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I recently asked a question about the size of our industry, and the reactions it sollicited were very unexpected (for me at least). A sizable part of the community (or at least a very vocal part) considered the question did not belong here, and it lead to a lot of downvotes. At the same time, another portion felt it was right at home here, and it lead to a lot of upvotes too.

Currently the scores are 5 upvotes to 6 downvote. Considering I could not vote myself, but I obviously do think the question to be relevent, it makes a perfect split between pros and against n the few people that expressed their opinion.

The question generated a lot of comments too, and these created a debate i find highly interesting.

A question that rose was: do questions about the game industry (for which there is a tag: game-industry, how aptly named ^^) belong to the site? Or, as they do not refer to game development itself, but to people doing the game development, should they go to meta? The problem is meta is for questions about the site, not really for meta-questions about game development.

Aside for obviously wanting an answer to the question itself (which is not really the point here), I would like to know what the community feels about the game industry questions in general. And what should we do about all the existing questions with this tag?

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Of course questions about the industry belong here. However, not all questions about the industry belong here -- and I do think that

  1. Your specific question is unsuitable because it's very difficult to give an answer to the question that was asked that is objective and not highly time-sensative (and would thus be irrelevant for future visitors). It's also unclear what specific problem your question represents. That's why I voted to close it.

  2. The "game industry" tag is fairly useless as a tag and generally more specific, directed tags are applicable.

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What happened next answered if questions about the industry are welcome: they are not. The question I was talking about got flamed and closed. The message from the community has been loud and clear.

The community as a whole does not see why you would ask such a question, as does Josh. I'd say the community is narrow-minded here. This question is essential to a lot of people. It's important for people creating game frameworks or for people creating tools for developpers.

A question having a time-sensitive answer does not mean it should not go on a Q&A site. Or else StackOverflow would not host a whole lot of questions: very few programming questions have an answer that will stand against time. In fact, a lot will not survive to the next version of the relevant programming language. All in all, knowing what was the answer to a factual question one two or even 5 years before (I have good faith in Game Development to survive this long) is still way better than no answer at all.

And a question which is difficult to answer is at its place here. It is even more so than an easy to answer question: if a question is easy to answer by having a little personnal culture or by a quick internet search, the interest of having it here is low. Answers to difficult questions are invaluable.

The question I was talking about has been closed for being "ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical". Problem is, it's not. It's very factual, very precise and very useful for market research. Maybe the question should have been closed for being irrelevant to this site. There is a case to be made here. But it IS a real question. An unusual one. An unwelcome one, as it appears. But a real question nonetheless.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you are taking things a little too personally. The reaction to a single question tagged "game-industry" being closed is not indicative of the overall category of game-industry-related questions being unsuitable. Furthermore there are many close reasons, and "too localized" (in scope or time) is one of them. The site only displays the close vote that got the majority vote, not all the votes that were cast. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Aug 8 '12 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoshPetrie: the close reason that got the majority vote is the close reason for the community. That's the way a community-driven site works. I understand it is not your reason. I don't take this personally, I'm just disappointed to figure out that this site won't be a potential source of information for a lot of the data I am needing or will need in the near future. \$\endgroup\$ – Falanwe Aug 8 '12 at 17:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, I mentioned the close reason thing because I also meant to include the following point, which I then forgot to write: I think that this community as a whole doesn't choose appropriate close reasons very well, we just tend to pile on whichever one was voted first. But that is a separate meta discussion itself. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Aug 8 '12 at 20:03

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