See this question (http://boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/348/games-that-play-well-with-a-wide-range-of-different-numbers-of-players) which I'd have thought was clearly not suitable for a SE site, but which has been left open, with many upvotes and answers.

This question (http://boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/4322/how-can-i-find-games-based-on-caesars-campaigns-in-gaul-and-britannia) was closed and had to be edited before it was re-opened, even though it was very specific and had a really limited quantity of objective answers.

So, has the "policy" been worked out, and the only real difference between these questions is the time they were asked, and questions like the first one are only here because of historical reasons?

2 Answers 2


There are definitely historical artifacts floating around that would probably be closed quickly today. I go through more or less monthly and delete some old closed questions, and then close some old list questions so they will all eventually be addressed. It's not a fun task, I don't particularly enjoy it; instead I focus on ensuring that new questions are of sufficient quality.

If you wish to speed the process, feel free to flag them, this will "force" a decision quicker.

In terms of what is acceptable, please see the FAQ. There is a lot of good info there as well as links to some worthwhile blog posts that set out to explain the "StackExchange Way".

Two reasons that most list questions get closed is that every answer is equally valid or that you could imagine a book being required to fully answer the question.

Subjective questions are allowed. (This seems to be a common misconception)

The definitive guidance is the blog post Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. A list question would have to be very carefully worded to avoid the six pitfalls listed there. In particular:

  • Great subjective questions inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”
  • Great subjective questions tend to have long, not short, answers.

We do not want questions that lead to an endless list of just game names. That is not interesting, people will be voting for the game and not for the best answer. Back when we had many more list questions it got to be a race to be the first person to mention Dominion as you could rack up quite a bit of rep. Is Dominion the best game for all occasions or is it more likely that it is a very popular accessible game that everyone knows?

  • the "infinite list of X" is definitely to be avoided, though there is some subtlety around very narrow and highly specialized lists, which can be OK provided the answers a) explain why and b) are indeed limited by some natural factor other than "hey, I have an opinion about this too!" Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 9:35

List questions are frowned upon here, because they tend to "break down" into either trivia, or "all answers are equally acceptable." So if you ask a list question, there ought to be a pretty good reason.

  1. The list should be relatively short.
  2. The list should contain the answer to an actual problem.
  3. The usefulness of the list in solving the problem should be apparent from the context.

Example question: What are games with tiles that a blind person can play by feeling the indentations? Offhand, I can think of dominoes and mah jongg, maybe a few others. Does the list serve a purpose? If you, or a friend of yours is blind, yes. The answer has an objective criterion regarding which games' tiles are "feelable," and thereby accessible to a blind person.

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