There's been a debate going on over whether or not this question should be closed:


The controversy is stemming from confusion over what an audiovisual artifact actually is, so I decided to make this meta to help clarify the issue (and work out any kinks it may have).

  • Where is the link that says Audiovisual artifact are required? All I'm finding is "Requests for game identification based on personal recollection alone" – Batophobia Jul 10 '13 at 16:06
  • @DavidStarkey Because the only way it's not a personal recollection is if you have an audiovisual artifact. – Wipqozn Jul 10 '13 at 16:09
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    You should put your answer to "what is" in an answer so that votes on it may accurately reflect the community's agreement. – SevenSidedDie Jul 10 '13 at 16:09
  • @SevenSidedDie Fair enough. – Wipqozn Jul 10 '13 at 16:10
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    @DavidStarkey Here ya go. – Niro Jul 10 '13 at 16:10
  • @Fluttershy If it is not in the FAQ, then don't expect new users to know about it. Also, when did Meta questions become canon? – Batophobia Jul 10 '13 at 16:15
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    @DavidStarkey: The FAQ isn't meant to contain every single rule on the site. It's intended to be a quick how to for new users. We don't expect them to know all of our rules right from the get go. As for your second point meta questions have always been canon. Meta is where we decide on site policy. That's how Stack Exchange works. – Wipqozn Jul 10 '13 at 16:17
  • @DavidStarkey Whoa. Easy. You asked for a link and I gave you one. O_o No hostility intended. – Niro Jul 10 '13 at 16:19
  • @Wipqozn As I read Requests for game identification based on personal recollection alone that could mean, "my friend agrees so it's not just my personal recollection". If you want Audiovisual Artifacts to be a requirement, add it to the page. – Batophobia Jul 10 '13 at 16:21
  • @Fluttershy Didn't mean it in that way. I've just always thought as meta as a place to dispute ideas and if they end up being accepted they are added to the site rules. Thanks for the link. – Batophobia Jul 10 '13 at 16:24
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    @DavidStarkey: Person recollection of your friend is still personal recollection, although rewording the rule for clarity may be a good idea. Additionally, the game-identifcation tag details the audiovisual requirment. – Wipqozn Jul 10 '13 at 16:28

What is an Audiovisual artifact?

An audiovisual artifact is a picture or sound clip from the game. It needs to be something concrete, such as a screenshot or sound clip, and not something from the memory of the user.

Why does an Audiovisual artifact grant an exception to the Game Identification ban?

One of the primary reasons for the Identify This Game (ITG) ban was that we can't rely on the memory of our users. Users remember details incorrectly, and because of this we can't guarantee the information they list is correct, and are unable to reliably answer their question.

There is also the fact that even if all the details listed are correct they could still match any number of games, and not just one game. Due to this there is no way for a user to provide a definite answer to the question without first getting confirmation from the asker.

An audiovisual artifact faces neither of these problems. A screenshot of a game faces no issues of users remembering things incorrectly, since it's not from memory. So the memory problem no long exists. The same applies to a sound clip from the game.

A screenshot also can only come from one game, so the issue of a screenshot matching multiple games also doesn't apply. Once again, the same thing applies to sound clips.

Why can't pictures or songs made from memory be used?

A picture or song made from memory by a user faces the same problem that a user typing out a textual description of things they remember from the game. That is, we can't trust their memory. It was very common for users to list details about a game and get some of those details wrong. Converting those details into a picture or a song doesn't change really change that. Pictures and songs from memory can still be remembered incorrectly by the user.

The issue of a description being able to match multiple games is as true of pictures and sounds made by the user as it is for textual description. Unless a user is able to create a perfect recreation of a picture of song from a game it's possible for it to match more games than the one the asker is thinking of, which means no user can definitely answer the question. Since there's no way to know if a recreation is perfect, we are unable to say that the question can be reliably answered.

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    I didn't touch on remixes in my answer since I feel that is an issue warranting more discussion, where as the things I've stated above are the concrete facts I do not believe are open to debate. – Wipqozn Jul 10 '13 at 16:14
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    Just playing devil's advocate here—aren't almost all of our questions negatively affected by faulty memory? Why not require proof for all questions where memory comes into play? "I swear this is what I did—was that a bug?!" I just answered one similar to that, and a screenshot would have helped there, too. I'm not suggesting we do always require proof, I'm just asking for clarification why faulty memory is so much more unacceptable in game rec questions. – dlras2 Jul 10 '13 at 16:17
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    @DanRasmussen: The difference is that in an ITG you're 100% reliable on the memory of a user, and it's impossible to give a definite answer to ITG because of that. Whereas other questions might become a bit more difficult to answer, or might not even be negatively affected at all. For example, if someone is unable to beat a boss, and lists a few things they've tried, a user can still definitely answer the question for how to beat the boss without the "things I've tried" list being accurate. – Wipqozn Jul 10 '13 at 16:22
  • Very good points about reliable answers without reliable questions. – dlras2 Jul 10 '13 at 16:24

Whilst I agree with Wipqozn's answer entirely (and indeed that is the community consensus), I thought I'd expand on the comment made by him about remixes and the like, and open the floor for discussion around those.

Before the comments were purged on that question, OrigamiRobot and I were debating what constitutes an audiovisual artifact. The tl;dr version is:

OrigamiRobot: Whistling the tune doesn't count as an audiovisual artifact as it is dependent on the memory of the asker. An audio-visual artifact must be from the game in question.
Robotnik: What about recordings, like an orchestral recreation? They aren't dependent on the memory of an asker. "I have this recording of a band playing a song from a game, what is it?" Is a far cry from "I kinda sorta remember the tune, here it is"

There was a lot more to it than that, but that forms the basis of my argument: If someone has a recording, a picture or something of someone else playing, advertising (or performing a song from) a game, does that count as an audio-visual artifact?

I state this case because it seems that there are questions we have allowed to exist that fall into this category, and I feel like we as a community are yet to reach a consensus regarding these.

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