I know those question are ok when you look at the tag, but I think this and this questions should have "in nethack" at the end of the title.

Do you agree or it's just me that is picky?

Update:

OK, you want some vague title, we will look at this question then...

Update:

OK, I deleted my Question "how-can-i-kill-the-president" (in fallout 2) since this was not a real question. At least I got the "Disciplined" Badge.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 19 down vote accepted

Is it vague? Yes. Does it catch the eye as a result? Also yes, and this is a good thing as Ivo colorfully points out. The fact that it's particularly vague is not really any different than this question that also doesn't list the game name.

On SO, people see a question tagged [c#], it should be a reasonable understanding that the question is about C#. You don't need to preface your title with "C#: " or end it with "in C#", and in many cases this gets edited out.

I wouldn't suggest requiring game names to be in titles for the same reason I wouldn't suggest requiring the platform to be in the title. That's why we have tags, so that we can use the question body and title to cover the other elements of the question. And moreso for the title, you are limited to basically a sentence to catch people's eyes. Piquing interest and curiosity is a good thing, especially in a naturally curious community like Gaming.


In response to your new example, if you feel a particular question is offensively inclined due to its title, flag it. Downvote if you feel it is dangerous, and consider leaving a comment explaining what should be changed. But vagueness is not identical to offensiveness, and vagueness isn't a problem as long as the title still succeeds at its primary goal: concisely defining the problem. And its secondary goal is to attract people who will view and possibly answer the question. If you are worried about negative implications, you can add the qualifiers like game name to your own questions. But vagueness is fine.

If you're worried about these things being upvote bait, then to be honest that's not easy to monitor or control. Remember that an attractive title makes people look at the question, so a really good question with a really good title will get more votes than a really good question with a less attractive title because there will be more people to vote on it. There's no way to tell how many votes come just because the title is catch versus the content, but you can tell from the fact that the answers to good questions also receive a large number of votes. We will obviously notice trends if any specific users try to be abusive about their titles, and appropriate measures will be taken.

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+1 very well said –  McKay Aug 11 '10 at 16:53
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Not only I wouldn't suggest them, I'd remove them -- I don't like information redundancy in this case, if we have the tag, no need to put it in the title also (as with the word "spoiler") –  jmfsg Aug 11 '10 at 16:59
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Interesting to see an actual standpoint on this. I'd been putting titles in the questions I'd asked for clarity's sake, as I felt they'd be too vague without, like this one. I didn't realize it was preferred to use only tags for clarity. Is it still acceptable to do if the question without the title seems too general, like the linked example? –  FAE Aug 12 '10 at 2:36
    
@FallenAngelEyes Well that's why I asked this question, I though it was the correct behaviour. At least this helped to clarify the issue. –  DavRob60 Aug 12 '10 at 3:21
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@FallenAngelEyes If you think it needs clarification, would be confused because the title can otherwise be ambiguous, and it isn't too obtrusive, then it's fine. I wouldn't remove it from the title if someone put it there when asking the question. I just don't advocate adding the game name to the title if it wasn't already there and the title doesn't immediately need it. –  Grace Note Aug 12 '10 at 12:00
    
I can't get on board with "Is it vague? Yes. Does it catch the eye as a result? Also yes, and this is a good thing." Not catching the eye at all is better than catching the eye in a negative way. –  Pops Sep 2 '10 at 2:16
    
This answer differs notably from the current trends on Stackoverflow and other sites. Why is gaming allowed to have eye-candy titles, and other sites not? Note that a catching title will attract more people that are browsing the site, but will lower the page rank in search engines or make googlers think the post does not answer their query. Again, why the difference on gaming compared to other Stackexchange sites? –  Konerak Nov 13 '11 at 13:25
    
Because it's gaming. In case you weren't aware, unlike programming or religion or language, gaming's primary use is to be fun. Gaming exists for the sole reason that people want to have fun in their leisure time, when they don't work (and that's what most other SE sites are about, some people's work). Having titles that catch the eye because they're funny or misleading is part of what the site is about: Gaming. For those who feel gaming is SRS BSNS and want to get the gaming without the fun, there's still tags. Catchy question titles might also interest someone in a game they didn't know. –  scenia Mar 14 at 12:06

While I understand people who say that question titles shouldn't contain the name of the game since it can be deduced from the tags, I think there's a problem that's being overlooked here.

When the site grows sufficiently, it will hopefully contain a great deal of questions. Let us look at a question like "Which vendor sells the cheapest health potions?", which could be a valid question in a myriad of games. Let's say I want to ask this question for game X, and so I write a new question with this title, intending to tag it with X later on. I am then immediately bombarded with suggestions of related questions, all of which have a nearly identical title. Since there's no way of seeing the related questions' tags (unless I've missed something) I will be forced to open each and every question to look at the tags. Alternatively (and more cleverly, though this might not occur to everyone at first) I will be forced to perform a search, but I might fear that I have still managed to miss the question which is identical to mine.

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If the title makes it too ambiguous that it would be difficult to address what game is being discussed, then it makes perfect sense to add the title. For example, dual wielding is common and different in a lot of games so it makes sense for this question. Whereas, some questions can be pretty fine without a title, like this one. –  Grace Note Aug 12 '10 at 12:02
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So I don't say that people shouldn't add game names to the titles. I'm saying we shouldn't require adding it to the title. –  Grace Note Aug 12 '10 at 12:03
    
@Grace - Ah, I was just getting the impression that not relying solely on the tags is generally frowned upon. –  Aubergine Aug 12 '10 at 12:45
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The fact "there's no way of seeing the related question's tags" is an issue. Don't you think we should request this feature? By the way, how could we do that? On meta.stackoverflow.com? –  DavRob60 Aug 12 '10 at 12:58
    
@Dav I recommend making a feature request, I find that an idea I can get behind when it comes to the list generated when asking a question, maybe in the tooltip when you hover over an option. Not so much the list in the right sidebar. Where to request it, though... I find that it is more beneficial to this site than any other. I don't see it being nearly as useful on, say, Server Fault or Cooking. It's a tough call, but I think you could ask it either here or on Meta SO. –  Grace Note Aug 12 '10 at 13:02
    
It look like there already a request for that. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2031/… We should vote it up. –  DavRob60 Aug 12 '10 at 13:37
    
Good find, @Dav! I've gone and added tags to it, which will bump it back up for viewing. –  Grace Note Aug 12 '10 at 13:53
    
Before asking a question, you should perform a search anyway. While some degree of duplication is good, people just coming and asking question without checking if they have been asked is bad. So your argument is more or less invalid. I still agree that tags should be displayed in that related popup though. –  scenia Mar 14 at 11:57

A question title should contain the minimum necessary for people who know how to answer the question to recognize that fact. Long and excessive question titles serve no purpose.

In your example, both questions are tagged [nethack] so that anyone curious about the title can immediately know the game name. Anyone familiar with Eating Corpses or Praying to God will readily identify the game and this tag will confirm it. People who know about those topics in other games can notice the lack of that game tagged. Finally, people who don't know the answer in any game, are not required for that question, but may browse it at their leisure and determine the correct game from the tag (or question content).

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+1 for "minimum necessary" –  Pops Sep 2 '10 at 2:30

You're absolutely right, but the title's are so catchy on our new Stack Exchange overview page that I wouldn't want them to change!

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I generally think that the question should be fully explanatory as to what's going on. Name of game, class, whatever, even to a noob, because everyone sees the questions. But those titles are hilarious without the context.

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Sorry, I misread your answer and I guess 5 minutes is too long for me to take back my vote. –  tzenes Aug 11 '10 at 16:37

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