24

We have a lot of open discussions on the subject of list questions - at least five of them. One conclusion I can draw from analyzing them is that we don't have a conclusion. There seems to be a faint consensus that there is an "acceptable" kind of list, at least within recommendations. But this consensus is very undefined - we don't have anything to measure against except our own opinions. Yes, we are driven by the community and each individual is free to judge these things on their own calls. But a successful system of community moderation involves an actual, concrete substance for us to make our judgment calls off of.

So I think it is time that we started to define the scope of what makes an "acceptable" list. I have selected 7 random questions, and abstracted them to the very essence of what they are a list of. Some are open, some are closed, some are subjective while some are objective.

  1. Questions asking to list specific personal experience in gaming
  2. Questions asking to list games according to specific mechanical criteria
  3. Questions asking to list specific kinds of features in one or more games
  4. Questions asking to list components used for a specific purpose in the gaming craft
  5. Questions asking to list strategies used in a specific facet of high level play
  6. Questions asking to list modifications to a specific game with a specific goal
  7. Questions asking to list games that are like another game

The goal here is not to judge each of these individual questions as to whether they should be open or closed (but feel free to add that to your answer). The goal is to assess what kinds of lists we have been receiving, and perhaps might receive, and determine what we are and/or should be using to call judgment on these. Use these questions to understand the many different angles that list questions can take - understand what components and varieties of lists exist, what arguments there are to support them, and what arguments there are to fight against them. Attack the very essence - see that essence and see if it can be salvaged. And determine why it is that it may not be able to be salvaged.

We are suffering a lot of inconsistency in what judgment calls are being made because people are observing the scope differently in different posts. For example, on the topic of recommendations, how much narrower of a scope does "being like another game" compare to "being of this genre"? We have one open recommendation asking for games like a certain train simulation game - the essence of the question asking for train simulation (which is naught but a subgenre of transport simulations), yet we close a question asking for tile-based tactics games on a specific platform. We strike down subjective questions about tools and experiences, but allow subjective questions that are naught but shopping recommendations. What is it that makes some lists more valuable than others?

These contradictions we keep making, in letting some lists live while others of basically equivalent scope are harshly struck down, is really leaving holes in our site. Stack Overflow has a huge problem with grandfathered questions which, under the new concept, would not survive minutes. Let's not revive that problem here. If we want to allow list questions, we need to define clear, understandable criteria as to what defines an acceptable list. And whatever conclusion we come to, we need to enforce it, retroactively, and close all questions which do not meet the requirements.

We are 13 days into our Beta - we have been wandering practically blind for almost 2 weeks. Let us start to instate some rules to actually work off of. Please commit your opinions - this community needs to decide what it wants to be, and what it does not want to be. Think about what questions you allow in your definitions, and what our site becomes when these questions are incorporated. Think about what motivation we want people to have when they come to visit this site - what are the answers that people will be seeking.


A question on the parent site recently received some close votes with a reasoning of "Way too limited in scope". People can't ask questions that are too wide in scope, yet when they try to narrow the scope we are also blocking them. We are sending horribly mixed signals and making new users jump through really stupid hoops right now. This is going to kill this site if such a thing continues. This is why it is very important that we start to work harder in identifying what this scope is. It needs to be something that, when a user reads our FAQ, they can look at their question and 95% of the time know very clearly whether their question belongs or not.

  • The seventh one is a tough one... that decision will definitely draw a line – juan Jul 21 '10 at 13:24
  • 1
    From what I'm seeing in the answers, I think we're still not one step closer towards finding this thin red line between on and off-topic. We shouldn't be discussing what we would do with separate questions, but come up with general guidelines, so we can apply those with future questions – Ivo Flipse Jul 21 '10 at 20:55
  • @Ivo I agree, but atleast we will have precedent :P – Noctrine Jul 21 '10 at 21:10
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    @Ivo The goal of this post is to come up with those general guidelines. The questions I linked were meant to serve as a sample of several different kinds of list questions - to encourage people to consider the many different kinds that exist when thinking of a scope. The very problem we currently have is that we keep dividing our analysis to individual questions - "Are lists of game recommendations okay", "Is being part of a small genre a small enough scope", etc. What isn't covered on Meta is just fragmented in comments across the parent site. – Grace Note Jul 21 '10 at 21:15
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    @Grace Note: I know what you are trying to do, but that isn't what the answers are doing. So perhaps it needs to be mentioned more explicit – Ivo Flipse Jul 22 '10 at 6:26
  • I have added a number of different reasonings for closing/removing questions. They are all community wiki posts so feel free to add additional arguments, examples or clarifications. Also please vote. – Kempeth Jul 22 '10 at 13:38
  • Yeah, we so need chat back. – Noctrine Jul 23 '10 at 5:08
  • ref Noctrine: A request for chat. – C. Ross Jul 23 '10 at 14:41
  • 2
    Either this question needs curation (like deletion of answers and comments) or we have to start a followup, with the basic assumptions of these answers summed up – Ivo Flipse Aug 4 '10 at 17:37
  • 1
    @Ivo That sounds reasonable. Among other things, it is a bit awkward that we're divided between people's submissions and a pseudo-poll. – Grace Note Aug 4 '10 at 17:50
  • Oops I did it again: meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/776/… – Ivo Flipse Aug 4 '10 at 18:45
  • I have a suggestion for a new item on this list: 8 meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/1285/… I like dragons, so I want to know what games involve dragons... Can I ask that? – BrunoLM Oct 13 '10 at 1:58
  • @BrunoLM That kind of question is within the scope of scenario 2 if you ask me. It's not strictly mechanical, but scenario 2 is more of an umbrella for "Game recommendations with a specific criteria". – Grace Note Oct 13 '10 at 15:29
  • @Grace Seems like quite a long question. How much time did it take you to type it? I just had to ask because it makes me very curious. – Mugen Nov 25 '10 at 5:16
  • @Mugen Not as long as this question took. – Grace Note Nov 25 '10 at 13:25

28 Answers 28

7

[Reasoning] Doesn't solve a problem

Example: "What's your favorite Y".

Arguments Pro

  • Such a question doesn't serve any purpose and is therefore not suitable for this site.

Arguments Con

  • I just want to clarify: Upvotes mean that you agree that this reasoning should be used to exclude questions from the site. - Since I cannot vote on my own posts I want to add that i agree with this one. – Kempeth Jul 23 '10 at 8:39
6

I think it's not really that easy to draw a strict line on this.

In all my comments to List of X or subjective questions, I am very careful to start my sentence with "we prefer" (questions that have a definite single answer).

