|This page documents an English Wikipedia behavioral guideline.|
|This page in a nutshell: Playing games with policies and guidelines to avoid the spirit of consensus, or thwart the intent and spirit of the policy, is strictly forbidden.|
Gaming the system means deliberately misusing Wikipedia policy or process for personal advantage at the expense of other editors or the Wikipedia community. This may range from bad faith attempts to thwart the aims of Wikipedia, to simply engineering "victory" in a content dispute or an untoward result in an RfC or other community discussion. Gaming the system may represent an abuse of process, disruptive editing, or otherwise evading the spirit of community consensus. Editors typically game the system to make a point, to further an edit war, or to enforce a specific non-neutral point of view.
If an editor finds a loophole or trick that allows them to evade community standards or misuse administrator tools, it should not be treated the same as a good-faith mistake. However, Wikipedia sanctions are meant to be preventative, not punitive. A warning from an administrator is usually the best way to prevent gaming, because a clear warning should help correct both good-faith mistakes and bad-faith games. If an editor ignores a warning and repeats their behavior, or if they find new creative ways to achieve the same disruption, it is likely that editor is gaming the system in bad faith.