Content Guidelines for Authors

Last Updated: June 30, 2022

American University strongly believes in freedom of speech, however we do limit the Contents of the activities that you can create with Hive Mechanic if they are hosted on our servers. (These guidelines do NOT apply if you install your own copy of Hive Mechanic; if you want to download the software behind Hive Mechanic for free and operate it yourself, you can do so with relatively few restrictions.) The hosted version of Hive Mechanic is provided as a Service that limits the content you can submit in order to meet the conditions of our funding and/or to ensure the Activities created with the Service are not harmful.

These guidelines are in addition to the Author Terms of Service, and if there is any confusion or conflict the Terms of Service should take precedent.

The following Content and activities are NOT allowed:

No timed races or use of screens while players are in motion: No timed races through physical space. No screens while players are in motion. We do not allow activities that could lead to personal injury, including timed races, as well as activities that encourage or support looking at screens while moving (e.g., looking at mobile devices while crossing streets or driving).

Using library grounds or materials without permission is not allowed. Before hosting an activity on library grounds or with library resources, make sure to check with library staff. Many times, you will not need special permission — but it’s always better to ask. Similarly, do not use the library’s name without the permission of library staff.

Intellectual property infringement is not allowed. Hive Mechanic is a publishing, rather than a file sharing platform, so we recognize that copyrighted materials are often used in fair use context.

Pornography is not allowed. We know that there may be different definitions; we generally define pornography as visual depictions of sexually explicit acts. Nudity, in and of itself, is fine.

Gambling is not allowed. Discussing gambling isn’t a problem. But you may not operate a  gambling service. We do not allow betting or placing wagers. All activities must be free to play. We do not allow cash prizes to be distributed as part of activities organized using, but you may give out gift certificates valued at less than $200 USD.

Technologically harmful content. Please don’t upload or link to malware, spyware, adware, or other malicious or destructive code.

Impersonation. Don’t claim to be a person or organization you’re not. (Parody and satire are ok though!)

Calls to violence. We prohibit content that incites, encourages, threatens, or promotes acts of violence against individuals or groups of people. We also prohibit content that glorifies acts of violence or its perpetrators.

Posting private information. Don’t share someone’s personal information without their consent. This includes collecting sensitive information such as account passwords and credit card numbers, to name a couple. We generally discourage collecting personally-identifiable information unless necessary (e.g., considering using screen names rather than full or even first names).

Advertising. Advertising of commercial goods and services isn’t permitted.

Hot-linking. Your Hive Mechanic site shouldn’t host files that will only be used on other sites.

Bear in mind that the limitations above are just guidelines — and the interpretations are solely up to us. These guidelines are not exhaustive and are subject to change.

If you believe a Hive Mechanic Author has violated our Terms of Service or any of our policies, please contact us. We aim to promptly review and investigate all complaints that we receive, but if and how we respond will depend on a variety of factors, such as the information available to us and the type of violation. We may also contact the content creator to inform him/her of the complaint.