But there will be subjectivity in the decision to let a question live, SO has had 2 years to build its community and its standards, we can't expect to reach that level in 2 weeks.
Besides, SO has exceptions for a few old questions that are lists but are popular and are allowed to remain (of course, no new ones can be added now)

I'm not really answering your question, but my initial opinion is that it won't be so easy as to have a list of what can and what can't be asked so strictly, it will be a judgment call in that moment of time (community maturity, which people sees the question first, etc).

My opinion on the linked questions:

  1. Should be closed: Doesn't really add any value to other gamers, it's just a discussion/poll/curiosity, but nothing more.
  2. Could stay open: It has a lot of upvotes, it's an old question and it can offer some value to gamers.
  3. Could stay open: as long as it's re-written, we could edit it to make it better; but should be closed because the same question can be asked about every other game, and we don't want that.
  4. Keyword being "popular", Could stay open as long as it's re-written to ask for something specific about the "chat software"
  5. Idem 4
  6. IMO, this is a valid question.

disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my mind

  • We may not need a strict line, but we don't even have a fuzzy one right now. Guidelines will really help - both in allowing the close-voters to have a rough idea to shape their own judgments around, and in giving the close-victims something to look at and understand why we do this. – Grace Note Jul 21 '10 at 13:16
  • I agree @Grace, my opinion on the six question was to start composing this fuzzy line – juan Jul 21 '10 at 13:17
  • Honest, looking over the questions with the word "popular," you could probably just remove that word and most would be helpful questions. "What is a popular website for ..." "What is a popular way to do ..." both can remove the word "popular." However, anything that asks "most popular" is inherently subjective and needs to be rewritten or closed. – tzenes Jul 21 '10 at 15:30
6

Disclaimer: I am the author of one of the listed examples, but I am not here to talk about my question. It is fine with me if it is closed if the community decides so. In this answer I only present my general opinion about acceptable questions at gaming.

A site like this can only be successful if people come here not only to ask questions, but also to answer questions. I don't think reputation is enough to draw people to this site. People need to have fun. Reading about other peoples problems is not fun. Reading about all kinds of gaming related stuff is fun. What bad does it do if people ask open ended questions? They don't actually hurt anybody. If there only single answer questions around, only some user will actually gain reputation, but everybody knows a game that is like game X. If it is a good suggestion they will receive reputation, if it is not, the better answers will flot atop. Thats why the SO system works. SO does not allow this kind of questions anymore because they reached the critical mass long ago. I believe this site should be more permissive until a critical mass of returning user is reached. Smarter Gamer did not ever reach the critical mass and went down, after the early users got bored. It would be sad to see gaming go the same route.

We actually need questions like the infamous "Jon Skeet Facts" question. Such questions make the reader return to the site. We need people that come back. If people only ask about their problem and then go away, nobody will be answering any questions. Later, if the site has gotten big enough open ended questions can be banned.

  • 4
    Just going off what the paradigm of the other stackexchange sites are like, the "fun" questions you mention are typically left for meta discussion. I know right now meta is a bunch of "how do we moderate the site?" but once beta ends and we get more users and the site gets more popularity, that's when you'll see those kinds of questions pop up. – TheQ Jul 21 '10 at 18:28
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    +1 for plainly laying out your view. I definitely agree that we need community before we start laying down restrictions. The concept of a "critical mass" is key here; I think a metric that enables us to say "we've hit critical mass because of x" is important if we operate under this criterion. – Michael Herold Jul 22 '10 at 1:00
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    I downvoted, because I disagree that these questions don't hurt the site just because they are fun. They hurt the site, because they aren't the content we should be wanting here. By allowing them, others will use them as an excuse to post even more of these random open-ended questions. Therefore, I believe the amount of 'list of X' questions should at least be rate-limited. – Ivo Flipse Jul 22 '10 at 6:29
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    I'm a bit torn on this one. I understand the need to draw people in but I don't think turning this site into a joke collection is the way to do it. There are plenty of gaming communities out there that cater to the social aspects already. SO's mission is providing expertise. How funny someone's jokes are is no way to measure their expertise on the topic. The top voted "answer" to the Jon Skeet Facts generated over 6000 rep points on SO. The question itself gave over 3000 rep. – Kempeth Jul 22 '10 at 6:31
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    First off, thank you very much for responding. Second, I don't agree. You say that the only way we'll be able to attract enough users is by having "fun questions". However, this greatly affects the kinds of people we attract. There are those of us who actually want to use this site for solving problems. And if the front page is nothing but open-ended, "social gathering" questions, then we aren't going to increase our numbers - the number of "experts" on the site will not increase enough. Our front page speaks volumes about what our site is about. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 10:16
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    We need people to come back, but we also need people to ask real questions. Questions which don't necessarily have "a single" answer, but ones that have the capacity for correct answers. The more we foster "just for fun" questions, the more the site appears to look like nothing but. And if our place looks like nothing but fun questions, then we're only going to get more and more of them. We will not give the impression that we solve problems, or that we have any help to provide. We simply become yet another mess of noise with some occasional questions in the mix, just like any gaming forum. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 10:26
  • I am not saying we need only or mainly fun questions. I understand your concern. We need the prevent the site to become or appear irrelevant. But still we need people to come back. What's the incentive for a user to come back after her problem has been solved? Read about problems they do not care about? How do we prevent the site to be just another of those sites where a question is unanswered for weeks? The nice thing about SO is, that you usually get an answer the same day if not the same hour. Thats what makes the site interesting. – EricSchaefer Jul 22 '10 at 11:13
  • So what am I proposing? We need to be careful not to drive users away because their question is not what we expect. How about encouraging experienced users to edit promising questions, to make them more appropiate? – EricSchaefer Jul 22 '10 at 11:15
  • So instead of saying "Go away!", we need to say "Good question, but we need to tweak it a little to attract good and helpful answers the community can profit from.". Really bad questions, that have no potential at all should ofcourse be closed. But still people need to be told why their question is inappropriate. Not just "thats not what we want here". – EricSchaefer Jul 22 '10 at 11:19
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    Especially new users should get the feeling they are appreciated. – EricSchaefer Jul 22 '10 at 11:21
  • Maybe the rules should be loosened for new users and should be stricter for experienced folks. – EricSchaefer Jul 22 '10 at 11:23
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    I agree with that assessment, and I understand your concern as well - we need people to return just as much as we need them to come in the first place. It really is much better that we be able to explain why things are being called "inappropriate". Which is what I hope to define - I want to work on our FAQ, to identify what it is that we can point at and say not just "Your question is too broad - might you consider increasing the scope", but also clarify how much scope is necessary. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 11:50
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    We suffer a bit on the editing front, from both the perspective of the editors (who are few in number) and the perspective of the authors. As editors, they have a responsibility to help shape real questions, but they can only operate of what the author provides. We have already encountered users who post nothing but pleas for help - and we cannot just create a question for them. We need their support to come up with a real question - and this has happened, we transformed a string of pleas into a real question. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 12:08
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    @FallenAngelEyes I don't intend to be elitist - what determines an expert is not the actual level of expertise, but the ability to have expertise in the related field. I don't care how many games you've played and for how many hours - what makes an expert is that when a problem is posed, your knowledge will be able to help those people. To me, an "expert" is anyone who is capable of providing good and successful solutions to problems. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 13:53
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    @FallenAngelEyes What differentiates the contribution of an expert is in fact not derived on their quantitative experience in the field - it is based on the quality of their content to solving a problem. Which is what divides questions and discussions/polls - the former is interested in the content that provides a solution, while the latter is interested in the people who produce that content. There is no expertise when it comes to the latter - it takes absolutely no prior knowledge to cast opinions. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 13:57
5

I think we should limit the amount of list questions being asked. There are more than enough real questions left for us to not ask these list questions.

