This recent game recommendation question asking for games similar to Portal has made me realize that an increasing number of questions closed as "game recommendation" have users posting game recommendations as comments to the askers question (effectively answering the users question).

Should this be allowed?

I'm not saying that the posters making the comments are doing anything wrong per se, helping out our fellow human beings is one of the founding principals of Stack Exchange after all. However, how is answering game recommendation questions in comments any different then answering them in an official answer?

All I can see it doing is to encourage more of these questions. For although avid users will undoubtedly respect the closure, and ask any future game recommendation questions in chat; I don't see why this would deter occasional users or one time visitors. If they see a plethora of game recommendation questions which have had comments which answer their questions, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't just ask their game recommendation question anyway. After all, why would they care if their question is closed? If they rarely visit the site (or lack on account) they are unlikely to care about reputation, and if their question is answered despite the closure they have the incentive to ask it anyways.

Due to the above, I suggest that comments in game recommendation questions which effectively answer the question should no longer be permitted, and deleted by moderators when made.

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1 Answer

I think it's just a polite way to say "Hey, I'm really sorry, we can't allow your question. Don't get me wrong, it's not because I'm power hungry or a jerk or anything — it's not you, it's not me, it's just this engine sucks for recommendations. I do want to help you, but I can't do it by answering your question."

Indeed I've done this multiple times myself when I did have such a recommendation to give.

I've never seen a closed game-rec with more than one or two "answers" in the comment area anyway, so there is currently no evidence of a "plethora" of such questions.

I understand the reasoning why people leave comments as 'answers'. I'm not saying that doing so is inherently wrong, but doing so will simply encourage more game-rec questions. –  Wipqozn Jun 21 '11 at 15:25
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