So, there is this (good) question about asking for a particular authoritative source. However, I believe there can be no answer either because of some fundamental problem with the framework or because any answer would be so subjective it would mean nothing.

Should I leave a comment? Well, no since it will be too long as I would need to justify my reasoning.

Should I answer the question? Well, no since I do not have an authoritative source. On the other hand, a negation might be helpful.

How do we handle these questions?


2 Answers 2


If you can effectively support that the question is unanswerable, that is almost certainly itself fodder for a good answer: if you're drawing on cited material and/or personal experience as appropriate, and following the usual guidelines for good answers, you can give a great and useful response to the question.

If you don't have an answer yourself, and you can't support a claim that the question is unanswerable, don't answer the question at all. It's okay for questions to sit unanswered if nobody's yet come along who can provided a definitive response one way or the other.


If you can prove there is no answer, answer in the negative.

If you just don't know, but think it unlikely, don't answer. Unanswered questions are fine, if there is no answer - in fact, adding an answer with no useful information hurts the question as it removes it from unanswered views. In this case I would delete your answer on the question you link.

If you desire to challenge the frame of the question, use the guidance in our XY Problem meta - but I see no grounds for that in this case. He wants a study about game genres and likely there isn't one. There's nothing wrong with that question frame.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I tried to prove there was no answer, but got downvoted. Maybe what I consider solid argument is not want others do. Meh. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 21, 2015 at 14:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ No. Your answer basically says "no survey about genres could ever be valid because, you know, cross-genre!" which is basically a critique of nearly any survey in general, as most of life doesn't fit 100% into boxes, but techniques exist that make them useful anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Apr 21, 2015 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ That is an unfair summary of my answer but let's not argue about it. ^_~ \$\endgroup\$ Apr 21, 2015 at 14:54

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