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Our help center says:

Questions about computer implementations of board games are fine.

and our close reasons include:

Questions about computer-based games (except for computer-based versions of board or card games) are off-topic here but can be asked on Arqade.

This seems to include everything to do with the computer version of a board game, whether it applies only to the computer version, or to both the computer version and the physical version. Is that the case? Or do questions specifically about the computer version belong on Arqade? Why?

See for example:

both of which have a few migration votes, and a comment saying they belong on Arqade.

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Yes, they're on topic here. The current policy as stated in the help center and close reason does not make an exception, and there's not enough reason to change that policy. So for example:

On-topic:

Off-topic exceptions, possibly better on SuperUser or Arqade:

  • Computer issues:

    • "how do I make X run on windows 95?"
    • "how do I make online multiplayer work with my router?"
  • Totally-meta issues (just as off-topic as with physical games):

    • "what font does the game use?"
    • "can I get a refund for X?"

First of all, we will generally be able to provide good answers. Even if the questions are specific to the computer game, we are likely to have users who play it. In fact, we may even be a better place than Arqade: the leap from playing a board game to playing the computer version is not large, while not all PC/console gamers are going to end up playing computerized board games. Indeed, historically we've done pretty well with these kinds of questions, from the examples I was able to find.

It's also just confusing for some questions about a computerized board game to be okay, and some not. It's not great for us to define our scope in such a way that it's easy for users to make the wrong choice, or worse, easy for us to end up debating whether a question is specific to the computer version or not. For example, a recent MTG rules question turned out to be an MTGO bug - it turns out it is specific to the computer version, but this is still definitely a great place to ask it.

This also means doing a better job of helping users. Whether someone's playing the physical or the computer version of a game, we want our site to be a good place to get helpful answers, and maybe even encourage people's interest in board games.

And finally, at this point there just aren't enough of these questions to worry about. As of September 2014, Arqade had all of two questions tagged [mtg-online], and though we don't have a separate tag, with a little searching I only found maybe 6 MTGO questions. There are other computerized board game questions out there, but I don't think they're too numerous either.

So I don't think it's worth making an explicit change to our policy: it's a fairly reasonable policy, and it's not causing any problems.

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  • The MTGO "bug" question was obviously on topic because, in order to determine if it was a bug in the first place, one must first understand the rules. The rules are clearly applicable to both the paper and electronic versions of the game. – Rainbolt Sep 15 '14 at 23:37
  • @Rainbolt Yes, that one's easy. Not everything is that simple. – Cascabel Sep 16 '14 at 0:30
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    Great answer! The only thing I'd add is that there is no expectation that each question is on topic on only one StackExchange site. Many sites overlap coverage areas. We respect the questioner's choice of site to ask their questions and are unlikely to migrate on-topic questions. – Pat Ludwig Sep 16 '14 at 5:30
  • @PatLudwig The overlap exists because some questions are applicable to both the physical and the electronic game. There is simply no reason to keep questions that are exclusive to the electronic game. Arqade exists for that. Please apply some common sense when reading policy. – Rainbolt Sep 16 '14 at 13:15
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    @Rainbolt - Thank you, I really appreciate your assistance in interpreting the policy page I wrote. – Pat Ludwig Sep 16 '14 at 14:21
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    @Rainbolt I think I've given a couple great reasons to keep them: it's less confusing to users, and they'll get good answers here, in some cases likely better than on Arqade. If you disagree, please try to make a better argument than "it's common sense that I'm right." – Cascabel Sep 16 '14 at 14:49
  • @PatLudwig Is the policy you wrote immune to community interpretation? – Rainbolt Sep 16 '14 at 15:16
  • @Rainbolt Yes, we all understand your proposed policy. But why is it a good idea? And what is wrong with the current policy? Yes, the current policy does create a little more overlap than your proposed policy. But at least a couple of us think that's a good thing, and are explaining why. You're just telling us it's common sense that we're wrong, and that it shouldn't even be debatable. It's not very convincing. – Cascabel Sep 16 '14 at 15:59
  • @Jefromi Sorry, I deleted my comment at the same time you responded. I'm currently revising it. – Rainbolt Sep 16 '14 at 16:05
  • @Jefromi I didn't say that it's common sense that you are wrong. I said common sense needs to be used when applying the policy. If you decided that common sense dictates that you are wrong, then obviously you have some internal conflict that you need to sort out. As for supporting my own case, fine. Arqade exists for electronic games, therefore they are better equipped to handle such questions. It's more confusing to allow some electronic only questions here and not allow others. – Rainbolt Sep 16 '14 at 16:50
  • @Rainbolt You've said that common sense needs to be applied, and that the conclusion is your policy, which conflicts with the site's policy - pretty clearly implying that you think the site's policy is wrong. If you want to discuss this, fine. But please try to avoid petty arguments. – Cascabel Sep 16 '14 at 16:59
  • @Jefromi Do feel free to address the latter half of my comment, where I ventured beyond common sense. – Rainbolt Sep 16 '14 at 17:00
  • @Rainbolt Thank you for trying to support your position. I still disagree: Arqade does exist for electronic board games, but we exist for board games (regardless of platform). Both sites are fair places for these questions. We do not need to revise our policy to get rid of them; they get good answers where. And it's not at all confusing to take only computerized board game questions here (and not computer games in general) - I don't think anyone's going to think "oh, they take questions about MTGO? I can ask about Call of Duty." – Cascabel Sep 16 '14 at 17:02
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Cascabel Sep 16 '14 at 17:03
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    @freekvd If I had to decide, I'd say it was fine to ask in the first place - the OP didn't know whether it was a bug or a rules misunderstanding, just as you might not know whether a weird card in a game is a typo or a rules misunderstanding. Sure, since it turns out to be a bug, we can't fix it for the OP (and maybe they should report it), but the OP isn't asking us to fix it, they're trying to understand the game. – Cascabel Apr 8 '16 at 17:07
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If a question is about a feature that is exclusive to the electronic version, it would be better off on Arqade.

