We recently had a question "Are There Any Board Games That Involve Both Memory And Luck?" (now deleted) The body of the question described a hypothetical game, with a series of luck-based events which can be bypassed later by remembering the earlier outcome, then asked if there were any games like it.

I believe we've had a few similar questions in the past, as well, though I don't remember clearly enough to quickly search for them.

Note that game recommendation questions are off-topic, because they invite open-ended lists of games, as well as opinions.

Game identification questions, however, are on-topic, provided they include sufficient information, because they in principle have one correct answer.

Where do these "does X exist?" questions fit in? On- or off-topic?

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These questions must be taken on a case-by-case basis. Generally they'll be off-topic, but some may be on-topic.

First and foremost, we do not want to allow people to skirt the rules on recommendation questions by replacing "please recommend some games in this category" with "do games in this category exist?" The issues will be the same in both cases. Therefore, any question where the category seems likely to match many games are off-topic.

The exception would be when the criteria are so specific as to narrow things down to a small set of games, essentially like an "identify-this-game" question. Unfortunately, these are also often not going to be terribly interesting, useful questions. If it's not actually an identification question, then the criteria are ultimately just the OP's wishful thinking, and such a game may or may not exist.

The example here seems to be more on the open-ended recommendation side of things. It may not be the most common game mechanic, but it's not terribly unique either. A rough description of a game mechanic does not make for a sufficiently specific question, and again, asking "does X exist?" instead of "please recommend games with X" does not avoid the underlying issues associated with recommendation questions.

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  • Note: this answer is based on my understanding of site policy, so I would be surprised if it's substantially incorrect, but I am of course not infallible! – Cascabel Oct 14 '17 at 18:08
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    I don't even think a feature matching question that returns a small set of games should be an on-topic exception. The requirements may only return eg. 2 games now, but what about in 6 months, 2 years, or later? After some time has passed the set may be the same, or may be significantly larger. My personal opinion is that the question itself should be the only indicator of whether it is on-topic or not, the size of the answer set should not be a factor because that can change over time. – Ken Herbert Oct 15 '17 at 1:32
  • @KenHerbert I don't necessarily disagree with your conclusion, but your reasons feel a bit like a slippery slope argument. We have a decent number of subjects where answers can change over time, that's not a reason in and of itself to discard questions. If a question really does somehow go from "there are only a few games in the world like this" to "there are tons of these", we can always just close it later. – Cascabel Oct 15 '17 at 6:18

"Are there any X" is an example of a question where there is no actual problem to be solved. The proper response is, "Why do you want to know?"

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.

In general, I wonder what the real question is when faced with these types of questions. Encouraging those askers to share might lead to very interesting questions for the site.

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    The two most obvious reasons I can think of are, someone is interested in game design (whether curiosity or inspiration) and wants to see an example, or someone is essentially looking for a game recommendation but in a very specific sense. – Cascabel Oct 15 '17 at 15:51
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    @Jefromi - and once they fill out the question some and provide some background it may become valid. In most cases, probably not. Neither Game Recs or curiosity lead to great questions. – Pat Ludwig Oct 15 '17 at 17:23

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