This may seem a little convoluted, so bear with me...

My first question that came to mind in this meta-ish gray area was about suspension of disbelief when it came to specific audiences, as in:

When creating a sci-fi world/story/game for teenagers you can get a away with a bit more hand waving than you could with, say a sci-fi tale for those with physics majors... How much scientific accuracy is really necessary to make a world palatable?

Or perhaps more problematic in judging where to set the lines and veils of a world:

I'm thinking about creating a world that skirts the line between comic and disturbing horror, how far can I push the audience before it's too far?

These sorts of questions seem subjective, obviously, but I'm not sure if their too subjective to be answered... Though I suspect that they may boil down to poll questions where the real answers are found through community votes.


  • $\begingroup$ @Enigma I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing... $\endgroup$
    – apaul
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 3:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Enigma I guess I'm asking about questions beyond the 4th wall. Like when are these deeper questions appropriate? $\endgroup$
    – apaul
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ Ok :) I am not quite sure what the 4th wall reference is to but in about an hour to give you time to read this, I will just delete my messages and say sorry had no intent to segue ... Peace. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 4:03
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Enigma tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BreakingTheFourthWall though, I'm not sure this is the best description of my purpose. $\endgroup$
    – apaul
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Enigma don't quit just yet, consider Stack Exchange sites as a different culture, it takes a while to get the hang of the new customs $\endgroup$
    – apaul
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 4:18
  • $\begingroup$ Oh not quieting at all, now that I understand the 4th Wall I see that I am indeed off topic ... mostly. For clarification, I have noticed several narrative style questions that get some rather strange things going on with people other than the OP. So are these the questions your addressing? And seriously thanks for that link I learned something new today and that makes it a great day. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 4:27

1 Answer 1


You want to know if this kind of question is ok on WB:

  • "Does X violate suspension of disbelief?"

Compare with this kind:

  • "Are X and Y compatible in the same world?"

This kind gets asked all the time. Let Y = "the real world" and you essentially have our tag. Is that the same as the suspension of disbelief? No. But it is mostly a subset -- if X is fully compatible with reality, it is unlikely to violate reader belief (although there are exceptions, like the question about how high someone can fall from a plane and survive unharmed).

I think the "limits of disbelief" is just another constraint you can choose to put on your world, so in that sense, the question is fine. It is on-topic. BUT... you're almost certain to hit the "primarily opinion-based" (POB) objection because those limits are so fuzzy and individual in many cases. You would need to have some way of letting answerers use an objective or at least constrained standard of the limits.

TL;DR: These questions are probably NOT going to be closed as Off-Topic, but any specific question has a high probability of being closed POB.

  • $\begingroup$ Actually reality-check can be for any world (for example we've had reality-check unicorns). It's asking if the question is plausible within the constraints of a given world. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ @tim I feel that either you missed my point or you're just being argumentative. Your comment is correct but irrelevant. Care to explain why being pedantic about the reality-check tag in this context affects this discussion? Your comment just feels really abusive "let me highlight this minor technicality as an excuse to dismiss the entire rest of the post" to me today, and maybe that's just because this is the Internet and I cannot see your facial expressions. I'm trying to presume some more noble purpose, but Internet trolls this morning have been affecting my reactions to this sort of post. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ The description as given in your post for the reality check tag could mislead people into thinking it means something it doesn't. For example they might then go on to remove the tag from a question where it had been correctly applied. I was not commenting on your overall post in any way - I was correcting a potentially misleading tangent. No more. No less. In terms of your overall answer I mostly agree with it but am still considering some things. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ Related discussion: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/36057621#36057621 $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Tim thanks for clarifying. Some days, I hate the Internet. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 16:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .