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Inspired by https://rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/a/6050/14848

Camping was described as:

asking a question pre-emptively that one knows can't be answered yet, just to be the one to get the rep for it later when the game is released and starts getting lots of attention.

Is camping wrong? If so why? Keep in mind that asking unanswerable questions is not, in fact, discouraged (well, officially. It's SUPER discouraged/not allowed on this site in practice).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems likely it has to do with the general tendency to close newer questions as dupes of older, although that's nowhere near absolute; a remarkably well-asked new question could upset an old, less-than-flawless "camped" question. (At least, that's how it works elsewhere on the network.) \$\endgroup\$ – user17995 Jan 31 '16 at 7:21
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It is bad, because

  1. They're not questions about real problems yet
  2. They interfere with others' ability to later post their real questions about the issue

Making up a question that one thinks will be a valid/useful question, when the game is eventually released, will often result in a question that is not quite useful or accurate in its details.

Further, it hogs the rep for that issue, preventing future people who honestly have that problem right then from earning the rep for bringing it to RPG.se.

As a general principle, only people who actually have a problem now with an existing game should be composing questions looking for solutions to that problem. Writing questions in anticipation of future problems with future games messes with reputation, closures, and warps the utility and function of the site unnaturally in favour of established users who know the site well enough to even conceive of gaming the system in that strange way.

There are enough advantages to being an established user who knows the ins and outs of the site. Stealing valid questions from newer users with honest problems just to farm a bit of rep off an anticipated maybe-problem of an unreleased game is not being a good site citizen.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You say it's bad, but not disallowed. Hypothetically, if one was to stumble upon a question like this, what's the best course of action? If VTC, what flag? \$\endgroup\$ – Tas Feb 1 '16 at 5:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Tas VTC with a custom reason that it's not a real question about a real game yet, or something along those lines. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 1 '16 at 5:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie In particular, "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face." (What types of questions should I avoid asking?) \$\endgroup\$ – David Richerby Feb 3 '16 at 19:24

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