Story identification questions are perfectly on topic here and in fact we are one of the main sites that have made them work. Video games are also on topic for us and we even have a specific video game story id guide.

Now with that established we actually don't get many video game identification questions but when we do they are usually accompanied by some form of comment like:

You should have asked this on Arqade.

This is not okay. Assuming that these questions are SFF-nal and so on topic then asking, or even telling, users that they should ask on Arqade instead is not acceptable. It is up to the OP to ask where they choose and if they choose SFF over Arqade then they clearly want their question there.

What is more troubling is that a lot of these have even requested moving them when the question has no media in it and thus it would be closed on Arqade. Remember that on Arqade:

Game-identification questions are okay only if you include screenshots, audio, or other tangible media from the game.

So long story short...

Please do not recommend moving an on topic SFF question to Arqade!

I have deliberately not included examples of these comments but if requested I can find some. Of the last 5, all the ones this year, 3 have a comment and the last 2, most recent, (which inspired me to post this) both have a comment.

I have also posted something similar on Arqade.

  • 2
    Also applies to scientific off-topic stuff which gets rerouted to Worldbuilding when it's just as bad there... Basically if you're going to suggest posting elsewhere on the network, make extra sure it's fit there, or at the very least, link to the target site's help page. Don't just drop a "maybe better for xyz.SE", especially to a new user. Pretty please :)
    – Jenayah
    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:48
  • 2
    @Jenayah - Hmm. "This is off-topic here but it might be on topic there" is probably OK since the onus is on OP to go find out. Saying "This is off-topic here and should be re-asked here" is less ok since you're stating it as if it's a bald fact.
    – Valorum
    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:49
  • @Valorum sure, but still if one is going to provide guidance, might as well take the extra minute to link to the help page
    – Jenayah
    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:53
  • @Jenayah - I agree with that wholeheartedly. That being said, there are relatively few questions that can be ported over without any amendment.
    – Valorum
    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:54
  • 6
    You should see how many mod flags we get saying "this [on-topic] question should be at Arqade/Movies & TV/etc."
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Mar 15, 2019 at 14:55
  • This happened on my question just two days ago. A lot of people apparently don't know that video game IDs are off-topic there without a screenshot. Mar 15, 2019 at 15:12
  • @Stormblessed I think in the case of your question they knew considering the user and what the comment said but generally that's probably about right.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Mar 15, 2019 at 15:13
  • 1
    @Valorum: I think the "might be on topic over there" comments become progressively less acceptable the closer the target site is to SFF. "Your question has nothing to do with SFF whatsoever, but it might be on-topic on History/Cooking/wherever" -> fine. "Your question is incredibly vague, speculative, and has no bearing on published SFF, but it might be on-topic on Worldbuilding" -> don't tell people that, Worldbuilding gets a lot of nonsense questions already. At least encourage them to fix up the question first, or post it to WB's meta sandbox or something. The same for story ID and M&TV.
    – Kevin
    Mar 17, 2019 at 1:37

3 Answers 3


Agreed. My general rule of thumb is that you shouldn't be telling another user to take their question to a sister stack unless you're 110% certain that you understand;

  • What our policies are regarding topicality.


  • What their policies are regarding topicality.

And by 110%, I mean that you can identify the current Meta consensus on each site that relates to that question type that makes it off-topic here and on-topic there.


Crossposting this from the meta on our site:

Looking at the last 5 of your questions on your site with both and I agree that no one should be recommending moving them to the Arqade. If any one of those questions were asked here, they would promptly be closed and deleted as they do not meet our strict guidelines for questions.

Even if they did have artifacts for their questions they asked on SFF, they still shouldn't be migrated to Arqade if they are on topic on SFF. I don't think very many people from the Arqade will be upset that they won't get migrated here, as a large portion of our user base do not like those types of questions at all, and would prefer if they were banned altogether from our site.

I also looked at the comments on the questions, and only saw one comment left by a high rep user here. I assume they did not know about your policy regarding these questions. I would recommend in the future linking your policy for these questions to inform the person that they are indeed on topic for your site, and flagging their comment suggesting migration as No Longer Needed.


I'll just add one thing, from the "after the fact" point of view:

if you see comments inappropriately recommending another site, please flag them for removal.

We'll happily delete comments that say an on-topic question "should" be moved to another site, or comments which recommend a site where the question would actually be off-topic (e.g. recommending Movies & TV for an ID question). There's always the potential that they might give a wrong impression, either to the OP or to others reading, of our site's scope or those of other sites.

This of course doesn't apply for comments which don't rely on a false impression of migration and/or site scopes. If a question really is off-topic here and would (or might) be welcomed on another site, no problem leaving a comment to suggest the possibility, even if you're not sure. I'd say it's also OK to leave "just FYI" comments mentioning that another site would also accept questions of a particular type, especially if there's pertinent information to compare the two sites, like different sets of experts or different perspectives on answering.

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