When evaluating other meta questions I get the following guidelines:

  • we don't want poll questions, since we don't want to have to clean them up in the long haul.
  • questions shouldn't be subjective, argumentative or require extended discussion, because there are no measurable rules for answering or voting.
  • it should generally cover:
    • game strategies and hints
    • software tools commonly used by gamers
    • matters that are unique to gamers
    • any kind of problem that makes you stop playing
  • it shouldn't be indiscriminate, so there should be a limited amount of possible answers. In short, the fewer answers possible, the better.

These guidelines together perhaps form some reference for deciding whether to close or not. For example a question about voice chat software is on-topic when there's enough rules to define only a couple of answers.

What's the best voice chat software available for intermediate gamers?

The software doesn't have to be free, should have limited lag and may not have a bad influence on my connection speed. Furthermore, it should be widely used, be easy to setup with my own hosted server and should be user friendly while gaming (configurable shortcuts).

Now this question is perfectly answerable, because perhaps only TeamSpeak and Ventrillo would apply. This rules out all the non-gaming specific voice-chat solutions.

This is also an example how, by adding rules or specifications to a question it can go from being too broad to specific enough to be allowed. And because there's actually a measurable answer, this question is no longer a list and should NOT be Community Wiki.

Another way of improving the questions is rather than asking for a list (like 'recommend me a gaming computer for X', 'what are nice X games for X'), ask for a solution, this way the next time someone has the same question they can find the answer themselves.

For instance: How can I find open-source games? Can simply be answered with the Wikipedia article or an up to date website that's an expert on open-source gaming. A question like: what graphics card should I buy? Can be answered by referring to the best-buy guide from sites like Toms Hardware. You can come back any day and know that following the information in the answer will get you up-to-date and relevant information


Small side-step on Community Wiki: Here are some guidelines on Community Wiki I use when moderating on Super User:

  • if it's a list and there isn't an answer that can be accepted, it should be Community Wiki
  • if you would like others to be able to edit all the posts, to make it more complete or more consistent, it should be Community Wiki
  • if the answers are likely to get out-dated and need updates, than again it should be Community Wikiit should be Community Wiki

So just because you no longer receive reputation (because others could do the work for you) doesn't mean it shouldn't follow our general guidelines about what is an on-topic question.

  • I think we should leave the discussion what belongs to the CW for another day. We have enough to think about what we want there at all... The part about discrimination is interesting, but I fear that might not be practical. Should we really allow questions based on how picky the asker is? How is "Widely used X" that much worse than "Widely used X with Y and Z"? But I do the idea that people should be as specific as they can be. – Kempeth Jul 22 '10 at 9:11
  • I agree with Ivo: no poll lists, no subjective lists, no too broad lists (e..g. what FPS exists on PC?). But I believe we need to leave open some list questions. Multiplayer co-op list was for me a good example of what we can accept. – user59 Jul 22 '10 at 10:44
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    @marco I want to hear exactly what it is that makes the multiplayer co-op list a good example of what we can accept. Everyone keeps saying "I think this is acceptable", but no one is establishing a concrete reasoning. I haven't seen any scope reason that does not conflict with an equally or even narrower scoped list that was closed. What is it that makes that one special? – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 12:23
  • I like these general guidelines – juan Jul 22 '10 at 13:24
  • @grace Ok the only thing I would change from that question is the word "good" in the title. I like it because is asking for some specific feature that are co-op with "story mode", apart the already mentioned "good" word it is not subjective and the number of entries are limited. In future probably more games will be release with co-op but actually this number is low. Probably that "low" is time localized so that could be a point of discussion. – user59 Jul 22 '10 at 14:19
  • I'm not sure what to say when the general assumption is that cooperative play is going to be continually declining. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 14:31
  • @Ivo Specifically in response to your rewrite of the voice chat question, I think you're just making the question more verbose. Free/paid is irrelevant since both are allowable. Limited lag, connection speed, and friendliness while gaming ought to already be implied. The only real restriction added is hosting set-up. Do we really want to enforce the (in my opinion) ridiculous notion that a more verbose question is a better question? – Billy Jo Jul 23 '10 at 4:58
  • @Ivo That aside, I think your question is also bad because you're asking for "the best," but "best" is even more subjective than "popular." Popularity can at least be measured with usage statistics. – Billy Jo Jul 23 '10 at 4:59
  • @Bill Pardon my English that as a non-native speaker I can't come up with an alternative to 'Best', though in my opinion best is when something meets the most of all the given criteria. You say the lag and such are implied, but how many times would someone still recommend MSN or Skype to voice chat during gaming? By setting down rules, there's only that many options left and it's up to the community to upvote the one they think is the best. That in my opinion creates THE best answer I could ask for – Ivo Flipse Jul 23 '10 at 9:13
  • @Ivo I see your point about "best." SuperUser is still the best (sorry, I couldn't resist) corollary we have for this, but I wasn't active there at launch when these issues were being hashed out. Or maybe they still haven't been? – Billy Jo Jul 23 '10 at 13:51
  • @Bill I believe Super User actually has relatively few list questions (at least nowadays), if they do pop-up the closing-team kills it dead anyway ;-) – Ivo Flipse Jul 23 '10 at 15:14
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    I agree with Ivo on this. This is the policy we have on Super USer too (more or less). You won't prevent list questions from happening, they just come and go. And it's ok, some of them are useful. And once they are there, all similar ones coming can be closed as duplicate. They become irrelevant fast if too wide, and in this case should be locked after some time by a moderator. But that's all. It's useless to throw a war at all this kind of questions, believe me. They all come at the beginning, but then it's more calm. It's normal on a gaming site to ask for a list of voice chat programs. – Gnoupi Jul 24 '10 at 7:17
  • 1
    In addition to having great criteria, this answer contains what I think to be probably the most important aspect of a good question in a Stack Exchange site. Whether the author remembers to specifically ask for a solution may not be necessary, but what is important is that there exists the potential for a solution, that the question can be concluded. And there exist list questions that can be solved. I think using "solution" is the kind of terminology we should use in the FAQ instead of our current "questions that can be answered". – Grace Note Jul 27 '10 at 14:51
5

[Reasoning] Question about personal preferences

Example: "What's the best MMO out there?".

