Recently, I have seen two TF2 questions (here and here) asking about trading in-game items with other players, and specifically the value of said items.

These questions are not about on the game itself, but about the community and players of the game. Additionally, they sound like shopping advise.

Prices and value when trading with other players are highly subjective, and will vary from one person to the next. Even jargon is not always universal across a game and will vary from player to player (though terminology questions are allowed per the FAQ). At what point, if ever, can a question not be about a game (or hardware) and be about a player or community instead?

I assume a question like: "Is $10k a good price for an english copy of Kizuna Encounter?", is not welcome as shopping advise. Therefore a question asking, "Is 63 buds a good price on Max's Severed Head?", shouldn't be either.

I'm not 100% sure how to approach these, as I flagged one and answered another.

Edit: Another example of a community question about trading game items, though this one was deemed off topic.

Here's another community based question.

  • I agree with your reasoning. "How do I determine what items are worth?" is better than "How much is X worth?", but not any different than "How do I determine how much games are worth?" IMO. Dec 5, 2012 at 18:58
  • @MatthewRead I don't see why one couldn't write a generic answer to either question in terms like what I've written. Actually, when you consider "games" as "items in one's Steam inventory", my answer already does answer "How do I determine how much games are worth?" For example, a quick and dirty search says Scribblenauts Unlimited is "worth" around a bud.
    – badp
    Dec 5, 2012 at 19:11
  • @badp I didn't say they were unanswerable.... Dec 5, 2012 at 19:21
  • About your edit: That question was closed not because it was about a game's community, but because it's not something supported by the game devs. Especially through PayPal.
    – Frank
    Dec 7, 2012 at 18:48
  • @fbueckert mods are often not supported by devs either. Though developer approval is a topic for another question, so I'll leave it at that. For whatever reason it was closed, it's still an example I think fits this question as badp's answer to the TF2 question also involved trading with USD (paypal).
    – Luck
    Dec 7, 2012 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


In general I don't see a reason to disallow questions about a game's community. Want to know how to deal with voicechat spamming trolls in TF2? Sure, ask away! Want general help with trading items in a community? I don't see why not — those questions fit nicely with the rest of our area of expertise, so long as they are okay with all other guidelines.

The problem you seem to be hinting here is one of bad subjectivity: questions that don't ask how and why but what. The original version of the TF2 question I answered asked:

What are these three items I have worth?

This question is both too localized and bad subjective, because (in other words) it asks for a fish, not how it's caught. It attracts short, quickly rotting answers possibly without backing or context like the long introduction I've written about how "worth" is measured in TF2.

The question as a result was closed until it was rewritten in more generic terms and can in no way be dismissed as "Is 63 buds a good price on Max's Severed Head?". Especially because it's not answered with a "Yes" or a No."

The question about paint in TF2 items is Good Subjective on similar arguments.


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