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I'm wondering what the difference between these two sites are? My confusion is due to seeing some users ask about (let's say Game of Thrones) on both sites. Normally the case might be that users would ask about the books on Scifi & Fantasy, and then ask about the show on Movies & TV, but I've seen questions about the show on Scifi & Fantasy almost as often as they appear on Movies & TV.

This is the same for a few different series, like Harry Potter, LoTR, Avengers/Marvel, Doctor Who, etc.

So what's the go? Is this right? Are users posting on the correct sites?

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    Um... there is a lot of Sci-Fi/Fantasy that isn't a movie... and there's a lot of movies that aren't Sci-fi/Fantasy... Not sure what you're missing here. For stuff that is both movies/TV & Sci-Fi/Fantasy, the user gets to choose which site they use, generally based on which site they're more comfortable with. The same is true for Anime when you compare Anime.se and M&TV.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jun 22, 2015 at 23:32
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    @Catija, I am aware of that, I'm mainly referring to what can be applicable to both.
    – Ben
    Jun 23, 2015 at 0:00

2 Answers 2

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There is a lot of overlap between the sites, both in what questions are on-topic, as well as which users you're likely to see. (The SF&F chat room even gets certain M&TV tags announced as questions happen.) For questions related to science fiction or fantasy movies and television shows, both sites would welcome such questions.

There are a number of differences, though, which may impact where you choose to ask your question:

  • SF&F is, obviously, about more than just movies and TV. Any questions about written works of science fiction would go there. But, more importantly, questions about works with more than one medium will often get different results. For example, answers about Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings on SF&F are more likely to include input from other media on SF&F, while answers of M&TV may not. (I have seen users who explicitly avoid SF&F just for that reason.)
  • M&TV is, obviously, about more than just science fiction. Asking about drama, comedy, or other types of movies would only be on-topic there. But, even for sci-fi/fantasy works, if your question is more about the movie/TV medium (SFX, directing techniques, actor information, etc.), you're probably going to have better luck on M&TV. SF&F does handle behind-the-scenes questions about fantasy/sci-fi works, but that's not really the user base that SF&F is targeted at. Also, questions about "Analysis of content or theme" will probably not go over as well on SF&F as they would on M&TV.
  • Slightly different policies. The biggest one here is the spoiler policy. SF&F has a pretty strict policy against spoilers in questions: we encourage the use of spoiler tags when needed. M&TV policy is to avoid spoilers in titles, but not so much in the question body. (It's an interesting question why the two sites differ on this; my intuition is that spoilers about movies and TV have a much shorter half-life, especially with on-demand watching and what not, than spoilers on books that may take weeks to read.)

In general, if your question fits either site, ask it on either site, and you'll probably get an answer, probably from the same people.

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    +1 It's worth it to emphasize that if you're only interested in a film or TV show content, you're much better off asking on M&TV as on Sci-Fi, all media is game and answers are often more in-depth, including content that may not even apply in the Film/TV series. One can state in a question that answers should not include information from books but that may not be heeded, as answers should be useful to everyone, not just the asker.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jun 22, 2015 at 23:43
  • We try very hard to honor users requests when they ask questions and only want tv/movie/book/comic/etc answers. If nothing else, giving them information they didn't ask for isn't likely to get accepted :) We even have tags for such an occasion. Having said that, you're right that often the source material has a lot of interesting "extra bits" that find their way into answers anyway.
    – KutuluMike
    Jun 22, 2015 at 23:45
  • That's certainly good to know. I do think it would be worth having a discussion regarding why M&TV and SF have such vast differences in spoiler policies. But, as a member of the former, management seems to dislike them in general (and I tend to agree).
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jun 22, 2015 at 23:48
  • it might be an interesting discussion to have but I think it's fine. IMO spoilers are much worse when you're talking about long-running book or comics series where it's not uncommmon for someone to be months behind, as opposed to movies or TV in a world of DVRs and netflix.
    – KutuluMike
    Jun 22, 2015 at 23:50
  • @Catija "Sci-Fi, all media is game" - Yet nobody stops anyone from including additional (e.g. book) information in an answer on the movie site either if it does relate to the question and provides additional background information. But I agree that a spoiler discussion, while interesting, is rather futile here, but also that long-lastingness doesn't have anything to do with it. It's rather about readability, aesthetics and usefulness (and it's isn't just the "management" either, except if you mean the majority of the community with that term). Jun 23, 2015 at 8:08
  • ""Analysis of content or theme" will probably not go over as well on SF&F as they would on M&TV." - Whoa, really? Now I hadn't guessed that. Is there some meta evidence for that? Jun 23, 2015 at 8:11
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    @ChristianRau just my intuition.. the word "analysis" to me sounds too much like opinion or speculation, which we tend to avoid. We'd probably allow questions about what the author explicitly said the themes of their work were, but not the kind of "literary analysis" that the M&TV help center made me think of. Then again, I don't know that I've ever seen such a question of SF&F so I could be wrong :)
    – KutuluMike
    Jun 23, 2015 at 11:08
  • A practical aspect: SF&F is more active (5.3k vs 2.2k visits/day), hence, if a question fits to both sites you may be more lucky to get an answer there. Jun 1 at 10:43
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A moderator of the Movies site, iandotkelly♦, explained this in How do you distinguish when a question should be asked at SE movies vs. SE scifi?

It would be nearly impossible to keep the scope of all SE sites mutually exclusive, and SciFi and Literature are clearly sites which overlap with us. This issue is seen across SE.

Partially it comes down to personal preference. You might feel more comfortable in one site or another. SciFi is a more established site, has a great community of followers so undoubtedly there are going to be questions there that would also be suitable here, but that is the site they are happiest posting in.

You might also prefer a perspective of a movie goer or sci-fi addict, so would choose one site or another. For instance you are probably going to get more responses from SciFi if the question is about underlying SciFi themes or ideas, or links to the book that a movie is adapted from (though this is also often covered here). Here the perspective is going to be more about the movie, even if there is prior media such as books or comics.

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