I think there is a risk that "recommend a game" questions are "bad subjective".

Can I suggest that we recommend that any "recommend a game" question should be tagged recommendation and should try to limit the number of possible answers, perhaps by answering the following questions

  1. How many players is it for?
  2. Do you want a competitive game, a team game or a co-operative game?
  3. How long do you want a game to last?
  4. How complex would you like the game to be - from "playable by pre-literate children" to "need to read multi-hundred page rulebooks"?

And probably other questions that will come up in the answers - can others please suggest other questions that people might use to limit the results.

In particular, I propose that anything you can do with just an advanced search at boardgamegeek is not a sufficiently specific question.

  • 2
    Gaming.SE's ongoing game-rec discussion We do not have a solution, and even if we did that doesn't mean it would be right here. Oct 21, 2010 at 21:09
  • sigh. here we go again...
    – Kempeth
    Oct 27, 2010 at 8:28
  • My questions were intended as guidelines rather than a hard prequisite. I had something like Jeff's "good subjective/bad subjective" in mind, ie these are questions you should be thinking of asking. Oct 27, 2010 at 9:19
  • Toned down from requirements to suggestions per various answers. Oct 27, 2010 at 10:29

6 Answers 6


From the looks of it, one common type of recommendation question will be "I like X. What are some other similar games?"

When the question is about mechanics and the design of the game in this way, I'm not sure your list of questions is appropriate. The asker won't necessarily care how many players it's for or how long it lasts - they just want something with similar mechanics to game X.

I also think we should keep a close eye on the meta-discussion of this issue at Gaming, as both sites are going to have similar patterns for recommendation questions.


I don't think there's a problem with suitably specific questions asking for game recommendations (e.g. this one). I know there's no one definitive answer, but this is game site, not StackOverflow, and there are going to be a lot of people interested in recommendations for good 1-/2-/4-/10+ player board/card/mix-of-board-and-cards games to play with teenagers/blind players/over-competitive spouses in-the-car/on-a-plane/in-a-tent.

Marking them as CW just discourages people from asking or answering these useful questions, which I don't think is what we want.

  • Exactly: do we really want to discourage these kinds of questions? They have no "correct" answer, but that doesn't mean that good answers and questions should not be rewarded.
    – pian0
    Oct 21, 2010 at 13:56
  • OK "suitably specific" was what I was trying to define. The one that really set me off was "recommend a two-player game". I mean, I could recommend anything from a 2000-hour monster, to a ten-minute beer-and-pretzels game in response to that! Oct 21, 2010 at 15:10

This discussion is repeating itself on every friggin SE site. I personally believe that game recommendations of sufficiently specific nature ought to be on topic.

  • They represent an central desire among gamers - to find new games they might enjoy.
  • They also allow new and casual members to bring in their own experience and thus foster the community

For these reasons I believe that these kind of questions should:

  • Be allowed on the main site.
  • Remain outside CW as that actually discourages answers, because you don't get anything for it.
  • Be answered with only one game per answer so the voting mechanic can be put to good use.
  • Be filtered and overly general inquiries closed. I agree with closing "Best games of 2010" as it is mere chit chat and not aimed at solving an actual question.

But in any case: I strongly recommend to vote on this issue as soon as possible. I've seen this question drag along for weeks on other sites. We need a decision soon or all hell will break loose.

I've been involved with the game-rec discussion on gaming.SE. Endless talk and indecision. I eventually left it be because I got sick of it. IMO we are better off allowing these questions and to spare ourself the flamewar. If they really turn out to be so disastrous for quality as some think then we will see and the SE community will finally have it's answer. But until then our job is to try and make this site as good as we can - not a copy of the others.

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    I think the consensus here is that specific game-rec questions are OK, generic ones aren't. What I was trying to do with the question was come up with some criteria for "what is specific enough?" Oct 27, 2010 at 9:17

I think well phrased, or suitably niche list questions, such as 'What cooperative board games are there that I could safely play with my wife?' are useful, but should be flagged and then set as a wiki, as they have no one 'proper' answer.

I don't think they necessarily have to meet the list of requirements suggested - although that is a good start.

They should however always suggest that one suggestion is added per answer, to enable easy voting.

EDIT: Prompted by ire_and_curse in this thread - The questions should only be converted when community consensus flags enough attention, not ad-hoc by mods.


Another question has been asked (and closed) here https://boardgames.stackexchange.com/q/548/7

The question has generated some discussion about the suitability of the question and two sides of the argument are quite reasonable.

I worry that many people will come to this site looking for ideas about what game to buy next, and the community are all too happy to help answer the question. My concern around closing the questions too quickly is that we stifle the usage of the site and it fails as a result.

  • 1
    I am upset that the above question was closed. It wasn't a malicious, ill-informed, vague or bad question. Left open, it would have provided useful information that I would have enjoyed reading. I wouldn't have WANTED the question to be more specific: if I knew what sort of game I was looking for, I would probably be able to find it. I want to hear what gems other people have come across this year. It feels to me that people jump to close anything that doesn't admit a completely concrete, objective answer on StackOverflow just because they can, not because it's a pointless question. Nov 22, 2010 at 4:13

Yes, this sounds like a good idea to me. I think this may well be one of the major difficulties we encounter, so we should be strict in recommending an edit of the question/voting to close whenever we feel this recommendation is being violated.

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