This question came up, a while ago. I flagged it twice1. The first time, the flag "aged away", but the second time, the flag was outright declined. This leads me to believe I have a misunderstanding of our general scope.

The question asks how to use the Kinect as a microphone in Linux. The user does not state any form of relation to game development; they just want to use the microphone from their Linux computer. Here is the direct transcript of the original question, as it is quite minimal in content:

Originally I intend to use kinect camera as the device for voice communication. But at least now I want to use it as the input device for recording a voice and play that voice in the same pc. How can I do so?

I am using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and the kinect camera is of type Microsoft_Xbox_NUI_Sensor_043367545147-02-Sensor.


A comment suggests that "the Kinect is used in games, so it makes sense to ask it here" - but that does not make sense to me, at all. We use a lot of hardware, in games. I would not expect a question asking how to set my Xbox up to be considered on topic, nor a question asking why my PlayStation errors when I try to connect it to the internet. For these questions, I would head to the Arqade, where they specifically take video-game related questions.

I accept that the original user may have intended to state explicit use for game development, but without any mention of game development, that is just pure speculation. Without any mention of actual game development, interpreting the question in such a way also means we have to make a guess on what they are actually using to develop their game.

In what context do we allow "how do I get this hardware to work" questions?

1 I originally interpreted the ability to raise the second flag as confirmation that I had not raised the first flag. I am unsure whether this is normally the case, or whether it was due to the fact that the original flag was not looked at; I was only alerted to the fact when I reviewed my declined flags


1 Answer 1


It seems to me that this question is reasonable (with one caveat, below) since the Kinect is primarily a gaming peripheral, and thus game developers will have some familiarity with it (likely more familiarity than a non-game programmer, in the general case).

This seems to fit with our related policy of "if a game developer would give you a better answer, it's okay" regarding general programming questions (although our overall position on that issue may be changing).

The one caveat is that it's not clear to me if the user is asking because they're trying to do this in a program they are writing, or because they want to just use the thing in an existing program, like a Skype clone or whatever.

Since the question is from 2015 and the user hasn't been seen in some time I've taken the liberty of simply editing the question to assume the user was writing a program themselves. If that's the case, the question seems fine to me. If it's not, if the question is just about using the hardware as a consumer and not a developer, then it wouldn't be.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This makes sense. Thanks for the clarification; it seems obvious that users still think this is a good question. Now, all we need is a good answer \$\endgroup\$
    – Gnemlock
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 2:54

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