A lot of the time, when someone asks about a storyline or for clarification on a plot point, like this one about Dark Souls 2 or this one about Infinity Blade, a lot of the time they immediately open up a debate about whether it is or isn't on-topic.

The debate reluctantly (usually) settles on "yes, it's on-topic". But since it's so hard to determine what is or isn't valid, how can we really define a "Lore Question"? Can we even? Or do we just have to trudge through the debate every time a new "Lore Question" is posted?

  • I feel the fact I have to use quotations every time kinda says something about it too....
    – Ben
    Aug 14 '14 at 7:32
  • 1
    All the fact that you need to use quotations says is that you don't know what the word 'lore' means in this context... We have arguments over lore questions because lots of them are bad, and many deserve closure for reasons other than the fact that they are lore questions. Being about lore is not a free pass against our other site standards. Nobody disputes that lore questions are on topic however, even if many wish they weren't. Aug 14 '14 at 10:25

Lore questions are questions about a game's plot or world in general. For example, "what language are the graffiti in Half Life 2 in?" is a lore question and so is "how did Wheatley survive being crushed by GLADOS?". There might be more to this taxonomy, but it's not coming to mind right now.

The thing about lore is that, plainly speaking, answerers shouldn't have to make anything up to answer; we ask that people keep, at the very least, to a videogame series' extended universe while answering. This is why our actual question about Wheatley getting crushed has a perhaps unsatisfactory accepted answer by yours truly and another question about the economic applications of portals was closed OT because it's essentially unanswerable (although the Portal 2 world does quite heavily hint to a reckless disregard for money on Aperture's part).

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