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Are game recommendation questions on topic?

There's a specific kind of question that I would like to see get a little guidance here, because I see it abused so badly on forums. It's "what game is good for X."

There's one of those now - Are there any good tabletop RPGs for young beginning players?. Some of the responses are good and have actual reasons why the game they list is good for that specific use case, but most of the time they don't. Which leads to a very useless set of repeating questions, where people ask "What game is good for... Kids, newbies, grognards, steampunk, fun combat, etc etc.", and the answers are always every single major system. "Fate and 4e and InSpectres and OD&D clones and..."

This seems to me to be an area where allowing purely subjective answers rots the usefulness of the site overall. I think the questions are probably fine, but is there a good way to say "answers to these questions should carry specific reasons and optimally examples of when you actually did this?" My take is that most of the people who say "game X is good for Y" have never actually done that, they're just cheerleaders.

Or am I being grumpy? ("Sell me on..." is the other kind of thread that generates the hate in me.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's important to consider what the question is. "What game is family friendly and wholesome" (i.e. for young beginner players) is different than "What game captures childish joy?". The more subjective of these questions (i.e. "what games are good for girls") tend to rely on stereotypes, ones that don't will be pretty clearly valid. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18, 2013 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


The nice thing about SO that you don't get with a forum is the voting on answers; sure, some people may be cheerleaders -- although I think it's overly cynical to assume that most of them are -- but aren't the better answers likely to be sorted towards the top?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe, though without guidance it just becomes a game system popularity contest. If there's 30 FATE fanboys around, they tend to vote for that. The pure voting/democracy model has its advantages but SE recognizes the need to moderate that with on/off topic and good/bad fit of questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Aug 23, 2010 at 4:16

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