I'm thinking primarily about this question: it was originally closed because it asked for a list and SE sites do not handle list questions well, but there was a suggestion that perhaps the question was specific enough to remain open.

The practice of allowing or closing list questions has come up before. There does not yet seem to be a consensus on meta (or at least not many people have voted yet); however, there are a number of broader questions of this type that are currently open.

Are these questions on topic for this site, or are they not the sort of questions we want here? If they do not fit the site well, are there ways in which they could be modified to fit the site better?

I think it will work best if we discuss these questions in the context of the main B&CG site. It may be true that other SE sites allow or close similar questions, but ideally we would come to a conclusion that could be added to the FAQ if necessary. Adding "as allowed on SO" or "will be closed like on Gaming" does not help as much as saying "allowed because they address an actual problem the OP is facing" or "closed because every answer is equally valid."

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I don't know, but that one seems ridiculously narrow, to the point that it's barely a list at all, is it? It'd be like saying "give me a list of all human beings with my DNA!" –  Jeff Atwood Aug 8 '11 at 16:07
    
@jeff I am sorry jeff that list of you and your evil(or good maybe) twin would be off topic as we do not allow list questions here... Besides there is at least 2 questions open now that are actual list questions that are being allowed. The difference seems to be people actually want to answer those questions. –  Chad Aug 8 '11 at 19:52
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As the close message states:

This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

I've bolded "polling" as that was my main objection. A question that encourages polling should typically be closed. We could have endless lists of games on every other question, awarding reputation for being the first one to mention "Dominion" on a poll. This is not a good use of the Q&A format here. At it's best, it would still be a collection of reviews on related games.

Instead, rephrase the question. Turn it around and ask how to solve your actual problem. Instead of

  • "Give me board games like XXX" (a potentially endless list with little differentiation. Voting will be based on popularity and tend to favor the first few mentioned)

Use:

  • "How can I find more board games like XXX" (a small number of answers that can be ranked according to usefulness by voting)
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If this is the case, some of the top-voted questions out there should be flagged as "Bad Subjective" (example) so new users (like me) know not to ask similar questions. I came to the site, saw this question as the top-voted one, and immediately thought my question would be accepted here. –  dpatchery Aug 17 '11 at 12:36
    
@Pat Ludwig: I have reworded (the first part of) my Mah Jong question along the lines you suggested here. Does that improve the question? And does the second question about how such a rule affects your game play add or detract from the first one? –  Tom Au Sep 2 '11 at 13:54
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That question was fine. There is a factual answer - any game that features Caesar in gaul. The narrowness of the question means it won't be useful to many people and won't get may upvotes. But it could be useful to some people and is a good fit for the SE format.

Contrast that good question with this poor one: Good travel games for two players, especially for playing on trains?

The answers are going to be almost purely subjective and there is going to be an endless list. That question (unfortunately) remains open, and has upvotes, and many upvoted answers.

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