37

Things don't have to be fantasy/fiction to be on topic for world building. Worldbuilding Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for writers, artists and others using science, geography and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings. If I am working on a world where I want to (as an example) create a city out of sandstone buildings, that ...


29

In general, I don't have a problem with them since most of the time, those questions are posed in a clinical voice, much like a doctor might describe injuries from a horrific automobile accident. Yes, people died or were severely injured but there's not glorification of their injuries/deaths. There's no judgement call of whether their deaths were a good, ...


28

Yeah, I'd say we've moved from Worldbuilding SE to Whatif SE. I see three problems that need to be dealt with: 1)- External image. Our most popular questions don't actually seem to be about worldbuilding a lot of the time, so when people see them on the HNQ they get the wrong ideas. This goes hand-in-hand with the idea that popular questions should be left ...


28

We should take the same approach as with torture questions and I think I'll just copy from my answer to the discussion you linked (see the original for further links): In general, I don't have a problem with them since most of the time, those questions are posed in a clinical voice, much like a doctor might describe injuries from a horrific ...


26

(Speaking for myself, not in any official capacity) I think the questions you list there are all fine. They may not fit into everyone's own area of interest but they are all relevant to building a world. For example a planet that switches orbits would be a very interesting setting (cold and warm years depending on when you switched, various effects when ...


25

In my opinion, idea generation questions are not a good fit for the Stack Exchange model for several reasons: There are no criteria for picking the best answer -- everyone's ideas are equally valid; the question is too subjective. It's just a kick-starter for a discussion or a debate -- SE is not a forum (1, 2), and does not care to have "good discussions." ...


25

Ok so this topic keeps coming up over and over again...and again. The WB site description: Worldbuilding Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for writers, artists and others using science, geography and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With ...


24

When should I close a Question as "Idea Generation"? We have an "Idea Generation" close reason, but it's important to apply it reasonably. In particular virtually every question on this site is asking for ideas to be generated in some way or another. The key thing that would cause a question to be closed with this reason is that the question is too open ...


22

I would say "Yes, if specific enough". Most SE sites don't allow recommendation questions, but there's a whole Software Recommendation SE that's specifically for it. While they're good at finding software over there, it's a fairly low-traffic place and the kind of question which would be asked here is likely to be very specific, with answers ...


22

Rephrase the question to remove all references to individual actions and any "should" or "would" parts of the question. Off topic: Would Joe Marine 17 climb this hill wearing his backpack On topic: Could a well-trained marine wearing a 30kg weight backpack complete a 1-mile route with 500' of ascent in 10 minutes Off topic: Would ...


22

The question asks about the first date when a concept was put in a story. That's not worldbuilding, but plain literature history. If I have a question about literature history I ask it on the pertinent SE community. That the OP states that it helps them in worldbuilding, doesn't make it a worldbuilding question, same as asking "how do I conjugate to be in ...


21

I am in total agreement with this. One minor point is that there needs to be room for differences of opinion and subjective view, even with the "bad questions". Regarding Don’t answer questions that are not fully formed/adequately explained. We often see users, even experienced/high reputation users answering questions that are not fully formed. I've ...


20

Questions in this area should be about the problem you're trying to solve -- e.g. "my people have only three fingers; what counting system would they most naturally develop?". As part of showing what you've already tried, you might go on to explain: "I'm considering a base-6 system on the theory that we developed base-10 because of 10 fingers, but am ...


20

In my opinion, one thing, that should be considered is the context. Some of the question people ask here fall also into fields of Physics, Biology, Geology, etc. But the questions world-builders need to ask are quite often very speculative and rather than completely exact scientific answer, they want plausibility check and some "rule of thumb" that allows ...


20

I would like to suggest that the burden on building worlds should go to those who ask the question, rather than those who answer it. I understand Worldbuilding SE to be a place where you can come with a world you already have in mind, to ensure that it works how you think it does, or to see if there is a way to achieve what you want with the resources you ...


19

Purely virtual worlds must have rules, maps, weather, societies, currencies, etc. as well, so yes, they are on topic. They may be similar to ours (like Level 13 or Matrix) or very different (like Tron) but each one must be crafted with detail.


19

I would say yes, as long as it pertains to the world building (and thus is a fit for the site's scope in the first place). The site is defined in Area51 as [a] Q&A site for writers/artists using science, geography and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings".* I see nothing there that would suggest that only non-Earth worlds and settings ...


19

I only spent any time on the "alien social activities", but based on that it seems to me that "funny questions" are very much relevant to world-building. While the questions on this SE tend to focus on checking verisimilitude, the actual goal of world-building is not generally to build a realistic setting. It is to build a setting that other people can ...


19

I've been wanting to start a meta discussion about this too. Thanks for bringing it up. I, too, feel that we're getting more of this type of question lately and that it's not good for the site. The reason I haven't mod-hammered more of these closed is that I'm confused about what the community wants -- we say that we're about worldbuilding, not plots or ...


18

Scifi.SE focuses on existing works of Scientific Fiction and Fantasy, whereas Worldbuilding is to help people who are developing worlds of Fantasy/Fiction in various areas.


18

So . . . this gets back to the issue of Good Subjective, Bad Subjective, which is a concept Worldbuilding's struggled with since its conception. The main two points, as they apply here, are: It's fine to have questions that are a bit subjective or opinionated . . . . . . but answers to those questions must be supported in some way - they can't just be pure ...


17

It's not uncommon for a question to fit reasonably on more than one site. A site forms when a group of questions fits together and they don't all belong on another site. We have overlap with History, Physics, Linguistics, Space, maybe even the religion and arts sites -- heck, even Gardening, depending. If a question fits our scope, we should accept it ...


17

As an active member of Physics.SE, if it isn't about physics as we know it, it's not the place to ask it. Lots of world-building type questions need to be "snuck in," thus why people are interested in this site. The question Are geographically typed planets realistic? would likely be considered off-topic.


16

I agree. We should model the behavior we want from others, and getting a bunch of answers for questions that should be put on hold doesn't set a good example. If you know that a question should be put on hold -- whether it's too broad, off-topic, or something else -- please vote/flag and try to help the OP fix the problem (if possible). Or, if he has at ...


15

We do. Deconstruction of an existing world helps reveal elements that you might not otherwise have thought of. Expanding or reconstructing them does likewise. Modifying one or two aspects could drastically change how they work and is oft used as a plot hook. Its cool.


15

We accept questions about physics, history, and linguistics. I see no reason to prevent questions about mathematically modelling things like this. It's of use to people who are worldbuilding, so therefore it belongs here.


15

I've griped about this in the past, so I'm glad you've brought this up. I agree with a lot of what has already been said, especially in Monica's answer. However, I have a different direction I'd like to go in. There are three types of questions. . . After some thought, I realized (well, it seems to me, at least) that there are actually three different ...


15

I don't see any reason why a question based on a movie couldn't be on topic. In fact, I'm fairly certain that we have plenty of those, if for no other reason then because someone saw something they liked in a movie (or novel, or other work), want something similar in their own world, and want to better understand either how it could have come to be or the ...


15

This question is on-topic because the author is trying to build his own world - he just takes inspiration in a humorous way from an already existing universe Yes, he clearly took paralleles to existing canonical universes. And yes, he clearly is trying to go with the trope of Redshirts dying. But he does not want to know how this is handled in the show. He ...


15

I was once a regional manager for a small retail chain. In a manager's staff meeting one day we were discussing how to improve the shopping experience with music. Managers were complaining that they didn't have the equipment necessary to pipe Pandora to their customer's ears. I knew they all had CD radios in inventory and suggested they set one up and ...


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