Arguments Pro

  • Cannot be objectively answered.
  • Invite argumentative discussions.

Arguments Con

  • I just want to clarify: Upvotes mean that you agree that this reasoning should be used to exclude questions from the site. - Since I cannot vote on my own posts I want to add that i agree with this one. – Kempeth Jul 23 '10 at 8:39
  • 1
    That example isn't a list at all. – Alok Jul 13 '12 at 2:50
4
  1. Self Imposed Restrictions -- valid(but borderline)
  2. What games offer a good multiplayer co-op experience? -- valid
  3. Easter eggs in Megaman 1-6 -- valid
  4. PC Voice Chat Software -- belongs on Super User
  5. What are the popular opening builds for Terran in StarCraft 2? -- valid
  6. Healer add-ons for end-game raiding in WoW? -- valid
  7. GTA-4 like games for PS3 -- valid though possibly closable as subjective
  • 3
    I disagree @4. We shouldn't start sending people away with questions that have relevance in this field of interest. If you went into a shop that touts itself for "providing everything a gamer needs" and are sent to walmart for a mousepad because they are not strictly for gaming, what would you thing of that shop? – Kempeth Jul 22 '10 at 6:14
  • @Kem yea but it's not a drive across town, it's a single click on a link to get to where you should actually ask such a question, and on a site more dedicated to that field, you'll get a better response anyway – Earlz Jul 22 '10 at 19:27
3

I think all of the examples are undoubtedly off-topic. There is no problem to be resolved in those questions - there are plenty of other places to get these kinds of recommendations.

However, I think the success of StackOverflow was owed, in part, to the initial sense of discovery and fun that came about from taking part in these questions and while seasoned SO users know about meta and how to use it, I don't think we have enough seasoned users of Gaming, so closing and denying these more vague questions may make it harder to engage with new users.

Just like the need for a Politics forum so that the political discussion doesn't pervade the other discussions, we need users to understand that these questions have a home but it isn't the main gaming site. Unfortunately, that home isn't here yet as I think that's the 3rd place, the chat. Maybe once chat leaves beta we can start migrating these questions there.

  • I disagree. The "Co-Op", "Voice Chat" and "Healer Add-On" all solve specific problems related to gaming. It might not be as dramatic as being stuck at some boss but still problems to be solved. – Kempeth Jul 22 '10 at 13:26
  • 1
    @Kempeth I use this argument more than I should, but that's because people keep insisting on using it. Being "related to gaming" is not strong enough to identify if it fits on the site. I can give you no short list of "specific problems" about pirating games, which is very much "related to gaming". I'm not saying that any of the above listed acts are comparable to piracy, but my point is that being "related to gaming" is merely the first step to being acceptable here - not the only step. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 14:23
  • @Grace: I agree. We've had this argument on StackOverflow and just being "related to programming" isn't enough - it has to be relevant to solving a programming issue. Lists of recommended items aren't sufficient. Now, if the question was "how can I get past X?" you could envisage people recommending lists of things, but asking for a list without a problem to solve is off-topic imho. – Jeff Yates Jul 22 '10 at 14:46
  • Of course, if we solve this here, all other QA sites are going to want to know the answer. – Jeff Yates Jul 22 '10 at 14:47
3

[Reasoning] Cannot be answered Objectively

Example: "What are some fun new PC games?" Fun is a subjective quality to a game. Respondents cannot objectively answer what would be fun for the asker.

Arguments Pro

  • No reuse value for the community

Arguments Con

  • I just want to clarify: Upvotes mean that you agree that this reasoning should be used to exclude questions from the site. - Since I cannot vote on my own posts I want to add that i agree with this one to some limits. – Kempeth Jul 23 '10 at 8:36
3

This response is a direct discussion of my question, "PC voice chat software." I've added my general thoughts in another response.

I'm fine with the closure--really!--as long as we establish some guidelines. If I'm reading the responses to this thread correctly, the main disagreement with my question seems to center around the word "popular." To clarify, "popular" in this case was meant to get an understanding of which software large swaths of gamers use so that

  1. I (and others) wouldn't be installing 2314328470 programs on my system and only using 2, and
  2. I (and others) wouldn't be scrambling to install a program right before an event because everyone else in the group uses X, and I only have Y and Z installed.

"Popular" can also be measured within an individual's scope of experience: "I've been playing multiplayer games for X years, and I've always used software Y. Therefore, in my experience, software Y is the most popular."

But all that aside, people don't seem to like the word "popular," so I've taken it out.

Should the question be community wiki? There's no easy-to-find information about what CW actually means, so I don't know if that's the correct thing to do.

Should the question be tagged [subjective] (because it is)? I tried that after the fact, but somebody's undone it.

(And yes, I understand that CW and [subjective] aren't magic wands.)

I'd like to know how the rest of the community would prefer the question be formulated in order to make it acceptable. Or, if the guidelines that are established indicate my question should stay closed, that's fine too.

Edit:

Grace Note said:

To me, it was very clear that he wanted to get a survey of the different voice chat options in order to help narrow down the perfect choice for him.

I finally get it. And I don't feel I'm being picked on (but I appreciate the thought).

So based on what I'm reading, a more appropriate question intent would be "What choices are there for software with specific function X (voice chat) that can be used to assist people while they're performing task Y (playing multi-player PC games)?" since that's more in line with questions such as "What games are a lot like X?" and "Which games have features X, Y, and Z?" Does taking out "popular" achieve that? If not, how should the question be rephrased? (Granted the validity of these types of questions is still being debated anyway.)

  • That intent would indeed bring you into the "under scrutiny" category. As far as taking out popular to achieve that, I believe if you also listed some criteria that you consider as distinguishing multi-player PC game oriented software over general PC chat software, then I'd vote to reopen. – Grace Note Jul 25 '10 at 13:15
2

We are sending mixed messages. There have been several game recommendation questions closed for being too broad. Yet this question has been closed for being too specific. The person clearly outlined what they were looking for, including specific characteristics. I feel that that question should remain open. It may not be broad enough in scope for the entire site, but if I was a single person out on the internet looking for the same type of games and I found that question, I'd rejoice.

I can't see new users finding this anything but frustrating. Even as someone who has been involved in the beta, I am finding it frustrating. Where is the line supposed to be drawn? I don't think we can be closing questions for being too broad then punishing others for being too specific.

Personally, I feel that it's more acceptable to say "Okay, you're question is way too broad, can you narrow it down for us?" than to say "Okay, that's entirely too specific, you need to make that more general so it appeals to more people." In situation A, you're making it easier for the experts to find/answer the question and also making it so the person will know how to ask better questions in the future. In situation B, you're practically punishing someone for being specific enough to know exactly what they are looking for, even though the question may be helpful to a few niche users in the future. I am of the opinion that it is important to cater to that niche as well.

  • I agree with the mixed messages - I saw that question myself which prompted me to update my question here. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 14:11
1

I've been wandering into a similar path of discussion in the explain community wiki thread. So I'm going to repeat what I wrote there.

In my opinion it should be more important how useful a piece of information is to the community than how it was obtained. Purely social inquiries in other member's preferences definitely do not provide any benefit to the community. Similarly, stating one's own preferences and asking for matching items may help the OP but the probability of a second member having those exact preferences is negligible. But an open question that may not be ultimately answerable may still attract enough information to be of use to a broader audience.

  • "Self Imposed Restrictions" to me looks like nothing more than chit chat. There is no kind of factual information about gaming that can be gained from such a question.
  • "What games offer a good multiplayer co-op experience?" is formulated very subjectively but imo it touches an objective topic: co-op multiplayer games. They are rare enough to consider an assembled list to be useful for more gamers than just the OP.
  • "Easter eggs in Megaman 1-6" while a list of easter eggs can be objectively compiled it is unclear to me what the benefit of it would be.
  • "PC Voice Chat Software" An assembled list of voice chat software is definitely something that can be useful beyond the OP's situation. The question of a tool's popularity is somewhat borderline but does strictly speaking not depend on the community's preferences. The rough popularity of a tool can be assessed objectively enough from one's own experiences and does have relevance - for example when you are deciding which one(s) you want to support in a guild/clan. I think this should be tolerated but watched for excessive argumentation.
  • "What are the popular opening builds for Terran in StarCraft 2?" This one is difficult for me to classify. How current and relevant will this information be for the next one to ask himself this question?
  • "Healer add-ons for end-game raiding in WoW?" The question if formulated pretty neutral and the restrictions are not too far fetched. The topic isn't overly exotic and personal preferences are asked for. I'd let it be.
  • 1
    Agree with your philosophy and most of your analysis too. Reckon some questions could be saved with a little rephrasing, especially "Self Imposed Restrictions". Meta-gaming is definitely fun! – monorailkitty Jul 21 '10 at 13:53
1

It's a hugely difficult problem.

I suppose my first observation is that we have to choose our philohsopy: either we totally ban any subjective question (I don't like this approach) or we accept that we're each going to see subjective questions we dislike.

Some thoughts on types of question:

Asking the community

These questions I like. I'm thinking of questions similar to the Best programming books or Best Java libraries questions found on SO.

Self Imposed Restrictions seems to be asking about meta-gaming like Permanent Death or Kev and Alice. It could probably stand to be edited a little but I think the point is that it might lead others to new game experiences. Achievements are a prime example of meta-gaming and if this question were phrased as a search for interesting and widely applicable "universal achievements" it might be really good.

What games offer a good multiplayer co-op experience? is specific and seems unlikely there is a single webpage out there that captures a good answer.

Questions that are clearly one of a set

I dislike these as I think they beg the same question for the other factions. Asking for end-game raiding advice or opening strategies seems more acceptable so it's a matter of phrasing really.

What are the popular opening builds for Terran in StarCraft 2?

Healer add-ons for end-game raiding in WoW?

Questions that could have a single answer if written differently

Definitely a no though I understand why people ask like this. I'd love to talk about the Braid stars but it's well documented already and rehashing it is a bit indulgent.

Easter eggs in Megaman 1-6

Could instead be: Where can I find a list of Megaman easter eggs?

1

I would like to see a list of 3 or 5 guidelines but I also suspect that every subjective question has some redeeming quality.

Perhaps the solution is not to close subjective questions but instead to lead by example, editing each subjectively worded question into an acceptable variation.

1

It's going to be very difficult to determine a set of standards, seeing as we're dealing with so many broad genres and particular tastes. I also feel like I don't want to see this place getting to the point where we're saying "Your question was closed because you didn't word it correctly... even though everyone knew what you meant" just for formalities sake.

My personal take on the above listed 7.

