I've recently joined the SO community, and I use the flagging system very often. However, I have seen several questions related with game development, which I don't know if they fit better in GaveDev.SE, and therefore should be flagged as off-topic.

Usually, this posts require some specific knowledge of the framework at issue. According to this answer, if it is necessary more than general programming knowledge, they can be better served by GameDev. Nevertheless, there are almost 1.4k questions tagged with on SO, while there are only 36 questions related with this library on GaveDev. I don't know if this is simply accepted, so start flagging them might be considered a misuse of this system.

As stated in its FAQ, GameDev.SE is the right place for game-specific programming issues (engine architecture, game-related APIs, networking, tools, etc). That was actually discused on Programming Questions: Here or "Belongs on Stackoverflow"?. I do understand the point of this, as well as it is possible some overlap among SE sites. For example, I've recently answered a question about collision detection, which I consider a borderline. But I think answering questions about animations, textures, etc. is a step further.

Is there any rule of thumb for flagging game development questions? Are some tags such as or generally accepted on SO, so it's better not to flag them?

  • I'd appreciate it if the person who downvoted this question could provide more information to improve it.
    – A. Rodas
    Mar 4 '13 at 1:41
  • 2
    "Nevertheless, there are almost 1.4k questions tagged with three.js on SO" ... and? Three.js is not a game engine; it's a rendering abstraction. Indeed, just looking at the website, it seems clear that the users of Three.js are not necessarily game developers. Mar 4 '13 at 1:51
  • @NicolBolas I've mentioned this example as a game-related API. I haven't said it is a game engine.
    – A. Rodas
    Mar 4 '13 at 2:05
  • And my point is that it isn't a game related API. It's an API that can be used in games. Mar 4 '13 at 2:40

I'd say that Alconja's highly-voted answer at the Meta.GameDev question you've linked has it right: there's a lot of overlap, and that's okay.

Stack Overflow is for questions about programming problems; if the problem happens to be derived from development of a game, it's still programming, and it's still on topic.

Game Dev is for questions about developing computer games. One of the facets of development is programming; if a question is about a programming problem, that seems to be okay there, as long as it's come up in the development of a game.

This overlap is natural and perfectly acceptable, and the two sites should not be stealing questions from each other. This is a rather rare case in the SE network where the asker is really free to choose the site according to the audience she desires: game-dev gurus, or general programming pros. A question about collision detection, e.g., would likely be fine on either site.

If you think the asker may be unaware of Game Dev's existence, you can certainly comment and mention it, but there's really no reason for you to be flagging (or voting to close, once you get that privilege) otherwise-legitimate questions on Stack Overflow just because the program they spring from is a game.

  • Thanks for your answer. I'd like to highlight this from the answer on Meta.GaveDev: For example if I'm asking about a specific game engine API, then SO is probably not the best choice. I think the main point is that the overlap does exist even for this kind of questions, but it has became something normal, maybe because the activity on GameDev is much lower. Just in case, I won't flag this questions, even I still think some of them (like this one I've picked randomly) are off-topic on SO.
    – A. Rodas
    Mar 4 '13 at 10:12

When deciding whether or not to flag a question as off-topic, you should completely ignore whether or not it is about game development.

If it's on-topic, it's on-topic. As Josh Caswell says, game development questions that are about programming problems are on-topic for Stack Overflow, and other game development questions are not.

We do not close questions that meet the requirements for being on-topic where they are posted, just because they may be a "better" fit for some other site.

As Shog9 says in the Stack Exchange blog post Respect the community – your own, and others’:

As members of a community, your first loyalty should be to that community. When evaluating a question, you shouldn’t be looking to push it off on some other site; instead, ask if it could be appropriate and on-topic for you, the experts who the author decided to ask. Be a bit jealous of your site – don’t blithely turn askers away simply because their question could be asked somewhere else. Don’t hit them over the head with your scope, help them tailor their question to fit into it – and if that means your site’s scope overlaps a bit with another site’s, so be it.

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