How to Report Gamestar Mechanic Users for Unacceptable Behavior

If a user is doing something unacceptable on the site, whether by way of a game, a review, or a comment, you can report that person. This action sends a message to the site administrators and calls attention to the problem.

Types of unacceptable behavior

Here are a few types of unacceptable behavior that you can legitimately report:

  • Personal attacks: These remarks directly insult or disrespect other people. The comment “This game is boring” isn’t a very good review because it doesn’t offer any constructive or specific feedback; however, it isn’t negative enough to be flagged. A comment such as “You’re a bad designer,” though, should be flagged. Such personal attacks are belittling and can be particularly damaging to those who are inexperienced with media literacy.

  • Explicit content: This content is rare because reviews and comments are filtered, and custom backgrounds must be approved by administrators. However, if you discover that someone has made the effort to hide explicit content in a game, whether it’s profane or suggestive, you should flag it. A major draw of Gamestar Mechanic is its safe environment for all ages, which is made possible by users reporting inappropriate content.

  • Discriminatory or abusive language: Even if a remark isn’t directed at a specific person, discrimination is a major offense and may make some users uncomfortable expressing themselves. To keep Gamestar bias-free, report anything unpleasant that’s being said about a specific group or demographic.

  • Plagiarism: When you plagiarize, you copy someone else’s work and use it like it’s your own. Plagiarizers usually lift concepts from other users or “borrow” visual elements made by other artists without citation or permission. Parodies do not count as plagiarism.

    Don’t make too much of a stretch when reporting plagiarism. A game may have been “inspired” by another game or copied inadvertently, so flag only games that exactly replicate large portions of a game.

  • Personal identification: If someone posts information about himself, such as his full name or phone number, you should report the incident, for the safety of the poster. Locations such as home addresses or schools are especially troublesome because the user is providing personal information that should not be shared with strangers. Read the rules of conduct to see what information should not be posted.

Reporting another Gamestar Mechanic user for abuse is a serious action, so carefully consider the consequences. If you call too much false attention with your reports, you may be the one who is reprimanded instead.

Reporting a user to administrators

If you find reportable content on the site, follow these general steps to report a user as abusive:

  1. Click the Flag button by the review, comment, or game you want to report.

    In the upper-right corner of every review or comment is a triangular button marked with an exclamation point (!); a similar button is in the upper-right corner of a player page so that you can flag the game itself.

    The Report Abuse page appears.

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  2. In the large text box, explain why you’re reporting the review, comment, or game you flagged.

    This step helps the administrators understand where to look when verifying your claim.

  3. Click the box labeled I Have Read the Rules of Conduct and Promise I Am Submitting a Real Abuse Report.

    By selecting this check box, you acknowledge that you understand what makes an action reportable and that you accept any consequences of ignoring these rules.

  4. Click Submit Report.

    Your report is sent to the site’s administrators.

After the administrators read and assess your report, they will e-mail you and send a message to your message box in the Gamestar Mechanic lobby. This message lets you know whether the administrators found your report to be valid. It may take a while to receive this message, depending on how busy the administrators are.

If an administrator decides that your report is valid, one of the following actions is taken:

  • The user receives a warning. If the user hasn’t made a habit of this behavior, the administrators generally send a warning to the user’s message box. This warning details the offense and why the behavior is not acceptable on the site, giving the user a chance to start following the rules without receiving punishment.

  • The user is temporarily suspended. This is a harsher warning that prevents the reported user from accessing the website for a certain number of days.

  • The user is banned. This is only for very severe or repetitive violations of the Gamestar Mechanic rules. Reported users permanently lose access to their account.

  • The user is IP-banned. This punishment prevents banned users from simply creating new accounts. Every computer has an IP address, which can be read over the Internet. If a user gets IP-banned, the user’s computer is permanently blocked from the Gamestar Mechanic website.

Filing a successful report rewards you with lots of citizen experience points (known as cXP). It also helps keep Gamestar Mechanic a safe and fun environment for other users.