On Arqade, where I hail from, identify-this-game questions have a special place in moderator's hearts. The same place that pilots have when they hear members of news media try to speak intelligently about aviation, or people talking really slow on 121.8.

The question I asked just now, There's an airfield somewhere in the United States with a metal runway. Where is it?, would be one of those questions.

Here's some copy-paste from (one of the many) Arqade meta discussions on this topic:

The current policy is that any question asking to identify a game or modification is off-topic for this site.

The reasons brought forward behind the policy are that:

  • History shows the criteria in these questions are necessarily:

    • warped by time and memory

    • possibly wrong altogether

    • insufficient to identify just one game

  • From this last point it follows that the only person who can identify the one right question is the asker himself.

    • The asker might have stopped checking for questions

    • The asker might be summarily dismissing what's actually the "right" answer over a discrepancy between what he recalls and what the game actually is

    • Mind reading and 20 question guessing games are not what we're experts in

  • These questions are not helpful to the internet at large

    • It is difficult to close these questions as duplicate. You might theoretically have two ITG questions with the same body and two different answers - both "correct". You also can have two different questions with the same answer.

    • These questions have lower view counts and vote counts than average

    • These questions typically do poorly in converting new users into frequent users

Do we want this question type on Aviation.SE?

  • $\begingroup$ This seems like a good question to ask in chat. I'm not too sure about as an actual question though... I'm leaning towards NO, but am open to hearing others thoughts. I also think that people will quickly lose interest in the question after it has been answered.... $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Jan 10 '14 at 5:58

My vote would be to avoid this, for many of the same reasons as Arqade lists. Especially early in the site's development, I think it would be best to avoid losing focus on the primary point of the site which is to answer questions relevant to pilots, not play airport trivia.

Even in your example, a much more interesting question would have been Why does Bogue Field have a metal runway? (which voretaq7 also answered in his response).

As Lnafziger commented, I think playing the trivia game would be fun in chat, but not on the Q&A site.

  • $\begingroup$ My gut inclination is to avoid these as well for the reasons I mentioned in chat. (Also re: "Why PSP", I suspect the answer is "Because the Seabees need to practice laying that stuff down & ripping it back up in case we ever have to do it for real!" -- try to imagine a very grumpy admiral chomping on a cigar while you read that :) $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Jan 10 '14 at 6:20
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with this, I think trivia alone isn't very useful but as you said the reasons behind that can be very relevant. In this case it could be why this specific runway is metal, or why metal runways in general are useful, or what the operational considerations are, or something else more precise. Even asking "I know there's a metal runway somewhere and I'd like to have it in my logbook if possible, can anyone tell me where it is and what I have to plan/calculate for in order to land on it?" would be a better question. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Jan 10 '14 at 14:33

This site is a great place to get and share knowledge. I would not appreciate to have those kins of questions on it as it's still some kind of knowledge but not really worth a discussion. It's nice to know but only a few people will some kind of profit from an answer.


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