I'm asking due to this question in particular.
It's a question about the 7th Sea 2e RPG, and we have a new user who was a designer for the game. Currently the answer he's supplied has a post notice requiring additional references, which seems a little absurd.

Is there a method to handle users like this who, in essence, are themselves a top-tier reference? Or should they just be treated as normal users?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I kinda have to -1 this question because it comes from the assumption that it was known he was a designer and got his unsourced answer downvoted anyway; that's not the case, so making this instance about "how we treat designers" in general is fallacious. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Sep 7 '16 at 0:26
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ It wasn't my intent to ask the question about this singular answer in particular -- his original answer was poorly put and the only reason I noticed he was a designer was because I decided to look into why he would put his real name. Although I linked to the answer that prompted this, I tried to phrase the question in a more open-ended fashion so that it applied to all designers on the site. Is there an edit to be made that will make this more clear? \$\endgroup\$ – UrhoKarila Sep 7 '16 at 1:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That would b a dupe of "do authors override users" would it not? \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Sep 7 '16 at 1:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I meant it more in the spirit of "Do we have flair for authors", or some other way to distinguish them. Badges, perhaps, or if they were to gain certain permissions somewhat ahead of time. The more I think about that last point, though, the more I realise the difference between 'knowing the answer' and 'writing a good answer'. \$\endgroup\$ – UrhoKarila Sep 7 '16 at 1:30
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ It also runs afoul of "50% of the people in the Internet are impersonating someone else..." Giving stuff means needing to prove they're really who they claim... Sounds like work I have no interest in trying to do! \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Sep 7 '16 at 2:15
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Wait a minute, are you saying that your driver's licence does not have the name mxyzplk on it? 8^0 \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Sep 7 '16 at 2:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ My answer was "poor" because, at that time, didn't have the reputation to leave a comment on another, more thorough, answer. My intention was to verify designer intent and the only recourse I had was to leave a second answer. Perhaps reconsider the tiers of reputation? Since creators aren't considered a reliable source I feel that there is no point for me to stick around to answer questions. I also think it's overkill to ask creators to leave their biography on every post so maybe I just don't understand the purpose of this site or maybe I just don't fit in around here... \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Justice Sep 7 '16 at 12:28
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @RobJustice Hi mate, welcome to the meta discussion. We don't expect you to leave your biography on every post; we expect you to say something short like "(I am this game's designer)" if and when you're pulling on those credentials. This site first and foremost exists to service the anonymous population of the internet, not ourselves -- something like 99% of our traffic comes from Google. If you're answering about your game, you'll be writing for players who haven't used this site before and who may not recognise your name. They'll appreciate a reminder of your identity. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Sep 7 '16 at 14:25
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ They'll also appreciate you providing citations to page numbers or quoting rules, because then they can go look up what you said and learn more about it, or learn how to make similar conclusions in the future. It also helps because we can't necessarily trust everyone is who they say they are. Behold, I could sign up an account here and say I'm Fred Hicks or someone. (But if the real Fred Hicks saw me do that, they could contact SE Staff about stolen identity concerns, and I'd be in trouble, rightly so. I have done this in the past when someone was impersonating a well-known personality.) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Sep 7 '16 at 14:28
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Also comments are stuck at 50+ rep because of security and spam reasons. They are really not something a newbie should be able to use (and we've had multiple years of discussing that point on Meta Stack Exchange), and usually if someone comes along leaving a comment as an answer and we recognise it as such, it gets converted to a comment. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Sep 7 '16 at 14:29
  • 15
    \$\begingroup\$ So to summarise: you're welcome here; mention you're the designer if/when you're leaning on those credentials because people are unlikely to read your profile and even devout fans may not recognise your name; provide citation to help people learn more about your game and because it solidifies your answer as reliable; creators are reliable sources but that doesn't mean our quality bar doesn't apply. Stack Exchange aims to be a high-quality resource pointed at the anonymous population of Google; we put in extra work so our answers aren't as poor and unreliable and uncited as Yahoo Answers. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Sep 7 '16 at 14:32
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ @RobJustice making a second answer was the right thing to do, and every answer here needs to cite sources, and saying "source is me as I'm a line developer for the game" is great, just as someone else would cite a book reference or anything. No one's saying that doesn't count as reliable, quite the opposite - just you have to say it, so someone might know it. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Sep 8 '16 at 4:11
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Worth noting that Wikipedia has a similar problem -- famous people famously have a hard time correcting their own Wikipedia entries due to the necessity of properly sourced information on that site. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Sep 8 '16 at 14:15

There's no firmly established way to handle a game's own designer, mainly because it's so uncommon such a person shows up here to answer questions about their game.

We treat game designers like regular users, but slightly more lenient. We're more patient with introducing and explaining things to them because naturally we'd like them to stick around — their contribution is immediately and clearly very valuable as foremost experts on their own material! (Plus a lot of us just give more respect and patience to the authors of the games we love.)

But we also have content expectations. We expect designers' contributions to meet those just like anyone else — a low quality answer by an authoritative source is still a low quality answer. If citations and references are important and expected, we can and should request those of a designer as much as anyone else. (And we'll probably just be inclined to be a bit nicer in asking for them than if we're asking some random.)

Prior discussion: Do Authors Overrule Users?. SevenSidedDie and KRyan both explain that designers' answers aren't inherently correct or right or any good at all, they're still subject to our usual site standards.


In this case, the post notice was applied before he identified himself as a designer. "I'm a designer for that game" is a valid source citation, and now that he's added it the post notice has been removed. It's really as simple as that... Prior to that, his simple "Only one!" answer was treated as a low quality answer by the community like any other would be.

And before someone says it, no, putting your affiliation in your profile isn't enough; posts should stand on their own. (Plus, I don't read through people's profiles to try to determine the validity of their posts). Cite your reference, if it's yourself because you're a designer that's fine.

Though do also keep in mind Do Authors Overrule Users?; just because a designer asserts something doesn't mean that the community or OP is constrained to accept it as the "right" answer. But yes, designing on that game counts as a valid source citation (backing up with game text makes it better...).


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .