Assistance to fight off a silicon-based lifeform was asked from an in-universe point of view, and another user added a comment to the question that suggested making the in-universe approach "the required way to ask questions on this website".
I thought about it for a while and realized that the approach works well for questions like that one where a character can discover something's existence and wonder how it might have come to be, what a creature's biology might be like, what vulnerabilities it might have, etc. The advantage of an in-universe approach is that it encourages users to think through what information their characters might be able to perceive about something and what the characters actually might need to know to make the story work. It avoids overly broad questions by forcing the asker to be specific enough in exposition that answerers have something to go on.
But I don't think it would work so well for questions of the form "Starting from a given initial condition, what would happen to a particular environment, species, or institution?" that happen often when creating the protagonist's own corner of the world. These are things that any character is expected to know just from having grown up in the setting, like these:
- Would flying beings invent the wheel?
- How would legless humans thrive?
- How would a city of humans accommodate merfolk?
So here's my question: For what questions do we want to encourage an in-universe point of view?