We have two tags here that might qualify as "guessing game" tags - and . I think they're pretty popular, I like reading them, and I have asked at least one of these kinds of questions. Yet perhaps SE as a whole is going to start to lump these with "shopping questions" as the sort of stuff that is off topic site-wide.

I will say that Jeff's characterization of the "guessing game" questions as impractical gives me hope that we can keep at a minimum - I know my question in that tag was specifically about planning a vacation and choosing a destination.

There isn't exactly a discussion on this yet, just a "trial balloon" on the blog, but do we feel that our "guessing game" tags are not that at all, and importantly different from "what was this book I read in my teens" and the like?

  • We discussed both of these tags on meta before we went with them. Such tags are also used on at least cooking.SE and in fact is extremely popular on gaming.SE! Mar 2, 2012 at 11:47
  • I know. Jeff's blog seems to feel their very popularity on sites like sci-fi indicates a problem. It certainly isn't being taken as a reason to keep them. If we want to keep them, we need to develop that as a position and stick to it. Mar 2, 2012 at 12:13
  • Be careful citing the popularity of Identify This Game over on Gaming... it is... somewhat controversial. Mar 4, 2012 at 23:12

2 Answers 2


I personally like ours - very few of them are 'games' as such. If we started copying the Google Earth blog, posting up aerial shots of a city block and saying 'find this' - that would be a game, and yes, pointless (albeit fun).

I do think we need to make sure doesn't get out of hand - some of the questions it's attached to seem iffy - like the tag which can be misused occasionally.

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    In fact I think the majority of our questions which feel a bit like games are in fact asked by you Mark, no matter which tags they get (-; Mar 2, 2012 at 11:58

You can see my reaction here. (My public reaction anyway.) Tony Meyer posted a rebuttal of Jeff's post on the SF&F blog. It's clear to me that Jeff decided long ago that these questions are worthless and will not let any amount of evidence sway him. So I ignore him and do what's best for the site.

The one thing I have against on Travel is that it's often about identifying pictures, and that's not searchable. It would be better to include a description with the picture.

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    Actually pictures are searchable via tineye and Google Images and I used this to identify the building that looks like a bookcase. In any case questions which are easily searchable are often said not to be good SE questions. Rather we want to find people that know the answers. Thirdly which such questions lack a description? Mar 6, 2012 at 6:26
  • @hippietrail The point about searchability is that people must find the question here in searches. I haven't reviewed the picture identification questions here, if they all have a description, that's great! Mar 6, 2012 at 9:31
  • Well if the problem is that some topic are hard to search for, then the answer is to have multiple ways of phrasing the problem, and that's what "close as duplicate" helps to achieve. I've had plenty of questions on SE sites that were hard to think of well searchable wordings for and I'm sure Jeff doesn't want to ban all hard to express questions. Poorly worded "identify" questions are not the only poorly worded questions but you can't effectively block one without blocking the other. Mar 6, 2012 at 10:38

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