Gaming the system
So, I asked a question over on Meta.SO:
Can I ask about assembly programming in the game “Human Resource Machine”?
It is programming, for sure, but I'm unsure about whether it's on-topic because it's not a "problem I face in real life", it's a video game.
And the comments led me to quickly realize there's a more fundamental decision to be made here:
Scratch and TIS-100 are on-topic here, I don't see why this [questions about assembly programming in "Human Resource Machine"] wouldn't be on-topic as long as the question is clear and your "code" is added properly
Should questions about programming within a video game be treated differently than questions about "real life" programming?
Programming for fun
Examples of programming within a video game:
- Redstone circuits in Minecraft
- Logic gate assembly in Rocky's Boots
- Assembly programming in Human Resource Machine
Note that all these "languages" are Turing-complete, but:
- Difficult to copy/paste for the sake of an MVCE
But I think those are all minor, technical, issues, and we can come up with workarounds (plenty of proprietary, commercial, and even visual languages have active tags on SO, e.g.).
The major difference I see is such languages do not represent "actual problems" that, for example, the SO tour asks for, in the "it matters in real life" sense.
But does this really matter?
You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here
For example, is it true that:
If you write the question [about programming within a given video game] that someone can understand and answer it without buying the game I think you can totally ask that question. Now if your code does not work I would ask on SO, while when you have working code and you want to optimize it you probably want to go to codereview.
Just like "regular" programming questions? And, if not, then where are these questions best asked?
Or, as another user suggested,
I thought a little about this and I might have an even better idea. You're right that you have something a little too "fun" for Stack Overflow, but maybe a little too technical for Arqade (although you could post there and see if it attracts anything). But there is one site combining both of these realms a little:
If Minecraft is a language, I think HRM counts too.
So it's true that Scratch questions have been asked on SO, and Minecraft redstone answers provided on both Arqade and PPCG. Ideally, if the question is fundamentally about programming in a video-game (i.e. non-practical) language, where should they be directed?
Are the rules the same for video-game languages as for practical languages?
Full disclosure: my gut tells me programming is programming, as just as we accept homework questions and treat them like any other, despite the difference in their motivations, we should probably do the same for "video game programming".
But I trust the system, and I know StackExchange, as a Q&A site, tries to focus on "practical problems", so I'm happy if the consensus is "nah". That's 100% fine.
If you would prefer "video game programming" questions be excluded from the programming-specific sites, vote down, and ideally suggest a stack, such as Arqade or PPCG, where these should be directed. I want honest feedback, and couldn't care less about rep points.