21

Recently, I asked a question about the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which is part of a series of video games called Counter-Strike.

Another user pointed out that there was a similar question. However, this question was about the video game Counter-Strike: 1.6, a game in the Counter-Strike series. The game Counter-Strike: 1.6 and the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are similar but different games.

That user claimed that my question was a duplicate of the other question, despite it being about another game. Since the other question was talking about a different game than my question, it is not a duplicate.

However, the same user decided to edit the other question. This question was talking about Counter-Strike: 1.6, and this edit that the user added changed the topic from Counter-Strike: 1.6 to the entire Counter-Strike series.

There is a page that clarifies when you should edit something, and what you should edit in.

One of the reasons you should edit a question is, "To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)".

The original ask-er of the question was asking a question about the Counter-Strike: 1.6 game. The edit did not clarify anything, but it did change the meaning from asking about a single game to asking about multiple games in a series.

So this user made an edit that caused the question to apply to different games, and this edit now makes my question a duplicate.

Is this correct/allowed? Does the edit that this user made change the meaning of the question?

  • If something about this question can be made more specific or made easier to understand, please do not hesitate to edit it. This is the first post I have made on the meta. – avestar101 Aug 26 '13 at 17:46
  • 5
    Personally, I understand where he's coming from, and I think it's a good way to consolidate information. I just don't think that's actually how we handle such. The after-the-fact editing just reeks of shoehorning the question into the duplicate close reason, rather than it actually being a duplicate. – Frank Aug 26 '13 at 17:50
  • 2
    Normally I'd say you are correct in your point that they are separate games, but I believe for CS this is a special case as each game was designed to be as close to the previous as possible with just an engine upgrade. – l I Aug 26 '13 at 17:54
  • Yeah, I have to agree with Spartacus, as this applies to another valve game(DotA 2 vs. DotA) as well. – Raven Dreamer Aug 26 '13 at 17:58
  • 5
    @spartacus No, each game is different. While the main focus is in fact the engine, there have been minor changes all around (Map changes, bomb animations, guns, molotovs, etc). How am I to know whether or not they decided to change this, also? – avestar101 Aug 26 '13 at 18:08
  • 3
  • 1
    Also Related: Is DOTA the same game as DOTA2 – Sterno Aug 26 '13 at 18:36
  • 1
    @RavenDreamer Dota isn't a valve game... <_< – Niro Aug 26 '13 at 19:21
  • @Fluttershy No it isn't, but it is in an identical situation since DotA2 is. – Raven Dreamer Aug 26 '13 at 19:23
  • I'm personally waiting for this discussion to run it's course before I cast a vote to re-open. Perhaps there is a valid reason for this, but my current understanding of dupes is that this isn't acceptable. – Frank Aug 26 '13 at 21:35
  • @fbueckert Close/reopen votes mean more than meta votes, so I'm voting to reopen right now! – Sterno Aug 27 '13 at 2:28
  • Global Offensive is very different from the other games of the series though. Weapons handle drastically different and the general feel of the game is different. – user53721 Aug 31 '13 at 15:41
21

We shouldn't need to know the answer to a question to determine if it should be closed.

I'm not a fan of any policy that requires you to know the answer to a question before you know whether or not the question is a dupe. And that's exactly what's happening here... a user needs to know that Counterstrike Game X and Counterstrike Game Y have identical answers to the question before he can know whether or not a dupe vote is appropriate. This bothers me.

What about remakes?

I was a little hesitant to weigh in on this issue because I think we get into kind of a weird area with remakes. The Secret of Monkey Island released in 1990. It re-released in 2009 with a few very, very minor gameplay changes and a very large graphical update. For 99.9% of the questions a person would have about the game, such as how to get past a given puzzle, the questions and answers will be identical.

Another example somewhere in the middle is the Spelunky HD version that came out recently. Some mechanics are exactly the same as the original. Some are totally different. In some cases, questions and answers might be exactly identical, in some the questions would be the same but the answers would be different, and in yet others the questions wouldn't even apply

Again, it comes down to a problem of users needing to know the answer before they can determine whether or not a close vote is appropriate. And again, the idea of using knowledge of the answer for close-criteria really, really bothers me. As silly as I think it would be to have a twin set of questions for Monkey Island and the remake, I think it's a better solution than trying to discern when a question and answer set are exactly the same and when there are differences. Realistically in those cases, the people playing are probably going to understand it's a remake and therefore very similar to the older version. They'll usually try out any answers they find to the old version before they ask about the new one.

So once in a while, we get some duplication that we feel could be collapsed into a single Q&A. How big of a deal is it, really, though? We don't even have to reproduce all the work in the case of identical questions and answers, right? If someone asks how X works in Monkey Island and gets a good answer, and someone asks how X works in the remake, a good answer to the second question might simply be to say "It works the same as the original" and then just link to the other question's answer, maybe adding a summary in there as you would with any good link answer.

Closing as a dupe turns close votes into super upvotes

Think about what we're really saying when we close a question as a dupe of an older game in the series (or the original version, in the case of a remake). We're saying "I know what the answer is, and it's the same as this other version. Do not argue with me about it... I'm right." Upvotes and downvotes should be the judge of an answer's quality and accuracy. We're effectively turning dupe votes into answers that can't be argued with.

TLDR Version

  • Intimate knowledge of the answer to a question should not be needed when determining whether or not to close something as a dupe.
  • In the case where the answers are the same, a good answer can still help reduce duplication by pointing back at the original question and answer.
  • In the primary use case of the site, people are often going google to find their answer on the older version of the question anyway. And if they aren't sure if it works the same in the new version, that's a question they should be able to get an answer to.
  • Duplication really isn't that big a deal that we should be jumping through hoops to avoid it.
10

Quoting another answer I wrote:

Dupes and Frankenquestions

That many of these questions have a similar solution [...] - doesn't really make them duplicates. Same answer != same question.

Making one giant question for all of them and closing the rest as dupes is something I also am kind of starting to hate as a solution. It discounts any unique situation that the asker might be in, or any specific details they need help with. It makes it hard (especially for new askers) to find the duplicate question. It puts a burden on us to maintain the accepted answer or let the question devolve into one broad answer with a bunch of mini-answers for special cases.

Hmm, this question is very similar to and has the same answer as another question I answered. I could have closed this as a dupe of that and edited the question to be more general, but I felt like this was a unique situation and only wanted to use part of my answer there to answer this question here.

In general, I don't like changing the scope of a question long after the fact to shoehorn duplication. There's just not that much benefit to it. Questions can be linked together to show relation without closing them. Games in a series may have similar mechanics, but that doesn't mean that asking a question about one precludes (or dupes) questions about another. Forcing organization often leads to more chaos rather than less.

  • 3
    Agreed, plus there's a good chance that even if the larger mechanics are similar, the relevant nuances will be different. – kotekzot Aug 27 '13 at 4:00
  • 1
    The question is literally the identical question and the answer is literally the identical answer. The only thing that differed was the games they were about, and in each case, there were no differences. – Decency Aug 27 '13 at 12:40
  • 1
    There's just not that much benefit to it. And what's the benefit of having both? You're splitting people up and making it harder to find. The distinction between the two is artificial -- removing it would be the opposite of shoehorning. – Matthew Read Aug 27 '13 at 14:53
  • 3
    So what happens if there's a patch to one of the games and the defaults change? (Then we have to change the answer or add another one to cover the corner case) What happens when the next CS game is released and it's slightly different? (Is that info relevant to the same question?) Why lump a bunch of things that happen to be related together into one question? – agent86 Aug 27 '13 at 15:31
  • 4
    If I asked a question "How long does it take for the bomb to explode in every counter strike game that has ever been released?" that would be considered too broad, and I'd probably be asked to break it up into multiple questions. Why should I know that the answers are the same before asking? Why is the question edited long after the fact to change its scope to be broader? – agent86 Aug 27 '13 at 15:31
  • 5
    If you want curated, organized, neatly assembled data about a game, go to a wiki. If you want the answer to a gaming related question, ask and we will do our best to answer. We close as duplicate because we have already had that same question before, and there's no point in solving that exact problem again. When the solution is the same as a similar problem, but the question is different, don't consider that to be the exact problem again - it's a different problem with the same answer. – agent86 Aug 27 '13 at 15:34
  • 2
    And yes, I see Decency making a point by asking individual questions for all the games, and I honestly don't care. It doesn't bother me at all, and I think besides thumbing his nose at this answer and probably making some other people unhappy, there's no downside to the questions and I don't plan on taking any punitive action in response. If this answer ends up being the "community consensus" and his questions are closed, I will reopen them. – agent86 Aug 27 '13 at 15:37
  • 1
    I will say (as I say every time I suggest a policy) that it's possible to ask crappy questions - "How do I shoot in <FPS>" for infinite variations of <FPS> is not a particularly interesting/well researched question, for instance. Still, not dupes of each other. – agent86 Aug 27 '13 at 15:46
  • 2
    Personally, I think "proving a point" should be kept to Meta. If you disagree, fine. You're just obscuring the issue by bringing it to Arqade main, and does nothing but cause bad feelings all around. – Frank Aug 27 '13 at 16:09
  • @agent86 Well, one of the questions was merged by another mod into the original generic question, so you might want to address that. Lol. – Decency Aug 27 '13 at 18:01
  • Being that we're 6 different people in 6 different locations, we're all acting independently. Sometimes I handle a flag and walk right into a mess myself. I'll talk with Mana and see what the deal is. – agent86 Aug 27 '13 at 19:56
  • @agent86 Your point about updates applies to questions about single games too. It shouldn't be hard to update this one the same way. Are you telling me that if someone re-asked this Angry Birds physics question and specified a particular game, that it would be OK? And what if future games in the series differ or an old game is updated? Same logic applies. With that said, Sterno has convinced me by pointing out a significant negative aspect of closure that is not potential and does not apply to individual questions left open. – Matthew Read Aug 27 '13 at 21:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .