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I have many topics I wish to discuss with other game programmers. The problem is that these topics are completely opinion-based, and not question-answer based, and therefore not apt for this site, such as every question on the top voted questions list that has been closed as "non-constructive".

However, I find it a bit wasteful to go somewhere else to do this, because I actually want to discuss this stuff with the people in this site (whose community is the best I've seen). I don't want to join a second community in ye olde forums where the signal to noise ratio is worse than even SO.

I know there's supposed to be a chat option, but honestly, chat is a third class citizen in SE, and is heavily unused, not to mention that conversations will fade into the ether as time passes.

It would be really nice to have a subsite (similar to meta) where discussion based topics are welcome and encouraged. There's so much stuff I'd like to ask the rest of the people in this site, that I simply can't because there's no supported way to do so...

Where should I take these topics, so I can discuss them with the very same users who lurk this site?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know which chat you're visiting. The GD.SE chat is very active and has a lot of people from different backgrounds and experience levels. \$\endgroup\$ – William Mariager May 14 '13 at 7:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @William'MindWorX'Mariager at this precise moment, there are exactly four people in the GD chat. We clearly have very different opinions on what "active" and "a lot of people" mean, especially when considering SE is one of the biggest and most active sites on the internet. \$\endgroup\$ – Panda Pajama May 14 '13 at 9:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you'll have a hard time finding a place that has chat that is active 100% of the time while at the same time keeping quality to you expected levels. You can see from the activity graph which hours the chat is mostly active and chime in then. \$\endgroup\$ – William Mariager May 14 '13 at 10:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's precisely why I think chat is not what I'm looking for \$\endgroup\$ – Panda Pajama May 14 '13 at 11:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ But from what you wrote, chat is exactly what you want. You want discussions. Stack Exchange is QA format. Forums doesn't really fit either. The chat allows you to have conversations with people, and you can bookmark conversations for later. They'll stay around for as long as this site runs. \$\endgroup\$ – William Mariager May 14 '13 at 11:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, in my opinion, the QA format is perfect (look at the top voted closed questions). The "only directly answerable questions are okay" restriction is arguably a good one that keeps the site focused, but is definitely arbitrary. Chat, on the other hand, is disorganized, and is only visited by a small subset of the people in this site (only 92 people have the "talkative" badge, compared to 2005 "nice answer" badges). If it were me, I'd have three QAs per site: main, discuss and meta. \$\endgroup\$ – Panda Pajama May 14 '13 at 13:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Major reason why I joined this community was the discussion oriented questions that attracted good opinions and insight. I'm not saying disallowing those as a poor fit for this site was a wrong move, but I believe it is one reason why the site has been weakened over time. \$\endgroup\$ – msell Sep 16 '14 at 8:56
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Where should I take these topics, so I can discuss them with the very same users who lurk this site?

The chat. Your requirements are unrealistically harsh, but the best possible answer given those requirements is the chat:

  • The chat is for open-ended discussion, on- and off-topic.
  • The chat is part of this site and so more likely to contain users from this site than some other entirely different site.

It seems there's no evidence you've actually sat down and tried joining the chat for a few days to see what it's actually like. Why don't you try that instead of blithely dismissing what everybody else is telling you. You're not likely to find a better option given your initial requirements.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ True, I'm not active in the chat, so I would like to ask you: do you think that if this question had been asked on chat instead of the main site, it would have gotten as many, or even more awesome answers? \$\endgroup\$ – Panda Pajama May 14 '13 at 15:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ It would have gotten fewer, almost certainly, because the audience in the chat is smaller. I don't see why it matters since that question is not appropriate for the site anyway, so maybe you want to adjust your requirements to include sites with different communities? My point is that nothing satisfies your stated requirements, and the chat here is the closest I think you'll get. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh May 14 '13 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ My point is that those questions are useful, and it's a shame that they're closed. But it's also true that they're not appropriate for the site, so my proposal is to have three subsites instead of just two: main, discussion and meta. I doubt such a proposal would ever even be considered for more than a nanosecond though... \$\endgroup\$ – Panda Pajama May 14 '13 at 16:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see. If you are proposing creating such a third site 9which isn't obvious from your current question), you really want to be having that discussion on meta.stackoverflow.com I think. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh May 14 '13 at 17:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, but I'll pass. Even though gamedev is one of the best communities I've seen on the internet, the one at meta.so is one of the most aggressive, and least welcoming I've ever seen. I just wanted to know if there was a canonical place apart from the chat to do this, but it seems there isn't, so I'll mark your answer as correct \$\endgroup\$ – Panda Pajama May 14 '13 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ And I came up with the idea of creating that site, much later than when I wrote the question. It was just a proposed solution. I genuinely thought for a moment that there was a canonical "right" place for such questions. \$\endgroup\$ – Panda Pajama May 14 '13 at 17:26
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I would like to entirely disagree on this:

chat is a third class citizen

I am in there every day, as are 10 regulars that I can name right off the top of my head (including @WilliamMindWorXMariager who commented), new comers every day and questions posted for not only their technical relevance but their opinionated relevance as well. I highly recommend giving chat a visit and seeing how you feel after even the first ten minutes.

Challenge us with your opinions! Excite us with some Game Dev discussion, we are in that chat because we love to talk about game development and we honestly would love to talk about it with you too.

As an edit: Discussion based sites are actually being worked on by Jeff Atwood and his team over at Discourse. They are making the Stack Exchange of discussion and forums, trying to make the polar opposite essentially whilsts still making it feel intuitive and fluid to promote the sort of discussion you are looking for. It is in Alpha->Beta stage right now and you can try the sandbox. It will be available in much the same way that SE is. Take a look.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ you say "10 regulars" as if that were a lot? I just checked the chat. In the entire SE network (one of the biggest and most active communities in the internet), there are "50 users in 40 rooms". I'd hardly call that "active". And even so, the discussions will fade as time passes, so I think it's hardly a good format for serious time lasting discussions. \$\endgroup\$ – Panda Pajama May 14 '13 at 9:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ 10 Regulars could be 11 if you simply tried. I haven't seen you in the chat and you haven't asked any questions or been in any SE room according to chat.stackexchange.com/users/63649/panda-pajama?tab=general So why not try it, what do you lose from joining us and talking? \$\endgroup\$ – Tom 'Blue' Piddock May 14 '13 at 9:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're missing the point of my question. I think chat may be useful for many things, just not for open ended opinion-based questions which can be reviewed years after they have been started. I'm talking about stuff like those on the top voted questions list that are marked as closed. I can't imagine discussing such stuff on chat. \$\endgroup\$ – Panda Pajama May 14 '13 at 9:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ In which case I can simply answer with this: discourse.org/about I edited my answer to add this in, take a look. \$\endgroup\$ – Tom 'Blue' Piddock May 14 '13 at 9:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can lead a horse to water... \$\endgroup\$ – Almo May 14 '13 at 12:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ I like how at this very moment there are 18 people in chat and he's still not here. \$\endgroup\$ – Tom 'Blue' Piddock May 16 '13 at 19:13

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