Gamestar Mechanic is an online service that helps users learn how to design video games. Our goal is to create a safe, entertaining and educational online environment for our users. This document describes how users – we call them “mechanics” -- should behave in order to do their part to build and maintain this community.

These Rules of Conduct are effective as of May 11, 2015. In the future, our site or our rules may change. When we make changes, we will change this document as well. We'll post the updated version here, and we'll let you know if we think the changes will significantly impact your use of Gamestar Mechanic.

These Rules of Conduct apply to the version of Gamestar Mechanic that is open to registration and use by members of the general public. We also make private “realms” of the service available to certain organizations or groups, and it is the responsibility of those organizations or groups to inform their users if their own policies differ from this one. Users within these realms should contact their Realm Administrator for more information.

In addition to this document, all users should review the Gamestar Mechanic Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. By registering for an account and using Gamestar Mechanic, you agree to follow the rules and policies described in these documents.

What you can do with Gamestar Mechanic

Mechanics can do a bunch of fun and interesting things with Gamestar Mechanic, and most of them fall into three categories:


You’ll start the game playing the Gamestar Mechanic Quest. You’ll start out as a new arrival in Factory 7. Along the way, you will play games, fix broken games and even design games of your own. As you complete challenges, you’ll collect “sprites”: avatars, enemies, blocks and other tools that serve as the building blocks for making games.


In the workshop, you can use the sprites you’ve earned to build your own games. You can edit and change games you have created, add content that tells the “story” behind your game and, of course, play the games you’ve made.

Game Alley

If you’ve created an awesome game, you can publish it to Game Alley. In Game Alley, mechanics can play games created by other users and share the games they have created. You can review and comment on other mechanics’ games to let them know how much their games rock or what they can do to make them better.

The Mechanic Community

All of the users of Gamestar Mechanic form a community, and we want all members of that community to help each other by working together. There are some specific rules we expect mechanics to follow, and we’ll talk about those below, but as a member of this community, there are certain things you should always remember:

Be Respectful

The other mechanics in the community want to have a safe, fun experience. Having to deal with rude behavior, bad language, bullying or other mechanics who are just plain not being nice isn’t fun and can lead to unsafe situations. Please be respectful of the other mechanics in the community at all times. When in doubt, think about it this way: if you wouldn’t say or do something in front of your parents or your teacher, don’t say or do it in Gamestar Mechanic.

Be Helpful

Your fellow mechanics are here to learn how to make the best games they can and to become the best mechanics they can be. By playing games in Game Alley and leaving comments and reviews, you provide feedback that the creator can use to make the game better. We encourage you to be honest in your feedback, but also to be constructive. Saying “this game stinks!” is not only mean, it’s also not helpful. Saying “This game was very difficult, there were a lot of enemies and not enough health” is helpful because it lets the creator know what he might change to improve the game.

Be Responsible

As a mechanic, you have a responsibility to help to make the community a better place. If you see something in Gamestar Mechanic that you believe is not appropriate or is against the Rules of Conduct, you should report it using the “Report Abuse” feature described below.

Unacceptable Behavior

There are certain types of behavior that are never acceptable in Gamestar Mechanic:

Inappropriate Language

When you enter text in Gamestar Mechanic – for example in published game descriptions, comments or usernames – you must not use inappropriate language. Inappropriate language includes

• Curse words (profanity)
• Sexually explicit or suggestive language
• Racist language or hate speech
• References to drugs or alcohol
• Abusive language or bullying behavior

This list probably doesn’t cover every type of language that we consider inappropriate, and we may decide that something you have posted is inappropriate even if it isn’t covered by this list.

Personally Identifiable Information

Personally Identifiable Information is any information that could let another mechanic identify or contact you outside of Gamestar Mechanic (online or in the real world). Examples include

• Your real name
• Your address
• Your telephone number
• Your birthday, age or grade level
• Your email address or instant messaging screen name
• Information about your school or other real-world places you go to
• Any information like this about your parents, brother and sisters or other family members

Sharing this kind of information is not safe and really doesn’t have anything to do with playing and designing games, so remember:

• Never include personally identifiable information in anything you create or post in Gamestar Mechanic.
• Never ask another mechanic to share personally identifiable information with you.
• Never agree to contact another mechanic you’ve met outside of Gamestar Mechanic (for example through email or in person).
• If you see personally identifiable information anywhere within Gamestar Mechanic, use the ‘Report Abuse’ feature to tell us about it.
• We do ask for your birthday and an email address when you first register for an account. We also may ask you to verify information about your account to make sure you really are who you say you are when we’re responding to a support request you’ve made. Outside of these situations, Gamestar Mechanic staff and moderators will never ask you for personally identifiable information, so beware of anyone claiming to work for Gamestar Mechanic who does. Don’t share any information with them and report the user to us right away.

Personal Communication and Chat

We created the review and comment features in Game Alley so that mechanics could have a place to discuss each others' games and that's exactly what they should be used for.

Reviews and comments should not be used as an all-purpose chat forum or in place of text messages, email, instant messages or other private ways of communicating. They are not the place to discuss something going on in the real world outside of Gamestar, plan a time to meet up with your friends or talk about the latest episode of your favorite TV show. There's nothing wrong with doing any of those things, of course: they just shouldn't happen inside of Gamestar Mechanic.

Sharing Account Information

As our Terms of Service say, we have a one account per person rule, so having more than one actual person share an account is not ok. Keeping your account secure is your responsibility. If you let someone else use your account, you will be responsible for anything they do. This includes being responsible for the consequences if they do something against the rules.

You should never share your password with anyone, including other mechanics: even if they are someone you know well in real life. And, of course, don’t ask for anyone else’s password. Gamestar Mechanic staff and moderators will never ask you for your password, so beware of anyone claiming to be work for Gamestar Mechanic who does. Don’t share any information with them and report the user to us right away.

If you believe that another user is sharing his account or password, please report it to us right away using the ‘Report Abuse’ feature. If you believe that someone else may be using your account (for example if your password was stolen), report it to us right away by sending an email to

User Generated Content (UGC)

In some parts of the site, we let users add their own material to Gamestar Mechanic. This includes letting users upload or link to their own game backgrounds, music, sprites, etc. We call this type of material 'User Generated Content' or 'UGC' for short, and there are some special rules you should know about it.

No Inappropriate Content

If something is NOT OK to post on Gamestar, it's also NOT OK to include it in UGC that you post to Gamestar. This includes

• Curse words (profanity)
• Sexually explicit or suggestive language or images
• Racist language, hate speech or images
• References to drugs or alcohol
• Abusive language, bullying behavior or violent images
• Any personally identifiable information

This list probably doesn’t cover every type of content that we consider inappropriate, and we may decide that something you have posted is inappropriate even if it isn’t covered by this list.

Right to UGC

In order to post UGC to Gamestar or publish games containing UGC, you must have the right to use that UGC. To help understand if you have a right to use a piece of UGC, you should think about a few things:

• Did you make the UGC yourself? For example, if you drew a picture yourself that you want to use as a game background, then you made it. If you searched for a picture on the Internet that someone else made, then you didn't
• Does the UGC contain only your original ideas? For example, if your picture is of an alien world that you just dreamed up, then it's your original idea. If your picture is of Factory 7, it's not your original idea (unless you work here at Gamestar Mechanic!).

If you answered 'no' to either of these questions, then it's probably not OK for you to use that particular piece of UGC without getting permission from the person who made it or whose original idea it was. By adding a piece of UGC to Gamestar, you're saying that you have a right to use it, so make sure you've thought about these questions carefully.

Don't worry if you don't feel like you have good ideas or know how to create your own UGC: it turns out there are lots of ways that you can find UGC that others have created and already given you permission to use (and you didn't even know it!). You'll learn more about this when you earn the right to use UGC inside Gamestar by completing your UGC Certification.

And by the way: it's ok if you want to draw a picture of Factory 7 to use as a game background. We give you permission!

Safety, Privacy and Legal Issues

In addition to the rules above, for safety, privacy and legal reasons, you may not use any UGC image that contains a minor child (a person under 18) or a recognizable human face.

How we enforce these rules

The people who run Gamestar Mechanic do everything we can to keep the community safe and fun. We do a few different things to try to tell when users have broken – or are in danger of breaking – the Rules of Conduct.

First, we have automated software tools that try to detect things like inappropriate language. Sometimes, these tools can catch the rule violation as soon as it happens and prevent the user from, say, creating a user name with a bad word in it. At other times, these tools may not be sure if something is ok or not. In these cases, the item is reviewed by a human moderator, who makes a decision about whether it really is ok or not.

Throughout Gamestar Mechanic, we have placed “Report Abuse” buttons. If you come across something in Gamestar Mechanic that you believe violates the Rules of Conduct, you should click the “Report Abuse” button. You will be asked to complete an abuse report describing what you saw and why you believe it is against the rules. We take these abuse reports very seriously, and every one of them is reviewed by one of our human moderators, who are trained to take appropriate action if they determine that abuse has occurred.

We created the Report Abuse tool as a way for mechanics to help us make the community a safe place. Only use it to report real cases of abuse: things that are against the rules. Don’t use the Report Abuse tool just because someone has given your game a low rating or left a (non-abusive) comment on your game saying that it isn’t their favorite. Don’t use the Report Abuse tool to ‘get even’ with a mechanic you don’t like when no abuse really happened. Making false reports of abuse like this can result in our moderators taking action against the user who made the false reports like warning them or suspending their accounts.

Lastly, our human moderators actively check in on what’s going on throughout Gamestar Mechanic. They visit different areas of the site, review system records and take appropriate action if they find anything that’s not right. While they are not able to visit or review 100% of what goes on in Gamestar Mechanic in this way, they may take action anywhere and at any time – even when there have been no reports of abuse or automated alerts from the system.

What we do when rules are broken

If our moderators decide that a rule has been broken, they are instructed to take action to correct the situation. This means that the moderator will, for example, remove a game from Game Alley if its title has a bad word in it or remove an abusive comment from a page in Game Alley. When they remove things like this, the moderators will send a notification to the user who posted them telling them what was removed and why.

Sometimes, our moderators will need to take disciplinary action against a user for breaking the rules. Our moderators decide when and what disciplinary action is needed based on how severe the rule violation was and how the mechanic has behaved in the past. Disciplinary actions may include

• A warning letting the user know that what he did was wrong and why.
• Putting a temporary ban on the user’s account that will prevent him from logging in to Gamestar Mechanic. A temporary ban might last only a day or several weeks depending on how severe the rule violation was.
• Permanently banning the user from accessing Gamestar Mechanic.

We don’t like to have to take disciplinary action, and we especially don’t like having to tell mechanics that they can’t use Gamestar Mechanic (either for a little while or forever). We know that even responsible mechanics make mistakes sometimes, so we try to educate and warn users whenever possible if they do something against the rules. But if we have to, we will ban users who break rules in spite of repeated warnings, do things that are really bad or break the rules on purpose. We do this to keep our community the kind of place that both we and most of our users want it to be.
How to contact us

If you have questions or concerns regarding these Rules of Conduct, you can contact us via email at or at

Gamestar Mechanic
c/o E-Line Media
1295 W. Washington Street
Suite 105
Tempe, AZ 85281