Likewise, if a question is about a feature that is exclusive to the physical version of a game, then it would be better off on Board and Card Games. How do you think the folks over at Arqade would react if someone asked about how to tell if a physical Magic: the Gathering card was fake? Wouldn't that question be better addressed here?

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  • Board/card games are definitely off topic on Arqade, so yes, questions about them would be better addressed here. (They have no exception in their scope for board game versions of computer games.) That does not imply that computerized board/card games are off topic here - in fact the site policy currently says they are. So setting that aside, all you're really saying here is "exclusive to electronic? Arqade" - which I can see being a reasonable point of view, but you really haven't explained why. – Cascabel Sep 16 '14 at 0:32
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    "How do you think ..."- I trust the moderators and community at Arqade to do what is right for their site and their users. I would not take offense if they decided to keep a question that I thought would be better answered here. They've migrated stuff to us in the past (and vice-versa). It works out with very little drama typically. – Pat Ludwig Sep 18 '14 at 14:49
  • @PatLudwig Migration typically works out with very little drama? That's great to hear, and all the more reason to migrate cleanly instead of creating overlap where there doesn't need to be any. – Rainbolt Sep 18 '14 at 15:05
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    @Rainbolt - overlap exists for most StackExchange sites. It isn't seen as something that needs to be eradicated or even managed at the site level. Each site is encouraged to define it's own scope. Would you agree that voting and comments on this question validate the existing scope? – Pat Ludwig Sep 18 '14 at 15:48
  • @PatLudwig I agree that most of the community is aligned with the existing scope. I'm fine with using meta questions to define the scope, but I'm not fine with using meta questions as an excuse to squash the voting habits of those who disagree with it. Normally, I'd just continue to vote the way I see it. However, since migration requests are not a "vote", and are probably handled by a select few, continuing to flag these types of questions would be a useless exercise for me. I won't continue. Pat, sarcasm free comments like the last one suit you much better. Keep it up! – Rainbolt Sep 18 '14 at 16:15
  • @Rainbolt No one is trying to quash voting habits. People are trying to, if possible, explain why the community's predominant view is reasonable. You can certainly continue voting how you think is best - and voting to migrate is a vote; you don't have to do it by flagging. That said, if you choose to vote to close and explain your votes, it's probably best to be clear that you're explaining your opinion, not site policy. – Cascabel Sep 18 '14 at 16:26
  • Uh... okay, I swear that I saw a migrate close option on one of the recent questions (the old client one I think) - showing Arqade along with meta as an option - but I don't see it now, so sorry, guess you can't vote for it. – Cascabel Sep 18 '14 at 16:40
  • @Jefromi I also don't find the current view unreasonable. I simply find my view more reasonable. If you have trouble identifying opinions, then you might want to take a step back and just observe rather than participate. I made no attempt to mislead others into thinking that my view was the rule, and so I disagree that I was being unclear. Please consider my original comment, "I think this question belongs on [...]". – Rainbolt Sep 18 '14 at 16:51
  • @Rainbolt Quite honestly: if you are aware that your opinion contradicts the majority view on the site, "I think" is not strong enough, and you should just explicitly say that the site policy/consensus is the opposite. Otherwise, people (especially ones newer to the site) may reasonably think that your opinion is representative, the OP may think that their question is going to get closed, and so on. At best, you're inviting restarting the same debate off of every such question, even if it's already been settled on meta. – Cascabel Sep 18 '14 at 17:49
  • @Jefromi It's unreasonable for people to assume that a well written explanation is representative of majority opinion. It could be that I just had a good point to make, and therefore my opinion appears, on the surface, to be so reasonable that it could be mistaken for site policy. I'm fine with that. – Rainbolt Sep 18 '14 at 18:17
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    @Rainbolt Many experienced users on stackexchange sites will post explanations of application of site policy to a specific case and include an "I think". And many of us will not post things that directly contradict site policy. So no, it's not unreasonable for people to assume that such posts are representative of more than just your own opinion. So you really are creating potential for misunderstanding, and essentially forcing someone to come along and respond with the actual site policy. – Cascabel Sep 18 '14 at 18:30
  • Maybe you're okay with that, but I don't think it's a good way for a community to function. You're essentially forcing a miniature version of a debate to keep playing out on people's questions, rather than letting the community settle it on meta. (Or simply, if you disagree with policy, take it to meta - and live with the answer you get there.) – Cascabel Sep 18 '14 at 18:31
  • @Jefromi You simply can't turn "I think" into "We think" without the help of logical fallacies. I won't bother trying to point them out to you, because the conclusion we arrive at ("I think" is easily mistaken for "We think") just turns out to be false. – Rainbolt Sep 18 '14 at 19:19
  • Look, I know I and we are not the same thing. I'm just saying, people speak and act in certain ways, and what you're saying is easy to misinterpret even if it's literally correct. Even if people do somehow infer from "I think" that the site policy is the opposite of your opinion (no idea how they'd do that), at best you're just being unconstructive. If the question is okay by site policy, you don't need to drag the OP into it. – Cascabel Sep 18 '14 at 19:59
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Cascabel Sep 18 '14 at 20:14

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