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How to deal with questions that just don't understand the scope of the RPG landscape? covers the (somewhat persistent) problem we have with game-recommendation questions, and what members of the site should do about them.

Are game recommendation questions on topic? covers what makes a game-recommendation question good or bad.

But, users asking game-recommendation questions regularly have them closed, and often seem a bit confused by the requests for more specific criteria. So I was talking in chat, and the point came up that we don't actually have a resource to point users to to help them narrow down their questions. This question can hopefully be that resource.

(Hypothetical scenario incoming) I've asked a game-recommendation question, it's been closed, and I'm being asked to provide more specific criteria before it can be re-opened.

Where do I go from here? What sort of detail should I add to my question to make it acceptable for this site?

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I don't see value in such a resource. If they don't have further requirements, their question shouldn't be made to fit our guidelines artificially.

A resource such as that, at best, might help a few people by jogging their thoughts enough to refine the question (in a way that comments can't somehow?); at worst it would become a checklist for how best to game the site, resulting in an increase of substandard shopping questions.

Given the best case scenario has limited (or no?) value, and the worst-case scenario leads to degradation of the entire site in a way that lies close to its core purpose, there's no contest.

So we let people be confused. We have no lack for questions, and we want ill-fitting questions to get themselves closed. That self-elimination is the main way the site has to ensure its goal of providing a high signal-to-noise ratio that people want to invest time in answering, after all.

Most SEs ban shopping questions outright. We set a high bar on purpose, so that they're possible to host at all here. People can either meet that bar, or not. If they can't, either because they just want to ask a low-quality "help me shop" question that even we ban, or because they really do have a good shopping question but can't figure out how to express themselves in question, comments, or chat, that's on them. And it's not on us to tell the difference between those two failure modes.

It's definitely not on us to help them even more than we already do via comments and the existing guide. At best that guide could be more prominent, but our ability to make it more prominent is minimal. (A problem any additional resource would also have.) It's linked in the game-rec banner, and if that's insufficient... well, again, it's not on us to save questions that we're not even sure, without mind reading, can meet our minimum standards.

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