I asked that question very much on purpose. I'm sure if I look at the definition for the site it will be one of the top 5 off-topic questions. My point here is, why?
Stack Exchange communities have so far been very serious. I would go so far as to call them stodgy. They aim for an air of academics. This is all good and well when its a Q&A for a serious subject that has definite answers, such as Programming or Physics.
But that isn't Science Fiction. Science Fiction has also been called Speculative Fiction, and I think this moniker is a much better explanation of what Science Fiction is. It's speculative. The whole point of it is to speculate about what is possible. What may happen, what might happen, what could happen. There is no definite answer for these questions. That's the whole point of Science Fiction.
Now some are using this to argue that we therefore must have a small scope and relegate ourselves to Sci-Fi trivia. Questions that do solve some problem or have a definite answer. Or else that we shouldn't exist. That a Stack Exchange to actually discuss Sci-Fi, as in speculate about the universes, stories and questions posed by Sci-Fi, wouldn't work.
But why wouldn’t it work? Why does a question have to have a definite answer to be valuable on a Stack Exchange? Because people vote on it and get reputation from it? The reputation on a science fiction Q&A is meaningless anyway. I’m not going to get a job at a publishing company or a book deal because I have a high sci-fi reputation. Why can’t we just vote on the one we like the best, find the most convincing or that made us smile the most? Sure that’s not the vision Jeff and Joel had for Stack Exchange, but isn’t this our community? They’re just the hosts. If we find enjoyment, use and value from it, then there is no reason we shouldn’t do it.
Granted, this particular question is an extreme example of a speculative question. It is very silly and definitely one I’ve rolled my eyes at from time to time. But, you know what? If people get enjoyment from discussing it and they keep it civil, why do we have to stop them from using this platform to do it? Why can’t we just roll our eyes and not enter the thread? If the community doesn’t enjoy the question, it won’t get voted up and it will fall off the bottom of the page. People will stop asking them. Afraid of being overrun by them? Well, there are only so many “X vs Y” questions that can be asked. And sure, there are a lot, but eventually they will all have been asked and we can just point em out as dupes.
We don’t fit the existing model of Stack Exchange. So why try? Let us be an experiment in a less serious and somewhat light hearted Stack Exchange. Where we speculate, joke, geek out, wonder and dream. Where we fulfill the purpose of Science Fiction and wonder at what could be. Where we let our hair down a bit and relax with a little escapism. We don’t have to be better than PhPBB, we can just be different. And if the community enjoys it and finds it valuable then that should be a good enough reason to let it exist.
If it doesn’t enjoy it or find it valuable then we won’t get traffic, we won’t exist and we can quietly die. We’re struggling for scope. Lets just leave it wide.