TL;DR: This question is the foundation stone of an attempt to more thoroughly define the scope of Worldbuilding by defining "Risk Factors" that make something Out Of Scope.
The discussion of individual risk factors has started can can be found:
What is in Scope?
This part does not seem too contentious. If it's to do with building a world that is in some way fictional then it is potentially in scope. The help center currently says:
For example, questions are welcome that are about:
- Creation of elements of a world (languages, species, buildings, etc.)
- Effects of events or world elements, including biology, technology and magic, on specific aspects of that world's societies, cultures, and environment
- How to achieve a specified effect in a defined world, including by the use of biology, technology or magic, while maintaning in-universe consistency
as long as they are not about:
- Actions of individual characters, rather than elements of the world they inhabit
- Character building
- Elements of plot
- Historical events of or historical facts about the real world, except when provided as examples or comparisons in the construction of an imaginary world (consider the History or respective subject-specific Stack Exchange sites)
- General writing or storytelling (consider the Writers or Role-playing Games Stack Exchange sites)
- Software that doesn't directly relate to worldbuilding (consider the Super User or Software Recommendations Stack Exchange sites)
We may want to adjust these help center articles once this process is complete so please consider this a starting point, not a hard and fast set of rules.
What is not in Scope?
This is where the real discussion starts, some questions are clearly in scope and answerable. Others however are not and are clearly out of scope. The problem comes though that we also get a large number of "gray area" questions that might be in scope but might not be and we have been inconsistent in whether we close those questions or not.
The plan moving forwards
The idea is simple, we define a number of Risk Factors. These are things that if present in a question to a sufficiently bad level cause it to be off topic. This question will be used to compile a list of potential Risk Factors and case studies for them.
- Post each Risk Factor in its own answer
- Feel free to edit any answer to add or improve to the wording, do not change the meaning substantially though. For a substantially different meaning create a new Risk Factor.
- Do not worry too much about trying to set the line where each risk factor should be enough to close the question, however adding examples is valuable.
- Please don't discuss specific examples in these questions and answers, just add any you think might be relevant.
- Once we know what the risk factors are we will ask separate questions to discuss each one and decide where the line should be drawn.
Everyone should vote the proposed Risk Factors up or down for whether you consider them a valid or important reason to close a question.
We do not need the examples to all be out of scope. They just need to have that Risk Factor. Examples on both sides of the line will help us draw it in the correct place.
The risk factor template is:
**Risk Factor: **
How to Fix: