I asked a series of questions on BioShock Infinite very recently (within the last hour), all of which were pummel-closed citing this and that. I understand that it is not yet midnight in America, but it is still "release day" elsewhere in the world. Are these closures not inconsistent with the meta questions cited?

(Also, for what it's worth, I already knew these rules and found the hostile tone and assumption of bad faith excessive and demoralizing, especially when done with such impunity. This experience exemplifies why I do not usually participate in meta discussions.)

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    Did you have the game at the time that you asked the questions? If not, you were asking questions about a game that you do not own, which fails the "practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face" test. Sorry, but your questions looked like squatting, as though you were trying to get them in right before people had a chance to play the game and find questions to ask. Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 3:41
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    Your location is listed as New York.
    – user9983
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 3:42
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    I guess we all need to update our locations to the international date line. Folks who live in Equestria or the Moon might not ever be allowed to ask questions, since I don't think there is a GameStop at those locations. :)
    – EBongo
    Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 14:07
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    @EBongo People who patronize GameStop should not be allowed to ask questions at all.
    – user9983
    Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 15:38
  • Touche' @OrigamiRobot. On another note - did Sean's questions already get deleted? I do not see them.
    – EBongo
    Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 21:30
  • @EBongo They were deleted by badp as per this
    – user9983
    Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 22:50
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    @OrigamiRobot I had a strong suspicion. At least in a little while when I hit 10k I'll be able to see those, but it is pretty annoying how every controversial question gets deleted like hours after it gets closed. How are we supposed to discuss facts when they are all redacted?
    – EBongo
    Commented Apr 1, 2013 at 2:17
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    @badp Can these questions be nominated for undelete so the community can vote on them for reopening, or is that already a moot point (ie have they been re-asked already by someone else)?
    – EBongo
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 12:40
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    I just hit 10k, so I can see this question and this one, which seem to still not have been asked. Don't we want these questions back? It seems pointless to leave them deleted, if anyone could just re-ask them right now. Also, to the folks on the bridge, if you wanted to discuss this with Sean, you could have just pinged him.
    – EBongo
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 11:20
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    This meta post makes me sad. The two currently top-voted answers are against the closing of the questions, yet the questions have remained deleted. "What should matter is if the question is on-topic and answerable. Who is doing the asking should be irrelevant." "A question should be judged on it's merits, not who asked it." Is there any use to posting on meta, if the community consensus will not be enacted by the mods anyway? Commented Apr 30, 2013 at 3:37

3 Answers 3


I think Ashley is absolutely right about why questions may have been closed, but I don't think the community is right in doing so in the majority of the cases.

I kind of feel like people need to get over the whole "oh no, they're camping questions!" thing. If a question is bad, downvote it. Closing a question that would be fine in one timezone but not another seems absolutely ridiculous to me.

We should care about the question, not about who is asking it.

Furthermore, saying, "sure, the game is out, but not for you!" doesn't mean the person doesn't have a real problem. For instance, asking a day before release (for them) what the difference in difficulty levels helps assure the asker gets an answer early enough to help them if they want to use that information to decide what difficulty to start on right when it releases. What's important is that the question is answerable, not whether or not the asker is in a valid time zone for it to matter to them immediately.

I feel like the knee-jerk closures like this are in the same line as the people who get mad about people answering their own questions, a feature that SE explicitly supports! I mean,if you can answer your own question, it must not be a problem you personally face at this moment in time!

Again, I repeat:

What should matter is if the question is on-topic and answerable. Who is doing the asking should be irrelevant.

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    Asking a question before you even know if it's a problem is the epitome of "not a problem".
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 1:36
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    @fbueckert So you are arguing it's impossible to have a good question before you actually hold the game in your hands? Insane. Either a question is valid or not... who is doing the asking does not affect that. I can agree that asking early about something you're guessing about is more likely to generate bad questions, but that's not the complaint. They're complaining about question "camping". When they're otherwise good questions that are answerable, they don't deserve closure just because you asked them 6 hours too soon for your personal time zone.
    – Sterno
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 13:11
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    Additionally, waiting a few hours for release in their particular location by no means guarantees they've actually played the game before asking the question, particularly in the case of the dreaded "question campers" that we so seem to fear.
    – Sterno
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 13:21
  • While I agree with most everything in your answer, I disagree with the "asking a day before release (for them) what the difference in difficulty levels..." part. It is not always true that games have multiple levels of difficulty. I think some of these questions may be valid in some cases, but it also opens some doors that might be better left closed.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 20:43

The policy is ..a member of the public has to be able to play the game, and it is valid to ask regardless of the number of people who are/could be in possession of the game. Sean was following those policies, and his questions should not be closed based on what others speculate about where he lives, or whether he has the game.

It has been a long standing practice of the community to frown on questions they consider "camping" - although I believe we send mixed messages when it comes to games in a series. For questions long before the release of any version of a game, it makes sense that we'd want to avoid such questions which are inherently speculative. This isn't really a unique rule though. We dislike all speculative questions, this is just a big batch of questions that fit this category.

Questions that can be asked about a publicly available game, say by watching a video stream, are not speculative - and there is no reason we should not allow them. Many in the community may even be insiders who get access in one form or another even before the game comes out - and we agreed this was a great opportunity to identify good questions and answers.

Using the close vote as a super-downvote on these questions is inappropriate. A question should be judged on it's merits, not who asked it.


If you knew the rules, and from your location, were asking based on a game you yourself could not play, it means that you are not really facing these problems, and are seemingly asking questions for the sake of asking them. In some eyes, this looks like you are camping the questions, which is generally frowned upon.

Yes, the game might have been available a slight bit earlier in other areas due to time zones and the like, but that doesn't mean that you can just ask questions for the sake of questions - questions should, ideally, come up organically in the course of play, not be asked simply to seed the site with unnecessary content.

If finding locations of items and knowing about game modes is something people want to know about, the questions will get asked. There is no need to prepare ahead of time.

Also, like you said, we have the rules about prerelease questions, and I think that in some eyes, it feels like you are not taking those into account in good faith; instead, it feels like you are bending them slightly in order to ask questions ahead of time. Not saying that is what you did, as I don't have the authority to make judgements on your thought process, but this is how it appeared to the community, and thus, close votes were made.

  • Camping... not even once
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Mar 27, 2013 at 22:31

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