A question (Did blowing into an N64 cartridge really affect whether or not the game would run?) came up in Retrocomuting that as been already answered in a different Stack Exchange area (in Arcade/Gaming as Why did you have to blow into an NES cartridge to make it work?). Now it's not possible to close it as double question, as this works only with questions within the same area. One user already pointed that out as a comment, and I wrote up a short answer with a pointer, but it feels unsatisfying.

So, what's the right way to handle it?


TL;DR: Answer it.

Use the answer on the other site as another source of information, but answer the question in a retrocomputing context instead of a gaming context.

Try to improve on the answer on the other site if possible - exploit the differing scopes of the sites to include more relevant information and produce as useful an answer as possible - if it is useful feel free to quote (and cite) answers from the other site. Don't just copy the answer on the other site though - make sure it is useful in a retrocomputing context. I can't stress this enough.

Make sure that your answer works stand-alone, though, or it risks being a link-only answer. If somebody on a dial-up modem downloads an entire webpage only to realise that they need to download a second webpage to get the actual content, they will get cross.

  • Duplicating information still feels terrible wrong. Not just becuse of normalization, but it will also lead to a number of almost alike answers across Stack Exchange, making it even harder for someone seaching for an answer to decide which is valid and which isn't.
    – Raffzahn
    Aug 25 '17 at 11:06
  • @Raffzahn That's why you "answer the question in a retrocomputing context" so it is not just the same information. In this case it is hard, since there is very little to it, but I think there have already been other cases of this where the answers were quite different.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Aug 25 '17 at 12:48
  • @Raffzahn The answer on the other site isn't guaranteed to stay there for eternity. The site may be deleted or the consensus there may lead to it being closed and then deleted. wizzwizz4 is correct to say "treat it as another source". If duplicating information were really wrong, link only answers would be pervasive.
    – JeremyP
    Aug 29 '17 at 10:13

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