6

More than once I have come across a question which could be solved with very little effort on the submitter's part.

While I risk sounding like a pompous elitist by asking this question, I personally feel that it is somehow wrong to ask questions which are easily answerable by going to the immediate and most reasonable source (for example, the game's own site, or the relevant wikipedia page. I do realize this could be subjective) or by performing a tad of googling.

If we do sport a more "no question is too simple" approach, then I do believe it should go on the FAQ, as it definitely makes the site more approachable.

19

Ideally, people are asking these because they could not find the information. Even if the information is extremely easily available, sometimes the mind skips or they just didn't think about it hard enough. As long as it's still a valid question, we have a duty to answer that. The important thing is to still be respectful - you can answer with a link, but don't do some sort of "Just google it" answer.

To take one I might've asked myself on this site if I ever thought about it, see Is it possible to escape the Yeti in SkiFree. I wouldn't have expected to see the information on Wikipedia, since it's not my premiere resource on actual game functionality. And sometimes, you just don't use the right words to find it. Which is partially the advantage in fielding these questions - we get to be that result for a "tad of googling".

That said, we shouldn't be seeing these all too often, Like Oak says, they're somewhat silly to ask when they're obvious, but we can still answer them because they're still questions. It would only be a problem if people started to ask these not because they wanted to know, but if they were actually asking for the sake of adding questions. That would be wrong.

  • 4
    Agreed. And in case people are asking just for the sake of asking, we can downvote them, or if it gets too much - flag them for spam. – Oak Jul 18 '10 at 15:15
9

Personally, I think questions like "when was game X published", which can be answered by Google or Wikipedia faster than it takes to type them, are a bit silly. Still, I believe the general policy of all Stack Exchange sites is "no question is too simple".

Also, the "no question is too simple" policy has the advantage of removing a grey area. No need to argue whether a specific question is complex enough or too simple - we just accept it and that's it. It works for StackOverflow, so I guess it can work here as well. Probably most people will check Wikipedia before asking a question, so maybe the amount of these questions will be low anyway.

What I suggest is just not upvoting these kind of questions :)

  • 1
    Uh? Easy questions are the awesomestestestester way to rack up a lot of rep easily!!! We need MOAR of that!!111one – badp Jul 18 '10 at 17:56
4

Answer them all.

The real reason is that it's not only the original asker who needs answers.

This is one of most important, and perhaps one day the most important thing about stackexchange:

Imagine a world where most questions you google, easy or hard, will have an excellent answer on a stackexchange site as the first result, with the perfect answer (or several good answers) conveniently upvoted and carefully edited by those who walked your path before.

(sheds tear of fanatical SE-loving joy)

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