  • "Self Imposed Restrictions" - This could be summarized down further, but it's too broad and mildly off-topic that I feel it should remain closed. If the question was, instead, something along the lines of "In the game X, what are some ways of alternating your play style to make the game feel different?", with a healthy explanation in the body text, it might be able to pass.
  • "What games offer a good co-op multiplayer experience?" - Too general. The list could go on forever, and "good" is completely subjective. My passion for MMORPGs and FPS games may be completely lost on the OP.
  • "Easter Eggs in MegaMan games NES (1-6)" - It's not directly beneficial, but easter eggs are definitely a part of the gaming experience for some, if not most. Still, this particular question draws on a large collection of games, and as mentioned, we could be seeing this for every game which would just create unwanted noise.
  • "PC voice chat software" - Even though it's not about a video game or gaming related, it's a very closely related topic that I personally feel is warranted on the site. If we're going to allow questions like this, I feel that asking about preferred software to assist in gaming is perfectly within the scope of the site.
  • "What are the popular openings/builds for Terran in StarCraft2" - This seems a tad localized in time for my tastes. Especially for RTS games, strategy is constantly evolving around the metagame. Unless that particular answer gets updated by the person every time new strategies come out, it's not going to be relevant 100% of the time. A better question might ask for links to pre-existing strategies, such as on a heavily updated wiki.
  • "Healer add-ons for end-game raiding in WoW" - Again, localized, though less so than prior due to the general evolution of add-ons / mods. I think as long as people are careful to craft their questions/answers in these types of questions, it'll be fine.
  • "GTA-4 like games for PS3" - I think this is fine, as we're defining the genre, the platform, and asking for similar style games. I can't bring much opinion into this, because no matter how much I say "Street Fighter is like GTA-4", nobody will believe me. I can voice my opinion on games that are listed, but that's beside the point.
  • 1
    Did you carefully review the body of the co-op question? It's basically about playing a single-player campaign with a friend, most FPSs are not about that and I don't think most MMORPGs count as having a "single player" experience anyway. I felt this question should be closed when I read the title, and then I completely changed my opinion once I understood what the topic was. – Oak Jul 21 '10 at 18:41
  • @Oak I just re-read it. While I agree with you for this particular post (especially because the rules are still being defined), I still feel that the question should be re-worded as the initial interpretation of said wording is far too vague and open. Long story short, the title question needs to accurately reflect the body of the post, and I don't feel that it does in this case. – TheQ Jul 21 '10 at 18:52
  • I disagree on the SC2 Question. I think you should be a little careful with the term "time localized." Strategies tend to change very slowly over time. Back in SC1 the protoss strategy used to be 5gate. With the advent of the Broodwar Expansion 5 gate was no longer a viable strategy in its own right. However, that did not stop people from continuing to 5 gate. What's more to understand the strategies that replaced it, it was still necessary to understand it. By comparison a question like "Are there any games that allow Xbox 360 gamers to play with PC gamers?" could easily change tomorrow – tzenes Jul 22 '10 at 1:03
  • Devil's advocate here - you give the fact that anyone could ask a variant of scenario 3 for every game becoming unwanted noise - how is scenario 7 (games like X) any less likely to succumb to this fate (considering it pretty much already has)? – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 10:27
  • @tzenes I suppose this is true. The nature of "evolution" in both the meta and the physical aspect of games in general is pretty volatile. If time localization is less of an issue due to this, I would say that questions like that are valid. – TheQ Jul 22 '10 at 12:11
  • @Grace Note I suppose you're right in that regard. Personally, I feel that game recommendation threads are a bit more on-topic than "list all easter eggs". Is there a limiting factor we could enforce on the "list all x that relates to y" questions? – TheQ Jul 22 '10 at 12:19
  • I'd like to hear why you think that game recommendations are more on-topic than easter eggs. When I think of the two, I consider the fact that easter eggs are something I will actually encounter when playing a game. I'm not saying it is wrong, but by establishing what it is that makes one topic acceptable and another not, that is how we can establish a real scope. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 12:24
  • @Grace Note As I mentioned before, it's not that I feel that easter eggs are off topic, as it's certainly something we encounter during gaming. I suppose I view game recommendations as a thread that can offer a broader range of help to more people in the long run than an easter eggs thread. Again, my opinion, and that certainly doesn't make it warranted to be the right way to do things. – TheQ Jul 22 '10 at 12:39
  • 1
    @JN I actually disagree. An easter egg is something with a definite answer, where as a recommendation is far more subjective. Easter eggs may require more pruning as questions, but they're better questions. A SE lives or dies on the value of its questions, not its answers. – tzenes Jul 23 '10 at 15:51
  • 1
    @tzenes I will agree with you on your point that an easter egg has a definitive answer, whereas a recommendation is more subjective. But that's not the only argument being made. Determining relevant subject matter is also being considered. – TheQ Jul 23 '10 at 16:30
  • @JN I guess I'm suggesting that questions with very subjective answers are bottom of the barrel, where as having a definitive answer is a plus. Maybe these aren't the only criteria (you're certainly suggesting another), but it is helpful for analysis. – tzenes Jul 23 '10 at 20:00
1

[Reasoning] Belongs to different SE site

Example: "Tools for capturing gameplay video?"

Arguments Pro

Arguments Con

  • Official FAQ recommends not to think about what other sites do.
  • I just want to clarify: Upvotes mean that you agree that this reasoning should be used to exclude questions from the site. - Since I cannot vote on my own posts I want to add that i disagree with this one. – Kempeth Jul 23 '10 at 8:36
  • 2
    As I've mentioned before, I don't think we can be blind to the existence of other sites. While we can survive without thinking about them, they may not. – tzenes Jul 23 '10 at 15:53
1

I wanted to post this example of a List of X question: Good Websites for Game Reviews. The question seems to be grandfathered in, but I think it's a useful question that people might want to know the answer to. Reading reviews is a big part of being a gamer and has a lot more to do for the community than just purchase suggestions.

What are your thoughts on this specific example?

  • 2
    For me is ok, is a wiki and we can close other eventual questions about game reviews website by pointing to that list. I continue to state that lists are not evil, but we should try to keep them as a small percentage of the total questions. – user59 Jul 23 '10 at 7:44
1

I think it's worth pointing out that most of the public-facing verbiage indicates (to me, anyway) that questions must be answerable, not that they must only have one correct answer and that you must accept that answer. This implies to me that lists are acceptable, even if the question's original wording doesn't conform to the precise SO "standard." Comments, editing, and education are going to be just as important as the guidelines we establish here. And if the asker thinks a specific response answers their question and they accept it, even better.

It's also important that we try to understand our audience. The Area 51 proposal defines our audience as "passionate gamers from all platforms (computers and consoles)." Yes, at first, our users will be a subset of the SE family of sites. Many of them have technical backgrounds and can be reasonably expected to know and follow the rules (myself excepted, eh? ;]).

But if/when the site exits beta and gains popularity, can the typical gamer--even a passionate one--really be expected to read up and scour existing questions and comb meta for an hour just so they know what kinds of questions they can ask and how to ask them? The FAQ goes into some detail, of course. But (and this is written with my gamer, non-tech husband's input) if I'm a typical gamer, and I have a question, and I find a gaming Q&A site, I'm likely to just head straight for the ask page and get really ticked off when my question gets closed because five strangers didn't like my wording or that I asked for a list.

SU is probably the best corollary we have for this type of behavior, but I'm not active over there and don't know how it was handled.

Something else we need to consider is whether passionate gamers will end up equaling passionate, returning forum members. If that means allowing a broader range of subjective and open-ended questions than would be typical on other SE sites, I don't think that's a bad thing. Individual SE sites are going to be run by their individual communities, so I don't think we have to stick strictly to the SO standards of what is and is not an acceptable question.

Edit:

I'd also like to know people's thoughts on a few quotes from the FAQ:

Avoid asking questions that are subjective, argumentative, or require extended discussion.

[T]his is a place for questions that can be answered!

When you have decided which answer is the most helpful to you, mark it as the accepted answer.

This lets other people know that you have received a good answer to your question.

Nowhere in the FAQ is it stated that a question must able to have a correct answer. The third quote even specifically indicates that it's up to the subjective judgement of the asker to decide which answer is the accepted one. I see non-subjectivity and limited discussion as requirements. But I'm curious how "able to be answered correctly" became a requirement.

(Of course anyone can quote a few phrases and twist them to their purpose. I hope it's clear that's not my intention. I'm genuinely curious to know people's thoughts on the above quotes given the current environment and timbre of the discussion.)

