This question has been causing an obsene amount of disagreements and has ultimatly ended in what could possibly be the retirement of a valued member of our community.

What should we do about this question?

  • We have an AFAP attitude? :P
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 17:29
  • @MarkTrapp I see your point, but I feel that the question you linked is addressing the concept of 'should we allow these questions'. I'm not attempting to address the concept, only this specific question. With that in mind, have I tagged this question incorrectly?
    – Ender
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 17:34
  • 1
    – user9983
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 17:53

3 Answers 3


Lets look at this question for what it really is. A riddle. Riddles are Not Constructive.

Let's say I went to cooking.se and asked "What is this food?" followed by the riddle:

A box without hinges, key, or lid. Yet golden treasure inside is hid.

Is this answerable? Yes

Does this have to do with cooking? Well you cook with eggs, right?

Does this help the site in any way? Absolutely not.

Forget about off/on topicness. This question is Not Constructive

  • I would say its more of a question about a riddle, than a riddle itself.
    – Ender
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 18:59
  • 6
    The video is a riddle and the question is asking for an answer to said riddle. It is effectively the same thing.
    – user9983
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 19:00

Taken straight from the FAQ:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.

Now, I for one know that I have broken this rule and asked a question that was not based on an actual problem. I think we all have, to be honest about it. And frankly, I think thats ok given the nature of gaming. Sometimes games bring up odd questions and the questions are not always problematic in nature, but this doesn't mean we don't want them answered, so why not ask them here and get answers?

I think the community to some degree agrees with me on this opinion, as the questions that slightly bend this rule tend to get by our extremely strict zomgCLOSEANDDELETEAFAP attitude that many users have been complaining about recently.

Now with that being said, I think we've gone FAR FAR beyond 'bending the rule' with this question. Yes, it's controversial and has received an impressive amount of hubbub from being so.

I do not want to discuss its controversial nature at this time, thats a Demon for Another Day, so to speak. I could care less if its an ITG, or if it can be reasonably answered, or even if its about gaming at all. (the question asks about a you-tube video, NOT a game)

I'm more concerned with the perspective of Who Cares? How does this question apply to a problem that anyone could ever face for any reason? I'm almost ready to classify the question with the "Why did they design it that way?" concept. It's just THAT pointless. And considering the controversy surrounding it, if I didn't know any better (but I do, of course) I would ask if this was a maliciously posted question, asked to brew dissent in our ranks.

Should this question be closed based soley on the idea that its not about an actual problem?

This question poses a good argument on the policy of, "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face." And @MarkTrapp makes a valid point in said question. Quoted from @MarkTrapp's answer to the linked meta discussion:

One thing should be obvious from all parts of the line, though; its aim is to prevent questions that are essentially stuff you'd ask when you don't really have a question you need help with, but want to ask a question anyway.

I have little more to add at this time on the idea. The question I posted about clearly has no problem. There was nothing the poster needed help with. I would argue he actually started a discussion that cleverly looked like a question only because it was so focused and short. There was never any reason to ask it, it was simply asked to be asked.

A similar question would be "I just noticed CoD4 has Stop Signs on its streets, just like in real life! How many are there in the game?" Is such a question practical, answerable, and about gaming? O yes. Does it have a point? Absolutely not. Would it clutter our front page and make me stalk @MarkTrapp until he deleted it? Only until the cops became involved.

I say close it as off topic.

  • Agree with Off-Topic, disagree with application of 'actual problems' clause - if that's the case, why is self-answering encouraged? Also, if you want to enforce it there is a lot of things that need deletion - but that is a discussion for another day.
    – Alok
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 20:01
  • 1
    Somewhere in the Deleted Questions Vault there's a question from me titled "Are there enough beds on the Normandy for every crewmember to have one, or do they have to hot bunk?"...there's a reason it was deleted ):
    – Steve V.
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 1:46

In case its changed later, I am answering based on the title, Should the “11 gaming references” question be left open?


Because it does not provide an actual game excerpt (sound, video, screenshot) to do the identification. If the question asked was 'what game is being played in the video?', that would be acceptable as per latest meta discussion imho.

Someone saying a game line is not the same as the actual sound clip; see for e.g discussions on that post about where 'Stay awhile and listen' can be attributed to. If it was a mishmash of actual sound clips, then I'd consider it on topic provided:

  • there is a reasonable expectation of them being important (not just background hums or other generic filler)
  • individual clips can be properly identified (aren't overlaid with others or using fade/other sound fx)

I consider that it should be closed as Off-Topic.

  • uhh. The question I asked was not a yes or no question.
    – Ender
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 19:41
  • Sorry, I addressed the currently edited title which reads Should the “11 gaming references” question be left open?
    – Alok
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 19:57
  • oooo. Ok. yea. Wow. Sometimes I'm pretty darn stupid.
    – Ender
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 20:01
  • In fairness, your original post was diffferent so its an easy oversight to make ;)
    – Alok
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 20:03

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