.

As such, I don't really consider them a catalogue type of question. However, they are extremely trivial. I'm wanting to see what others think about whether they are too trivial. That is the biggest fault in these questions. To me, if anything were to classify as "too trivial" for this site, these kinds of questions would strike on the list far earlier than anything like how to solve a particular puzzle.


bwarner's answer makes a good point that ultimately, "belonging to a part of a series" is just as much a form of criteria as other content or genre items. A generally more static criteria compared to others, but it's just as demanding as the maintenance of any standard repository. They still aren't itemized lists, which are the normal issue with game catalogues. Nevertheless, they can be interpreted as a contradiction to our policy, and I'm not sure we want to see these questions weaponized against our policy.

The main sticking point for them is that their triviality makes them less susceptible to being treated as an itemized list. I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing anymore, because that just highlights their triviality, and it may even present a bad precedent.

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  • I'm really confused as to why it's not an itemized list. There's nothing in the list besides the items (the games). I do think it's too trivial as well. I think that should trump the fact that a complete list may not be easily found via a search, despite what the flowchart says. – Matthew Read Apr 29 '11 at 14:25
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    @Matthew An itemized list is one where every "answer" is an item, and not an answer. Obviously, every element of a plain old list is an item of that list, but itemized lists are about how the responses come. Otherwise, by that logic, questions like the one I cited for Sora would be classified as itemized and thus off-topic, which is a bit ridiculous of a notion in my opinion. If we can't handle questions that happen to be lists of any nature, we will cut off a great deal of our content. – Grace Note Apr 29 '11 at 14:26
  • @Grace OK. Is there a SO Meta topic or anything about that? To me that doesn't seem like a real distinction, since similar questions to this Mama series one have been made CW and answered with one item per answer, at least on other sites. – Matthew Read Apr 29 '11 at 14:29
  • @Matthew We have our own topics on the matter, I'll drag up examples. Remember, on Gaming we try to refrain from "CW makes acceptable" as much as possible, and we're also pretty much against "one-per-answer". – Grace Note Apr 29 '11 at 14:30
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    @Matthew See this one on scope, as well as this answer and the bottom of this answer on "items versus answers". See also the blog entry that helped coin the terminology of "itemized lists". – Grace Note Apr 29 '11 at 14:34
  • @Grace Great, thanks for those. So I just think this one is trivial, then. (And I didn't mean to imply CW-izing was OK, I hate CW). – Matthew Read Apr 29 '11 at 14:43
-3

Questions that ask for a list are allowed if the criteria gives a definite relation to a proper noun, disallowed otherwise. Allowed examples:

  • What are all the games where you can play Solid Snake?
  • Where are all of the castle secret stars in Mario 64?

Disallowed examples of indefinite lists:

  • What are all games with ninjas?
  • What are all games like the Sims? [no definite relation]
  • What are all games with ninjas for the Playstation?

This criteria is objective, easily applied as long as you know that some proper nouns might be non-capitalized plurals, and correctly rules out a fair number of problematic questions.

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  • An itemized list is when the separate answers are items instead of answers. It's always fine if the answers are spread across multiple items, it's itemized when you cannot take a single applicable answer and say "This is a complete answer to the question". It's a different entity from when there are just multiple correct answers. Itemized nature may sound like a symptom, but there's observable patterns in questions that will lead to one versus the acceptable kinds of lists. – Grace Note May 1 '11 at 1:17
  • You're missing the point: you have to identify those "observable patterns in questions". You give criteria for identifying bad answers, not bad questions, and yet there are no questions that ask "can I have an incomplete answer". Do you actually have a problem with the "indef lists" criteria proposed, or are you only voting down because I disagree with your view? – user6234456 May 1 '11 at 16:55
  • I didn't downvote, actually, since I'm still troubling myself to figure how your suggestion here fits with our general anti-rec policy. I'm just here to help explain what an itemized list is, since your explanation here shows an understandable confusion of the term. It's identified easiest when the question is asking for a collection of items for the purposes of selecting from them. As opposed to a non-itemized list, where you just want the list. It's less explicit and not an obvious trait. That's why I always encourage people to read questions and not just jump on them. – Grace Note May 1 '11 at 17:38
  • My bad, I assumed you had since you were the only comment. I'm still not sure that you've explained this, since "what are some ways to beat Boss X?" asks for a list of ways to try, and is perfectly fine. My this probably isn't the right place to discuss this. I'd ask you exactly what you mean, since I really am unsure, but I'm pretty sure I'd get voted down (in fact, I did ask, and was). – user6234456 May 1 '11 at 22:05
  • I encourage you to re-read my answer here, and posit any further questions as a comment there. If time permits and we are able to find a time together, I would not mind trying to meet you in our chatroom, as well. – Grace Note May 2 '11 at 2:34

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