Recently a question was closed because it asked which products met a certain criteria -- which is apparently strictly off-topic for Arqade. I don't give two hoots that the question was closed (it was already answered successfully for one thing), but I'd like to know more about the idea that any question that features a "criteria" is automatically put "on hold".

I'm talking specifically about this reason:

"Questions that ask which games or other products meet specific criteria are off topic. We primarily deal with questions about playing games, not about which games to play or historical trivia. We make an exception for identifying games based on an audiovisual artifact from the game in question."

Focussing on the first part of this paragraph, I think it means that all of the following questions are strictly off-topic for Arqade...

  • What systems was this game released on?
  • Is this controller compatible with Windows 8?
  • Which AMD graphics card models are available in 4GB RAM flavours?
  • What games make use of quad core CPUs?

Ignoring the fact that these are all intensely terrible questions; are they all automatically off-topic based on the fact that they compare a product against a criteria?

Thanks helping me understand better.

  • Link to the question that was closed would be useful
    – kalina
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 15:16
  • @kalina gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/138505/…
    – 3ventic
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 15:17
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    Regardless of the question that was closed, of the four sample questions you've given, all four could be argued as off topic
    – kalina
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 15:17
  • 1
    @kalina It wasn't closed for that reason. It was initially closed for that reason, then re-opened by the community, and then closed for the reason listed in this question. Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 15:19
  • 3
    @kalina I don't see how the second question, about whether or not a particular controller is compatible with Windows 8, would be off-topic.
    – Sterno
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 15:29
  • @kaline I'm surprised that #1 is considered off-topic myself. I really would have thought that was completely valid. Hmm. What is this "no criteria" rule supposed to stamp out, exactly? Maybe that could help me understand why it's so bad. Thanks. Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 15:35
  • @DjangoReinhardt - From the FAQ page, we prohibit: "Catalogues (listing games that fit specific criteria or are like an existing game)". Primarily because the Q&A format does not work well with unbound lists.
    – au revoir
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 15:38
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    @DjangoReinhardt The really short answer is that questions which generate an unbounded list are generally not a good fit for the site. Let's say I can list 12 games that make full use quad-core CPUs. Then someone else names 3 more. 5 other people name 1 each. And we're still missing potentially dozens of games. The voting doesn't make a lot of sense in those situations, and we aren't generating quality answers. That said, I'm hunting through meta now trying to find a better explanation for you.
    – Sterno
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


The reason this particular off topic/close reason exists is to prevent Arqade from being filled with questions like "what games are like ". This category of questions results in a long list that would require frequent updates to remain up to date or even remain useful as an answer to the question.

List questions are bad within our Q&A format - here is some further reading for you to familiarise yourself with our views on list questions:

You've asked five questions - one of them is an actual question that has been closed and the other four are guesses to allow you to understand the close reason the first was closed with.

Out of the five, the last two questions for sure would be immediately marked as off topic during busy hours:

  • Which AMD graphics card models are available in 4GB RAM flavours?
  • What games make use of quad core CPUs?

Using the above description of the close reason, these two are very obviously list questions that will require extensive lists that will need updating as time goes on.

The first of your sample questions - "Which formats was this game released in" is a question that wouldn't need to be off topic as such, but basically is because the information is already supposed to be provided in the tag wiki for the game in question. As such, you're asking a question that has an answer easily findable on this site, without even needing to go elsewhere on the internet.

Your actual question is asking for a list of graphics cards that support a new feature. This new feature is going to appear on more graphics cards over the next few years and as such every time a new graphics card is released by nVidia, this list will have to be updated and will essentially become a list of all recent nVidia graphics cards.

The second question - "Is this controller compatible with Windows 8?" is a bit of a community splitter, just from mentioning it in chat there are arguments for an against it being on topic, taking it word for word though it doesn't actually fit into a shopping recommendation or the close reason you've linked in this question.

  • Gotcha. Thanks Kalina, that makes a lot of sense now. Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 16:30
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    Just a thought: I wonder if the wording of that particular close reason could be improved? Something that mentions lists that would likely change in the future, and so not be appropriate for the Q&A format, would have immediately helped me understand what the problem is. Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 16:32
  • It's a possibility, we had a meta discussion about close reasons in the last few months, would be worth mentioning on that
    – kalina
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 16:36
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    @DjangoReinhardt Lists that might change in the future isn't really the problem. It's unbound lists period. The fact that some might change in the future is but one of a host of problems that such questions have, and isn't really indicative of the problem. Commented Nov 6, 2013 at 22:43

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