While questions for Ventrilo and TeamSpeak stay open and their questions answered, especially this one which would be best for SuperUser.

A question about RaidCall, which is mostly used for MMORPGs and League of Legends, gets shot down fairly quickly for being off topic.

My question is: what draws the line? What was the reasoning behind this closure?

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I wasn't involved in the closure, but what does a VOIP program starting up on boot have to do with playing a game? Just because a program is used in conjunction with games doesn't mean problems with that program are gaming problems. There is no line. Just think about how much a question applies to gaming. –  user9983 Feb 21 '13 at 18:22
    
Which means we should be closing questions #2 and 3 from the examples above; they themselves have nothing to do with gaming. But I think we're straying into the "primarily used by gamers" deal again. –  Frank Feb 21 '13 at 18:36
    
I agree the second one should be, but agree with @OrigamiRobot regarding the third –  user27134 Feb 21 '13 at 20:23
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Since communication is such an important part of a lot of games nowdays, VoIP software questions are on-topic with one very important caveat: The question has to be about gaming.

There is no hard hard line here, just look at each question's merits.

Ventrilo's Push to Talk not working when playing Star Wars: The Old Republic

This question is the most obviously gaming related. Ventrillo is not working as intended with a specific game.

Teamspeak hotkey needs to be reconfigured after ts3overlay update

This one is getting a bit farther away, but again Teamspeak is not working as intended.

How much bandwidth does Ventrilo use?

This one is a stretch, but the argument could be made that the amount bandwidth used could affect gameplay online.

So while they may be weak, each of those questions has at least some relation to gaming. The other question however, has none. It's not off topic because it's about RaidCall, it's off-topic because it has nothing to do with gaming.

So where do we draw the line?

I don't think a line needs to be drawn. Not all topics need to be black and white. Use common sense and ask yourself: How much does this apply to gaming? If you think it's enough, leave it alone. If you don't, VTC. It takes 5 close/re-open votes for a reason. Instead of judging the entire topic, just judge individual questions.

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But...I like lines! –  Frank Feb 21 '13 at 19:20
    
@fbueckert If everything had lines, we wouldn't need to be a community run site. –  user9983 Feb 21 '13 at 19:21
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Not all topics need to be black and white Agree. If it's very useful for gamers, while gaming, best answered by gamers, generally it should be on topic here IMO. –  Prinny Brocka Feb 21 '13 at 19:25
    
To be clear, I am making no claims as to whether the three example questions are on/off topic. I am merely presenting the arguments in order to highlight the off-topicness of the RaidCall question. –  user9983 Feb 21 '13 at 20:34
    
So can we get that question migrated to SU now? Also, can we add SU as a migration path? –  MBraedley Feb 21 '13 at 20:51
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Personally, I feel that questions asking about VOIP services, on their own, are off-topic. Using these services has nothing to do with gaming. The first question linked looks to be on-topic, though, as there is a very real issue being encountered with a game.

We are, first and foremost, gamers. Our expertise may spill into other related fields, but at our core, we just like to play games. I think the questions about TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, Mumble, and all the other VOIP applications currently fall into a gray area. On the one hand, the programs themselves aren't about gaming. On the other, gamers use them lots for group activities. Arguments can be made both ways.

Obviously, we should be using our judgement when a question is asked to determine if it's on or off-topic. There are areas that can be borderline, but I think a baseline can be drawn.


I propose:

A question asking about the functionality of ANY VOIP application, when not related to it's interaction with a game, should be off-topic. These are just generic programs, of which there are a lot. There's no way we can be experts in how they all function, or how to optimize them for best use. We're not VOIP.SE.

A question that presents a problem with a VOIP application, when in relation to a game, is on-topic. It has to be a specific game, though. Chances of someone running into the same issue, and being able to solve it, leverages our specific expertise much better than just poking a VOIP application.

So, to summarize:

Question about TS, Vent, Mumble, whatever VOIP program you use = bad.

Question about TS, Vent, Mumble, etc. doing something funky when playing Game X = good.

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