I am now seeing two giveaways that seem to be focused on just people asking questions and not so much on the people answering them. I understand we would like to drive the traffic for these games up a bit but it would seem to me that good valid answer are just as useful to this as well as good solid questions.

I have been told that this is a relatively new trend, but as I have only just started paying attention to meta this is the second giveaway I have seen and both of them, found here and here, are question forcused only. Is this, as the names imply, just a continuation of the same giveaway and it is round two of it? (IE: Since I thought a question only give away was a waste of my time as I am more of an answer giver, is this giveaway not even open to me?)

Anywho, heart of the question is as the title asks, why are only questions of value in these give aways?

3 Answers 3


The goal of the Game Grants is not to be a "free game" program: it's to get a bunch of great content about a game as soon as it launches, since that's when the most people will be searching for answers.

To do that, we need both great questions and great answers. Right now, the site and community are overall awesome at getting answers to questions once they're asked: the site has a 95% answered rate, and very high quality of content across the board. What the site is lagging in is number of questions. Some notable releases under the previous game grant system:

I don't know about you, but I think there are more questions in those games that didn't get asked. Maybe I'm wrong, and there really aren't that many questions about these games. In that case, they may not be the best subjects for grants.

For now, we're trying to focus on asking questions with the new grants. Maybe it will backfire, and we'll get bad questions or lots of unanswered questions. Or maybe it will result in more questions which get answers anyway because people like answering questions on the site and don't need the prospect of a free game to do it. So far the results look promising:

The answer rate for Soul Calibur 5 is worrying, but everything else looks good so far.

The current system is not set in stone -- it's just something we're trying to see if it works. If 8 questions is too many, we can revise the number. If people are asking bad questions, we might require a certain number of upvotes. If we're not getting good answers, we can make answers part of the criteria. But we want to make decisions on what's actually working and what's not working, which means trying different things and seeing how it goes.

So bear with it for a bit longer, and holler if you start seeing bad signs like low quality, unanswered, or badly-answered questions.

  • 3
    I think there were only 2 grants for "The Darkness II", so 19 questions is pretty good :)
    – juan
    Feb 29, 2012 at 21:38
  • well said David! Feb 29, 2012 at 21:54
  • This actually does cover most of my wondering on this topic. Thank you!
    – James
    Feb 29, 2012 at 22:39
  • My problem with the current format is not low quality or lack of quality content. The "questions only" model really makes it seem like only half of the great content generated by these grants is being acknowledged as helpful to the site. Great answers should be supported alongside great questions. Quality should reign over quantity.
    – user9983
    Feb 29, 2012 at 22:56
  • @OrigamiRobot On the other hand, great answers are still being rewarded same way they've always been - by awarding more reputation per upvote than questions.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Mar 2, 2012 at 2:53
  • @AnnaLear - That is true and I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. I just think hard work on answers should be recognized along with hard work on questions.
    – user9983
    Mar 2, 2012 at 3:48

I believe the answer you are looking for is that questions are the content that drives the site. If I could write just answers, I could write 8 terrible, yet not incorrect answers on questions other people had already answered. No effort, no thought, no added value to the site, free game.

Asking a good, original question requires thought, and by forcing everyone who gets the game to write questions, there's fertile ground for writing great answers, and benefiting from that (with rep and badges, woo!).

If people write great questions, we'll get great answers. I think that biasing posts towards questions asking is the right way to go about this.

  • I was thinking more of actually accepted answers with a couple of upvotes, not just any old answer that someone wanted to put forth like "Yes" hehe.
    – James
    Feb 28, 2012 at 17:32
  • 3
    But since you only get one accepted answer per question, why not just limit it to questions? You also get into murky territory with answering your own question etc. Questions-only is simple, fair, and only impacts the site in a positive way.
    – fredley
    Feb 28, 2012 at 17:33
  • Yeah the whole self answer does throw some complication into the situation I will admit.. But it seems to me that a site with only questions and crappy or no answers is of far less use. Now I know the pride of people who give answers would make that not likely to happen on G.SE but it seems almost a slap in the face to not also include those people in giveaways.
    – James
    Feb 28, 2012 at 17:36
  • 2
    @James Is there any evidence that would be the case? Anyway, asking 8 questions to get a free game is amazingly generous on behalf of SE. I'm willing to let them set terms which provide maximal benefit to their site in exchange.
    – fredley
    Feb 28, 2012 at 17:39
  • @James The only people that are NOT being included are those that refuse to ask questions. 8 questions does require some work, but it isn't so difficult that people can't do it. In order to participate in the giveaway, you need to go beyond just your normal question answering and also put in some time asking great questions.
    – bwarner
    Feb 28, 2012 at 17:41
  • @fredley I know that because of the usefulness of SO/SE answers I generally skip over MSDN search results from google to check for SO/SE due to the chances of getting a good practical answer to my questions is much higher.
    – James
    Feb 28, 2012 at 17:49
  • 4
    I could write 8 terrible, yet not closeable, questions just as easily. Votes on questions/answers should be the deciding factor. That way we are dealing with quality and not quantity.
    – user9983
    Feb 28, 2012 at 17:55
  • @OrigamiRobot That would still take some work from you to do it, which could be used in writing good, not closeable, questions ;)
    – Marcelo
    Mar 1, 2012 at 16:32

Just to add to what Fredley said. Questions are what people will typically search for when a new game comes out, and having the right questions will attract views to the site, which is really the real purpose behind the giveaways (though having an excellent answer to said question will also possibly increase retention of said new viewer).

It doesn't necessarily have to be 'great' and/or obscure questions, but some commonly asked questions will benefit the site as well.

  • You touch on the same thing I am touching on with @fredley, that good questions with out good answers have the potential to damage the reputation of a site. I know I came to this site to evaluate Minecraft and it wasn't until I found a specific person's answers that the information was genuinely useful 90% of the time for example.
    – James
    Feb 28, 2012 at 17:40
  • 4
    Great questions are how people find the site. Great answers are what keep them coming back
    – user9983
    Feb 28, 2012 at 17:52
  • 1
    @James My experience with the previous game grant, at least for KOA, whose questions I followed, was that there weren't too many questions that didn't get good answers. So while the "good questions, but no answers" scenario could theoretically be a problem, in practice it doesn't seem to be. I don't know if it was any different for the SC5 or FF13-2 questions, though, since I didn't read any of them.
    – Sterno
    Feb 28, 2012 at 17:56
  • @OrigamiRobot that is a very great and succinct way of putting it
    – l I
    Feb 29, 2012 at 12:43

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