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Earlier today a question was asked regarding installing custom firmware on a PSP. It was quickly closed (and commented) as off-topic by myself and four others. However, it was then pointed out that modding questions are not specifically listed as off-topic in the FAQ and a search on meta turned up a question and answers indicating that they were allowed.

The question has now gained a few reopen votes, but it is still generating comments, and I felt that it would be best if the question was discussed here in meta, rather than in the comments of the question.

Should this question be allowed? Are we all OK with the possibility of having questions and answers that detail how to mod specific gaming hardware?

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    I'm not sure how this is different than the existing Meta question. – Matthew Read Feb 1 '12 at 21:19
  • @MatthewRead - It's not. It's really "what should we do with question x", but I felt the need to generalize it. Stupid programmer tendency. – au revoir Feb 1 '12 at 21:22
  • Fair enough :P. – Matthew Read Feb 1 '12 at 21:23
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Per Non-gaming gaming console questions -- allowed? and Should questions like "How can I install Firefox on the PS3?" be allowed?, I think it's safe to say that we're OK with general questions about consoles that aren't specifically about games for or gaming on those consoles. Modding a console (this question and similar) should be no different than questions about already-modded consoles (the subject of the other Meta post you link to).

Per What's the deal with [legal]? and Should we avoid all legal questions?, I think it's also safe to say that just as we can't give good answers to legal questions, neither should we attempt to determine whether helping someone with modding may be against their regional laws. (Or whether it's illegal under the DMCA or whatever applies to SE; we should leave that up to the good people at Stack Exchange).

Though I don't have a reference at hand I know the SE folk don't want to host help with pirating or pirated software, but so far modding for legitimate reasons seems to be OK. We host quite a bit of material over on Android Enthusiasts in this realm, and it also seems to be OK.

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I said this specific question off-topic because I don't want this site to be the place to get that kind of information. I realize it has legitimate uses, but I don't want this site to become one of the many places to go to get your console modded and people say "but shhh don't talk about piracy", "make sure to say backup", etc.

Whether it is legal or not, these things have a certain stigma.

I am mainly concerned with questions dealing with firmware modding. Nearly any question about piracy can be masked to be "on-topic".

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    The amount of 'wink wink nudge nudge' involved, along with the tendency of hardware mod information to often require links to... less than savory corners of the internet, makes me want to consider this whole domain off topic. Just because the questions don't have someplace else to go, doesn't mean we have to take them. – LessPop_MoreFizz Feb 1 '12 at 22:25
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz - My thought exactly. The questions have plenty of places to go, but I don't think they would be good here. – user9983 Feb 1 '12 at 22:42

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