I've seen this a few times on multiple Stack Exchange sites and it's bugged me. I've wondered if the community has come to any consensus on how address and handle such questions.
Specifically, I've seen users ask questions that might not be answerable. Some of these questions sit around and get up-voted, and up-voted-- people would like to know the answer but under certain circumstances these questions may not be answerable because they involve a level of knowledge that either no one can have, or such a small pool of people are capable of answering the question, there is a reasonable chance that such questions will almost certainly never be answered.
Arqade is good place to go to find some of these. As such, consider the following questions as examples:
- 20 Upvotes and currently sits at the top of the Unanswered Questions list.
- What could be a good questions about an old Commodore 64 game. The problem is this can probably only be discovered by reverse engineering the game or asking an original developer. That's probably never going to happen.
- This question is well documented with 11 up votes.
- The problem is that this is also a highly technical question about a closed-sourced game. The only people who could probably debug or address this are the original developers.
I could probably find a few other questions on other sites with the similar flaws. Usually they involve users of specific software, or hardware, asking extremely specific questions that only the originators of the software or hardware could address.
As a community, what should we do with these types of questions? After significant aging should we vote to close them? Should we leave them and let them set at the top of the Unanswered Questions list for eons? Should answers stating that the question is unanswerable be aloud for these very obscure questions, if that is the unfortunate truth?