I was just looking at this question, https://gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/77354/where-actually-did-they-spend-money And thinking that while it is very broad, could still have an answer.

I will point out that there is a person that needs help there, and that instead of getting a useful answer which they indeed could have got on this forum, then nobody is able to answer him because it is "on hold".

That is just one example, but it is the best one I could find.

IMO, people should either be able to vote to have a thread unheld, or they should not be held in the first place. While there are threads that are not 100% ontopic for this site, I will point out that they are still people who need advice, and I think it is mean not to give it to them especially when the question is ontopic in my above example even though it is broad.

They are people. They need help. So why is GameDev denying them that help that they require?

I obviously support the locking of questions that are terrible, badly written, badly thought-out, no time taken, etc.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ People with sufficient rep can vote to unlock the thread. However this question is not really a good fit for our Q&A format so it was put on hold as such. \$\endgroup\$
    – Elva
    Jun 9, 2014 at 9:37
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The purpose of this site is not to help everyone with any problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – user1430
    Jun 9, 2014 at 15:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ The purpose of this site is harmed when a strict application of alleged "rules" serves to quash participation and the reputation of the site itself. I've seen many questions put "On hold" for seeming "Too Broad" or "Off-Topic", though I personally thought an appropriate answer could be given. Being a little gentler with newcomers and the like is hardly "helping ANYONE with ANY problem" \$\endgroup\$
    – Attackfarm
    Jul 9, 2014 at 23:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Attackfarm Clearly people are being helped. We have lots of good questions with lots of good answers. As Josh said, we're not here to help everyone with any problem. Limiting the scope of the site is critical to keeping the quality of the site high. Just because this tool is great for one thing, doesn't mean we should try to change it so it can work for another thing to. If you want an example of a Q&A site where the rules are very lax, take a look at Unity Answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Jul 10, 2014 at 0:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Byte56 I didn't say the site isn't helpful. Nor did I say the scope shouldn't be limited. I said that there is harm in strictly enforcing a single interpretation of what is and is not "on topic". There are benefits and detriments. Be aware of the detriments. Not to mention, as I said, I've seen many questions put "On Hold" that I thought were well within the site's guidelines. It's much more subjective than your comment implies. \$\endgroup\$
    – Attackfarm
    Jul 10, 2014 at 0:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hard to define what should actually change then. How, precisely, would you change the guidelines of the site? It sounds like you agree that there are some subjective aspects to how the rules should be enforced, and you want us to still be subjective, but in a different way. Define exactly what "gentler" means, why it should only apply to newcomers and how it would help change things and maybe the we can actually change something. Ranting against "alleged 'rules'" is just noise unless you're suggesting a real alternative. \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Jul 10, 2014 at 0:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have a bigger problem with how the site's guidelines are interpreted than with what the guidelines explicitly say. Questions I find I could answer are put on hold because they are "off topic", when they seem to be about game development, or they are "too broad" and supposedly subjective even though my first thought for an answer is an objective, fact-based one. I've just noticed various questions over the last year or so, maybe a bit longer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Attackfarm
    Jul 10, 2014 at 4:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ As to the newcomer point, they are very specifically far more likely to leave and never return because some small way they phrased their question or answer didn't meet a moderator's criteria. Sometimes I see a comment pointing out the problem, sometimes not. But someone with 400 reputation is more likely to try to stay and figure out what happened, while someone with < 10 is far more likely to decide the site is "crazy" or "mean". And I'm of the mind that the more perspectives there are, the better off the site is. \$\endgroup\$
    – Attackfarm
    Jul 10, 2014 at 4:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ And, actually, a much bigger complaint than the subjective strictness is that of the hilarious number of mechanics of the site that encourage cognitive biases. However, I believe these are an ingrained aspect of StackExchange itself, rather than anything that could be changed with gamedev.SE. Specifically, many aspects of the site encourage information cascades, bandwagon effect, halo effect, confirmation bias, and probably a few others. But, again, it's nothing that could be changed to my knowledge. \$\endgroup\$
    – Attackfarm
    Jul 10, 2014 at 4:45

1 Answer 1


The help answers this already:

Why are some questions marked "on hold"?

Questions that need additional work or that are not a good fit for this site may be put on hold by experienced community members. While questions are on hold, they cannot be answered, but can be edited to make them eligible for reopening.

And no, just because an answer is possible doesn't mean the question should remain open to accept answers. There are plenty of questions that would be fun to speculate on, or provide a single instance of what the answer might be. However, that's not what this site is about. People come here for real answers, asking questions that don't have correct answers means we don't get real answers. There's a reason that the stackexchange sites are a great place to look for answers to your questions, and that's the rules that are in place for maintaining a high quality question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The mods of this site might want to not so quickly dismiss such criticisms. There are plenty of problems that arise when so carefully and consistently gatekeeping anything that isn't fitting within a very strict interpretation of "On-Topic" questions. I've seen plenty of questions that are hardly "Speculative" that are put on hold, while no one tries to format the question in a more appropriate manner. \$\endgroup\$
    – Attackfarm
    Jul 9, 2014 at 23:51

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