I'm referring specifically to this question: for an Ingress player it's clear what it's being asked, and I've edited it to refer to the "passcodes" game-specific term, instead of the generic "codes". For someone not playing the game the question may not be clear at all, could this be a rightful closing reason? It can be further edited to explain in detail what passcodes are, but from a player standpoint it is redundant: they already know what passcodes are, and if they are on this question they don't need it to be explained.

3 Answers 3


I don't see any particular reason why a question should have to go out of its way to make itself understandable to someone not familiar with the game or else face closure. If that were the case, every League of Legends question would need to be closed.

What's important is that the people who have the game understand it, and the people who could answer the question understand it. Now, if you want to take the extra time with your question to make them understandable to people unfamiliar with the game, great! Taking that kind of care with our content can really set this place apart from forums or Yahoo! Answers. But in my mind, that should be upvote/downvote criteria, not close vote criteria.

That said, we're all human here and we make mistakes. You may just need to call attention to questions when they are incorrectly closed in this way. People unfamiliar with the game probably truly believe the question is unclear. Hopefully when the situation is explained to them, they won't argue against the question being reopened. In this case, it looks like the question has already indeed been reopened.

  • 5
    Mind you that our answers should be understandable by people who have just installed the game and, perhaps, played the tutorial. If your answer relies on the knowledge of more advanced concepts, it might be worth it to link to some other question/resource. For example, DOTA 2 teaches you about attack cancelling and denying in the tutorial, so you probably can assume most people know about it.
    – badp
    Jan 16, 2014 at 17:07

The question doesn't need to be understandable by everyone, but it should look like it's understandable to those who play the game. If not, there's the chance it gets incorrectly closed as unclear, which is what happened here. It's a lot better to explain that extra little detail before it gets closed than it is afterwards.

I'm not saying looking like understandable is a requirement. I'm saying it's better than the alternative.

Isn't that the reason why the "Skip" button exists in the review queue? If I'm not familiar with the game I prefer to leave the review to people that know what we're talking about. – Kappei

It would be great, if this was the case, but there aren't 5 active people for every game we have questions about, and that's not a realistic goal either. That said, I would have skipped that particular question had I seen it in review.

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    Agreed. Might as well avoid the problem before it happens, if you recognize that it exists. However, sometimes when you're thinking within the context of a game, you don't even stop to think about how it might make not sense to someone who hasn't played it.
    – Sterno
    Jan 16, 2014 at 15:33
  • I feel like, if there's a situation where as you say, a game lacks enough of a 3K+ body of experts, instead of simply VTC due to a lack of understanding, maybe bring it up in Meta or chat? I would've absolutely skipped the linked question if it came up in the review queue. Jan 16, 2014 at 17:33
  • This is exactly why I cast my close vote. I was looking for a little more detail, for instance where these codes are provided, so that onlookers like myself could at least understand the problem, even if they had no idea what the solution would be. You'll also note that I was not the first to cast a close vote on this, even though I had the option to. I was initially unsure if the question should be closed, but seeing as how others thought it should be closed for the same reason I had considered, I decided to cast my close vote. I was relying on the judgement of others in making my decision.
    – MBraedley
    Jan 16, 2014 at 17:47
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    If a reviewer isn't familiar with the game, and it isn't obviously a non-question or whatever, they probably should be skipping the review...
    – Flyto
    Jan 23, 2014 at 11:20
  • @MBraedley you shouldn't relay in other decisions or POV unless you agree with them. If you aren't sure just skip ;).
    – Braiam
    Jan 23, 2014 at 21:56
  • @Braiam speaking specifically about Ingress, there are only seven 3kers who have at least one answer at +2 or more. There may be a couple others if we expand the scope to anyone who has asked or answered a question about Ingress, but the point is that seven people isn't enough to reliably close questions.
    – MBraedley
    Jan 23, 2014 at 22:47

No, because otherwise questions about in-depth game mechanics would literally have to explain the whole game mechanics to be understandable. Even questions which don't actually go that deep would read like this:

Where in Final Fantasy VI (an RPG game by SquareSoft in 1993) can I obtain the Magicite (Magicites are like the "souls" of so-called espers which you usually get when you defeat them in combat. You can equip them on your characters, from which you have a lot, but only four at a time at most. When you do so they can learn their magic which you can use in combat. Combat is the most important element of the game, and having lots of spells makes the game a lot easier) of the esper Raiden (which is, as I heard, not that easy to find, in contrary to most other espers which you can't miss because they are at fixed points of the story. But this one is hidden and can be missed. It is one of the most powerful ones. It gives you the "Quick" spell which is really useful because when you cast it your characters can act twice as often in combat, so many players want to have it. Also, it's interesting for completionists who want to make sure that they get everything there is to find in the game).

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