YouTube Is Relaxing Its Rules Against Video Game Violence

YouTube Is Relaxing Its Rules Against Video Game Violence

In a “Policy enforcement update” posted earlier today, YouTube announced a series of changes coming to the site’s content moderation, most of them centred around new distinctions between actual real-world violence and the “scripted or simulated violence” you see in video games.

Starting today, “scripted or simulated violent content found in video games will be treated the same as other types of scripted content”, rather than as depictions of actual violence. Uploads made in the future that depict video game violence may also be “approved instead of being age-restricted.”

This basically means that less videos will be age-gated going forwards for simply showing scenes of video game violence. With a catch: clips focusing on a gory part of a game, or where violence is the sole focus, may still be age-restricted.

YouTube’s advertising policy, meanwhile, remains exactly the same, so violent videos can still have their ability to sell commercials limited.


  • did i miss the articles about how youtubers are having their accounts hacked and youtube is doing nothing to help them?

    what about youtube marking peoples content as unsuitable for advertisers and paying them nothing while they still run adds on the video and make money for themselves.

      • i valid argument in theory if Kotaku stuck to this and didn’t routinely cover things unrelated to video games i would say “my bad good point”.

        And by cover i mean they take some tiny game related issue that spans all of half a paragraph and use it a s springboard to write pages and pages about other topics.

        This change of heart about video game violence content on youtube as a segue into the other things i listed is more of a robust link than many articles i have seen here in the last couple of years.

        Then again i suppose it is worth encouraging Kotaku to stick to video games so i am probably in the wrong anyway.

    • Are you referring to something in particular?

      There were some hacks in the last couple of months and Youtube making money off demonetised videos isn’t exactly new but there’s nothing new out there about any of it.

      • in terms of the hacks i think you make the case yourself i guess it all revolves around what can be considered new.

        I consider the hacks to be recent news and you clearly don’t so i guess we have different perspectives, perhaps the authors here share your perspective i’m more inclined to believe that they would have written about it already had a channel they like been hacked.

        • Yeah I imagine it all comes down to if it enters their sphere, either by widespread mainstream coverage, close proximity or a tip off.

          I heard about one larger gaming YouTuber getting hacked last month but last I heard it was fixed and he kept it mostly within his own sphere and contacts.

          • well there are people who are not being helped at all despite themselves and other larger youtubers getting into contact with youtube, small political channels (on the right i know big shock) even one channel that just made a really nice short warhammer 40k film thing called astartes for some reason getting ignored.

          • Careful, there’s a big difference between being ignored, going through the long arduous process of getting a hacked account back through official channels and folks who capitalise on the events.

            Astartes seems to have finally begun the process but it looks like his original account has been deleted.

  • It’d be nice if the article actually gave us some context about what the differences in policies are and how they affect the content and approval process rather than just assume we already know what the problem being fixed was.

    Was all video game content with violence being restricted to 18+ viewers? Was there some approval process that meant it didn’t get published immediately? Does YouTube follow classification rulings? How does simulated violence differ from “real-life” violence?

    • i doubt they can youtube doesn’t give specifics about their rules ever, otherwise it would be harder to arbitrarily enforce them.

    • Yeah, I’m pretty sure I once sat through a marathon of every Mortal Kombat fatality across the entire franchise, and the most recent ones were too much for me that I stopped of my own accord. YouTube did nothing to protect me from that.

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