Also, side question, why is it that you only very rarely see gaming.SE questions on the hot questions page?
I can't comment on how the inner workings actually determine "What's hot" and "What's not", but it seems to be a calculation based on
- Number of users participating, and
- Up and downvotes
- Over a short period of time.
Based on this assumption, gaming questions might not make it very high because our community is split into more categories and subcategories than say, the Java community, or the Physics community.
Think about it. How many labels do we have to loosely define 'gaming'? For example, RTS, FPS, Social, Casual, RPG, PC Gamers, Console Gamers, Indie games etc. And how often will a primarily Indie/Casual gamer click through and participate in questions about Borderlands, Starcraft or Fallout? Not often I would think. I've actually ignored tags on Arqade, a practice I haven't done on other SE sites. Do other people do the same?
So whilst we still might have enough throughput to compete and be in the running for 'hottest question', That throughput is spread more evenly across many questions, as opposed to be all bunched around one.
That's my understanding anyway.