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I hate to be the one always making meta questions arguing that things are off topic, but this case is particularly bad. As usual, it has nothing to do with gaming and everything to do with something tangentially related to gaming.

Why do video game framerates need to be so much higher than TV and cinema framerates?

I believe this is off topic.

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    Maybe my objection is just to tzenes's answer, which makes the question appear to be about something it's not... – Invader Skoodge Jun 29 '11 at 20:31
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    Indeed, some of the other answers directly reference gaming (response time, for example). – Oak Jun 29 '11 at 20:33
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    Seems somehwat related to meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/2429/… – bwarner Jun 29 '11 at 20:35
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    tzene's answer is exactly what my answer would be, albeit with more detail than I would be able to give. It's the simple truth, and answers about response time are making things up. Sure, you need good response time for games, but that's not why the framerate is different from movies. The question does seem like it would be more relevant on Game Dev, though. – Matthew Read Jun 29 '11 at 20:41
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    @Matthew In that case that's just making this even more solidly off topic. The resolution in this thread (meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/2148/…) seems to side with me on this one, even though I was against it. – Invader Skoodge Jun 29 '11 at 20:44
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    @StrixVaria Yeah, I agree it's not on topic. I do think this falls under the question bwarner linked, and I have the same opinion as in my answer there. – Matthew Read Jun 29 '11 at 20:51
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    Aww man. Probably one of the most interesting question/answer pairs I've read on here in a while. Maybe we should make a blog post about the subject, even if the question gets closed? – Mana Jun 29 '11 at 20:52
  • To be honest I'm a little offended by @Strix's comment. I think to understand why Video Games are different from Movies you need to understand the history that went into both of those decision. Now, is that on topic? I don't know, but I strongly believe my answer was the best approach to that specific question. – tzenes Jun 30 '11 at 7:22
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    It is worth noting that I did, on one occasion, have to explain solid state chemistry to answer a question about the relationship between Iron and Bronze, both within the game and without. There was also the time I had to give people a crash course in geology so they could understand where to find minerals. – tzenes Jun 30 '11 at 7:24
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    @tzenes It wasn't meant to offend. It is honestly an interesting question and answer, but the point of this question was to eliminate doubt I had about whether it is on or off topic. If your answer is correct, it is clearly off topic. If your answer is wrong, it might be on topic. Just one example of the ambiguity of badp's suggested solution to these kinds of questions in the link in my former comment. – Invader Skoodge Jun 30 '11 at 12:43
  • @Strix so the idea that my answer can some how change the topicality of the question is what bothers me. I write many answers which draw from greater experiences to help explain what it is the user is trying to seek. If I am restricted because such an answer might get a question closed, then when forum do I still have? A policy where my answer can change the nature of the question, is a policy which prevents me from giving answers for the fear of just that. – tzenes Jun 30 '11 at 14:53
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    @tzenes Ask badp. I didn't come up with the policy. I argued vehemently against it. – Invader Skoodge Jun 30 '11 at 15:00
  • @Strix, I have no clue what policy you're talking about. To the best of my knowledge the precedence as always been: Answers do not change the topicality of Questions. – tzenes Jun 30 '11 at 15:15
  • @Strix, oh that's just badp advocating for his fraps question AGAIN. To make that policy is ludicrous. What's more if your against that policy why are you advocating it here? Your objection seems to make no sense. No, we do not close questions because of their answers. We close questions on their own merit. – tzenes Jun 30 '11 at 15:21
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I think the question is very much on topic. It relates to specific functionality within video games and is answerable.

However, I feel that tzenes answer spends a little too much time on why movies are 24fps, which is irrelevant and non-gaming related. Still, I don't mind the question or the answers it has received.

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    Tzenes spending so much time on his answers is just par for the course. It's part of his charm. – Raven Dreamer Jul 1 '11 at 0:54
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I posted the original question. I think it's on-topic ;-) Here's my argument:

I'm not a game developer. As a a player of FPS games, I like to tweak my graphics settings to get the most immersive experience possible. I can do this more effectively if I understand what the settings mean.

The disparity between game framerates and film framerates has always puzzled me, and it makes me wonder if “framerate” actually means something completely different in a gaming context. I believe that if I understood this discrepancy better, I could more confidently tweak my settings and improve my gaming experience.

If gamers are expected to know how to adjust their graphics settings, then gaming Q&A sites should permit questions that help to clear up gamers' confusion about graphics settings.

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    I think this is a very valid argument for a different question from the one you asked. – Invader Skoodge Jun 30 '11 at 14:46
  • I asked the question to clear up a very specific confusion I have about game graphics (and one that many other people apparently share). How does the above argument not apply to the question I asked? – callum Jun 30 '11 at 15:17
  • You asked about movie framerates, not about tweaking framerates for games. While your confusion in the first place comes from movies, the question you want to ask, at the core, doesn't involve them. – Invader Skoodge Jun 30 '11 at 15:42
  • OK, so if I said... “What does framerate mean in a video game?”, and then in the message body I said, “I know what framerate means in films, but I'm confused that the standard values are so much higher in games; what's the difference?” ...would that be OK? I think my question asks roughly the same thing, but it's phrased to address the core of the confusion directly. And I've demonstrated that the subject is of practical interest to gamers. And it's an interesting question. So why do you feel so strongly that it should be removed? – callum Jun 30 '11 at 17:50
  • I just believe that strict moderation is the best way to get a focused and intelligent community. – Invader Skoodge Jun 30 '11 at 18:00
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I think the question is interesting. I think tzenes' answer is very interesting.

I also think the question is off-topic.

In my opinion, the question as currently written does not address an actual problem that the OP is facing. It may be a question that a game designer might ask (Why do I have to plan for 60 fps when movies are 24 fps?), but that doesn't really matter for this site.

If the question were something like "I bought X and I'm having trouble getting my graphics card to work with it, it seems like framerate is an issue, but I can watch movies just fine on my PC, why is this a problem?", then I can see it as being closer to on-topic for the site ... but I think the focus would still need to be on the problem with the game itself. The difference between movies and TV/gaming is nice background to know, but not something a gamer can use to address a problem.

  • I know this is really old, but just read it again and wanted to reply... My question wasn't focused on gaming, true, it was phrased about a concept outside of gaming. But it's still of practical interest to some gamers, for the reason you demonstrated in your example ("'it seems like framerate is an issue, but I can watch movies just fine, why is this a problem?'"). I just phrased it more succinctly by addressing the central confusion that most people have about it. And the answers could obviously inform a better understanding of graphics settings, so they do help solve a an implied problem. – callum Jun 3 '12 at 19:10

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