I asked for the existence of Game Boy clones which can read Game Boy cartridges.

The question was closed because it was seen as a buying recommendation.

Is this legitimate?

  • 2
    Would the question's answers be just as valid in a decade? There's a difference between asking whether something exists and whether it has existed.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 18:38
  • Incidentally, a google search for "Gameboy clone" reveals that there are dozens freely for sale. (Currently) Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 19:28
  • 1
    That's probably not quite the right close reason, but I likely still would have voted to close it as the answers are probably going to be just a list and/or link-only answers. That's more a better question for a discussion forum rather than the SE format.
    – mnem
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 4:49
  • 3
    @JiminyCricket. 95% of them cannot read cartridges.
    – zomega
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 10:50

2 Answers 2


Asking purely if something exists / has existed isn't a shopping request.
However, the line is blurred and these questions are likely to fall the wrong side in the eyes of the community. Your linked question does read like a request for a shopping recommendation.

There are sites specifically for this sort of question:
Software Recommendations and Hardware Recommendations

You have already asked a very similar question over there...
Board for a Game Boy Advance replica,
so you should be familiar with their requirements for such questions.

I wouldn't migrate your question there, I would recommend changing the wording to their requirements.

  • Thank you I changed the wording. Is it possible a moderator reopens it or do I have to wait for votes?
    – zomega
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 16:54
  • 2
    If it is not a shopping request, then it would help to explain why the Analogue Pocket was excluded. Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 19:31

Questions asking about products currently available on the market are problematic for a number of reasons:

  • They are spam magnets: questions like that are likely to attract answers from people who want to promote their own product while having little regard for the truth, and given the nature of the question, we would have a harder time justifying deletion of such answers. Better reject the question itself.
  • Markets, especially for physical goods, are generally restricted to a geographic area, and because of that, so would be the usefulness of answers. Prices in the US are only tenuously related to prices in, I don’t know, Sweden?
  • Market conditions (like the price and availability of products) change rapidly, and when they do, answers may become stale. The Q&A model of Stack Exchange is best suited for building a repository of more-or-less timeless knowledge: votes don’t lose value over time. Shopping questions may give rise to highly-upvoted, yet outdated and therefore useless answers.

Whether you explicitly declare your intent to buy something or not based on the answers does little to alleviate those concerns; shopping questions are discouraged because of the issues above, not just for its own sake. So it’s rather irritating to see people naïvely try to wiggle out of falling under the shopping question criteria on a technicality.

I would even say that it would be wrong to incorporate intent in any way into any principle about which questions should be accepted: intent is vague, the intent of the asker may be different from that of the readers, and people can lie about it, especially under pressure, even to themselves sometimes.

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