Now taking the first quote and running, I don't think a list is inherently subjective. I think some requirements of an acceptable list are

  • Doesn't ask for personal preferences or anecdotes
  • Doesn't ask for "best"
  • Isn't a poll
  • Asks that each list item be provided in a separate response
  • Asks that each response list specific details and be formatted consistently
  • 1
    No, new users shouldn't have to wade through multiple pages to be able to know what questions are allowed, which is why we SHOULDN'T be allowing these kinds of questions, because they are the borderline cases that will lead to further deviations – Ivo Flipse Jul 22 '10 at 6:32
  • I totally agree that the criteria what makes a valid question have to be much more clearly explained and should be presented more prominently for new users. – Kempeth Jul 22 '10 at 6:37
  • 1
    Thank you for responding! I think your emphasis is on the wrong word, and indeed this is a problem on our end for not highlighting this enough. When "single correct answer" comes into play, the focus is not really on "single" - the emphasis is on "correct". Because any decent question can attract multiple solutions - what matters is that the solutions have a capacity to be objectively right or wrong. My words here cover the matter in greater detail. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 10:31
  • Naturally, though, the reason it is "single correct answer" and not "correct answer" is because it is indeed better structure for a question wherein, amidst a sea of answers which solve the problem, in general one solution is the only necessary one. Put another way, a complex problem can be solved within the space of one answer - collaborated or otherwise. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 10:35
  • I've updated my responses with some additional thoughts and a few list criteria. Please let me know your thoughts. – Billy Jo Jul 23 '10 at 13:47
  • It's a difficult thing to grasp, but one thing that should be understood is that "accepted" doesn't necessarily equate to "generally correct". It's more accurate as "specifically correct" - it helped the author in their iteration of the problem. It isn't quite phrased to dictate the need for "correctness" - it's more implied by second point "questions that can be answered". If a question can be answered, then there exists a conclusion to the question. Comparatively, a question to which a single response is incapable of concluding is the "unanswerable" kind of question. – Grace Note Jul 25 '10 at 13:19
  • Which category do lists fall under? Satisfying your first 3 bullet points, I would say it approaches the answerable. Combined with the essence of Ivo's topicality and being discriminate, I would say that begins to shape the essence of an acceptable list. – Grace Note Jul 25 '10 at 13:22
  • The last two bullet points I'm personally not keen on. From my perspective, most really good questions that need a list can be answered by a single post containing that list. Which is where CW comes in - not to avoid reputation changes but to ensure low barrier of entry to contribute to that list. Anyone who wants to see the list can then look at a single post to get all of the information, optionally reading through additional information in other answers but without having to dig through dozens of posts to get the full picture. – Grace Note Jul 25 '10 at 13:25
  • Let me ask you this: Why would you want each answer to a list to be its own answer? If I asked for a list of the ordering of megaman bosses for every megaman game, would I really want the answers to be separate? Is there value in 8 being voted differently than 7? – tzenes Sep 3 '10 at 0:49
1

Perhaps it would be useful to start listing criteria with which we can use to judge these. While discussing whether or not we want "list" style questions is important, having criteria we can agree on will help clear up this discussion.

Consider the following:

  • Will this be useful to a lot of people?
  • Is there potentially one good answer?

While these aren't requirements, they are good guidelines.

1

I think the problem here is you guys don't have a goal/purpose in mind for this site. If you remove all these subjective questions you are just going to duplicate gamesfaqs.com

Google search works fine for both sites.

  • 1
    We have a pretty clear purpose - to become a site for passionate video gamers of all platforms to find expert solutions to their problems. I don't think anyone will deny that there exists a capacity to find answers elsewhere on the internet. And if Google points people to a different site, the end result is that someone gets their problem solved. That sounds like a win to me. – Grace Note Jul 28 '10 at 19:02
1

The answer to the question of what is acceptable for these depends on other things being defined first. The first, and most obvious, is what is this site meant to be? The answer I've received to this question is that it is meant to be a place for hard core, or expert, gamers to come and ask/answer questions.

With that in mind, then what is the perceived definition of a hard core/expert gamer? Is it someone who plays one game 20 hours a week on average? Is it someone who plays so much they play in tournaments for money? Is it someone who plays many, many games and does each of them well? This is not something that is so easily defined. Then after you have that you have to make assumptions on what they want.

This really needs a set of standards that there can be very little deviation from.

With that in mind I find that I don't mind them, which I've stated already on here. But, the consensus is to get rid of them so I would say cut all list type questions regardless of if they walk a line that might be OK or not. Leaving room for judgement calls will only leave room to muddy the waters at this point. Then over time, modify the standards based on whatever factors are important here (traffic, questions, etc).

  • Regarding what is an expert, please read my comments at the end of the exchange here, and my answer here. Suffice to say, expertise is a measure of usage of the art and the ability to provide answers, not a quantitative analysis of dedication to gaming. More accurately, if you can solve a problem, you are an expert. – Grace Note Sep 3 '10 at 0:30
  • The purpose of this site is expert answers to expert questions. I don't believe you need to be an expert to ask an expert question, but I do believe that expert questions attract experts. Since expert answers is the goal, attraction of experts is important. As to what constitutes an expert? I'm going to quote an expert on the subject "I can't define it but I know it when I see it." – tzenes Sep 3 '10 at 0:41
  • @GraceNote you are missing the purpose of my answer (and taking it too literally). My examples were all metaphorical in the sense that I am throwing things out there to get a point across. What I am trying to say, obviously pretty badly, is that this is a complex problem. It would be better to break it down and figure it out piece by piece. Having the top 5 posters on here say what they think is not the best way to solve this. The why is as big here as the what. That is why I propose complete removal until something is solved and a standard is set. The current way leaves a bad taste. – Corv1nus Sep 3 '10 at 13:56
  • @tzenes read my post above. Couldn't ping you on it. – Corv1nus Sep 3 '10 at 13:57
  • having the top 5 posters solve this for us is not a viable solution. It doesn't work because a) I'm one of those people and my opinions are strong but largely unshared, b) the other top posters probably share similar traits. I don't see any difference in having the top 5 posters issue opinions than a De Facto removal of relevant questions. In either case we are subjecting the community to the whims of a minority. – tzenes Sep 3 '10 at 15:37
1

I no longer agree with the following. Read my new position on the topic.

List of attributes that make a list acceptable imho:

  • On topic
  • Community wiki
  • One item per answer, with some description
  • Answered by experts better than it can be answered by random people on the internet (a list of co-op games can be made with some googling; you can gauge popularity with tag counts here)
  • Answerable by our community of experts (a list question of no or too few answers is not very useful; see the easter eggs question, which we can't yet answer)
  • Not actually span more than two pages of answers (look at this question; how much of the community has seen the entries on page eight? how long, however, would this list be if all the xkcd/dilbert comics were on the same answer?)
  • Not be a continuation of an existing question that has hit three pages and got closed for its breadth.

Do I forget anything? Just add it in.

0

Assembled Reasoning for In-/Exclusion from site

I've marked this as CW so everyone can improve this. I think it would be hand if this was voted up so it's more visible. At this point the focus lies on what we want here (main site - not meta) - not where we want it.

Opinions about what is not welcomed here.

  1. Questions that do not solve a problem for the poster. I.e. "What's your favorite X?"
  2. Overly broad questions that invite answers the poster is not interested in.
  3. Questions purely asked to satisfy curiosity. (also see 1)
  4. Questions about personal preferences because. (also see 1 & 3)
  5. Questions that are one of a set. I.e. "Startup Tactics for X in Y"
  6. Questions that could also be asked on a different SE site.
  7. Questions that cannot be answered subjectively
  8. Questions that cannot be answered exhaustively in one answer.

If you find more opinions please add them or put them in a comment. I'm also going to add one more answer for each of these opinions so we can vote on them...

0

I am extremely disappointed to find so many list questions marked [closed]. I don't think subjectivity is a reason to close a question. Sure, a question like "What is the best game of all time?" is more of a poll than a question to be answered, but I would LOVE to see such a question linger, with all the discussion it would generate, and seeing the games that the most people vote on float to the top.

Would that sort of thing really hurt the site?

I think there is also hypocrisy at work here in stating that there are other places to find lists of games, but the fact that there are other places for game questions (cough gamefaqs) is no big deal. Of course there are other places! But to make this site successful, I think you want to encourage community by allowing some amount of subjectivity in the door.

To be fair, I am disappointed that Stack Overflow also seems to have this policy. Finding the What's your favorite programmer cartoon was one of the only reasons I returned to Stack Overflow with any regularity in the beginning. Now of course it's an indispensable resource... but it certainly wouldn't have become that without a strong community. And it never felt to me that subjective questions detracted from the questions with good answers.

  • You are not the only one, but if we want to become a site which provides expert answers, then it is invaluable that we attract experts. If we are a site which just collects opinions, then why would people with problems come to us over a site which collects expert answers. If you are an expert would you want to come to a site which valued your answers just as much as a guy voicing an opinion which required no effort to obtain? I spend time and research my answers, and I like to think they're valued higher as a result, but when opinions get just as many votes, it doesn't seem that way. – tzenes Sep 3 '10 at 0:44
  • I'm even more disappointed by the immaturity of this community. People just down-vote for no apparent reason. – Mugen Nov 25 '10 at 5:28
-1

[Reasoning] Just to satisfy curiosity

Example: "What do you like the most about gaming?"

Arguments Pro

  • No benefit whatsoever to community

Arguments Con

  • I just want to clarify: Upvotes mean that you agree that this reasoning should be used to exclude questions from the site. - Since I cannot vote on my own posts I want to add that i agree with this one. – Kempeth Jul 23 '10 at 8:38
-2

[Reasoning] Overly broad question

Example: "Currently popular strategies in X" when more criteria are desired but not stated.

Arguments Pro

  • Invites undesired answers.
  • Wastes time.

Arguments Con

  • Difficult to detect.
  • 1
    I just want to clarify: Upvotes mean that you agree that this reasoning should be used to exclude questions from the site. – Kempeth Jul 23 '10 at 8:38
  • If you remove the terms "Currently popular" this actually becomes a very good question. Large numbers of gamers want to become better at the games they play. There are no good resources for this. FAQs tend to be subjective and anecdotal, forums have this information spread about in dozens of different places, and no resource has a solid reputation system behind it. These are exactly the kinds of questions people want answers to and gaming.SE is uniquely able to provide. – tzenes Jul 23 '10 at 15:56
  • But as it has no single answer, it would still need to be Community Wiki. – Noctrine Jul 23 '10 at 16:33
  • @Noctrine That's not entirely true. For example, a question such as: "What is a good strategy for beating the Spider Boss in Ocarina of Time?" could have an answer which discusses the various mechanics in the room as well as illustrates ways to string them together. While this isn't a comprehensive "strategy" it is the correct answer to the question, much the way explaining arithmetic is the correct answer to, "What is X+4 equal to?" While there are various answers (1+4=5, 2+4=6, etc) the correct answer is explaining how to 'add'. The person asking the question just doesn't know that yet. – tzenes Jul 23 '10 at 20:07
-3

[Reasoning] One in a Million

Example: "Good Leveling Guides for X in Y?" Possible permutations among alternative X and Y are countless.

Arguments Pro

  • could easily swamp the site
  • could probably be grouped into a more general question
  • high chance for redundancy

Arguments Con

  • I just want to clarify: Upvotes mean that you agree that this reasoning should be used to exclude questions from the site. – Kempeth Jul 23 '10 at 8:37
  • 2
    I strongly disagree with this one. I think the high level of permutations are the reason this belongs in an SE. Consider the following scenario: You are a new player to a difficult game; you wish to excel; you are blocked in this goal by people with more experience. Your solution therefor is to seek out a better way. Forums? You'll be shunned for asking for known info. FAQs? how could you evaluate a good from a bad. In the end the SE engine provide good mechanisms through reputation and removing duplicate answers to help solve this problem. These are questions SE was made for. – tzenes Jul 23 '10 at 16:07
-3

[Reasoning] No single answer

Example: Game recommendations.

Arguments Pro

  • SE expects one answer to be flagged as accepted. If the queried information is spread over multiple posts this becomes difficult.

Arguments Con

  • The fact that a question cannot be answered exhaustively in one post does not detract from it's value for the community.
  • I just want to clarify: Upvotes mean that you agree that this reasoning should be used to exclude questions from the site. - Since I cannot vote on my own posts I want to add that i disagree with this one. – Kempeth Jul 23 '10 at 8:34
-4

My personal take.

  • "Self Imposed Restrictions"
    • Close
  • "What games offer a good co-op multiplayer experience?"
    • Close, very subjective, and generates too much noise
  • "Easter Eggs in MegaMan games NES (1-6)"
    • Close, though "How do I get Easter egg X" would be fine
  • "PC voice chat software"
    • Close
  • "What are the popular openings/builds for Terran in StarCraft2"
    • I think is is bad b/c of "popular", and because it's pretty broad. An OK question would be "How can I quickly build many Space Marines in StarCraft2"
  • "Healer add-ons for end-game raiding in WoW"
    • Close, it's a "lets build a list" question. "Is there an add on to track healing aggro in WoW?" would be acceptable.
  • "GTA-4 like games for PS3"
    • Close, I think this kind of question is extremely subjective and generates a lot of noise.
  • I'd ask why the -1 ... but I think I'm just in the minority here. – C. Ross Jul 22 '10 at 12:54
  • I don't think saying: "Close" is really adding to the discussion. Provide better reasons to some of these. – tzenes Jul 23 '10 at 20:01
  • It seems you have given close or bad for all questions. Just summarizing - basically you want to say "close em all". Please correct me if Im wrong. – Mugen Nov 25 '10 at 5:26

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