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GS/BS applies to everything subjective all the time across all stack exchanges and is one of our most frequently linked posts, to the point that we have a highly supported proposal to get a shortcut bracket link to it. It was my impression that the game-rec guidelines (specifically "You may only answer one of these questions if you have actually done it or seen it done, or if you have a detailed reference from someone who has done it (with details like how and results).") are and were intended to be strictly stricter than GS/BS advice, and furthermore to address answerers rather than querents, among a number of other major differences. I have recently been told by a mod (@mxyzplk) that these guidelines are, in fact, identical to the aforementioned famous post. I don't understand how this is the case. Is it? Could someone please compare and contrast them?

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The article Good Subjective, Bad Subjective is targeted at questions. But it's advice provides an outline of what we want out of answers (i.e. The Back it Up! Principle).

Specifically:

Back It Up! means that your answers must be based on either:

  • Something that happened to you personally

  • Something you can back up with a reference

Both GS/BS and the game-req guidelines basically boil down to one thing: "speak from experience."

The trouble is, speaking from experience is more of a spectrum than a discrete point:

  • I've heard of a system, and it sounds like it might do what you want.

  • I've played a system, and I don't think you'll break it.

  • I read about someone doing something else with a system, so you can probably do your thing with this system.

  • I read about someone else doing something similar with a system.

  • I've done something similar with a system.

  • I've done exactly this with a system.

GS/BS doesn't do much to draw the line at where the tipping point is on the spectrum (because it was written towards question authors).

The game-rec guidelines apply GS/BS's guidelines in an answer-focused way. The idea being that our game-rec questions were getting crummy answers ("GURPS can do anything!"), and that the only way to "save" them was to improve answer quality.

So... The game recommendation guidelines are a codified, aggressively enforced, version of GS/BS. This means that they allow a smaller subset of answers through (relative to the site at large), but there isn't a specific set of rules that are "added" or "missing" from one or the other.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for answering, I was out of patience on this entire topic. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Aug 21 '15 at 2:16
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They are the same in all substantial points. The difference is in application: GS/BS is guidance for what makes good questions and good answers on a site with an inherently subjective topic, while the game-rec guidelines say “…and for recommendations they're not just suggestions, it's going to be enforced.”

The difference is in the “MUST” in the game-rec guidelines:

Answers MUST adhere to the "Back It Up!" principle

So yes, they're the same. The difference is that answers not adhering to GS/BS will get a finger wagging and downvotes, while answers not adhering to the game-rec guidelines will get a finger wagging, a pause to see if the wagging helped, and then deletion if not.

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