New YouTube age restrictions for video games

Ruben Fields
December 3, 2019

YouTube has published an update on its policy concerning violence featured in video games, reassuring creators that starting today, most videos featuring violent content from these games won't be age-restricted. Today, that came in the form of a YouTube policy enforcement update that relaxes the platform's rules regarding simulated violence in videos.

YouTube said the policy amendments will mean less video content being restricted behind an age-gate, so more viewers will be able to access it.

The news has been met with praise on Twitter and could be beneficial for YouTube Gaming creators that post videos containing violent gameplay.

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However, YouTube has now said that they acknowledge the difference between showing real world vs. simulated violence and will adjust their policies to reflect that. The exception is if you've got a video that's exclusively about gore and violence, so your compilation of Mortal Kombat fatalities or gnarly headshots in FPS games are still likely to be age-restricted.

In addition, YouTube may still age-restrict content if "violent or gory imagery is the sole focus of the video", according to the site.

"There will be fewer restrictions for violence in gaming", YouTube says, "but this policy will still maintain our high bar to protect audiences from real-world violence". While the platform is working on different changes to its monetization system that could pair "edgy" content creators with relevant ads instead of cutting off their revenue entirely, we're still talking about completely separate guidelines.

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