YouTube is making a significant change in how it will moderate content that shows video game violence. Starting today, the company says it will treat "scripted or simulated" violence in games the same way that it approaches violence in TV shows and movies.
According to the company, the change means fewer gaming videos on YouTube will be age-gated, allowing more people to see them. YouTube does, however, note that it plans to continue restricting content where the sole focus of the video is on the violent content itself.
Starting today, scripted or simulated violence in video games will be treated the same as violence in other scripted content like movies & TV.— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) December 2, 2019
This means future gaming uploads w/ scripted or simulated violence may get approved instead of age-restricted https://t.co/N2tJf3ersR https://t.co/W0jB8pr8ax
"We know there's a difference between real-world violence and scripted or simulated violence – such as what you see in movies, TV shows, or video games – so we want to make sure we're enforcing our violent or graphic content policies consistently," the company said by way of explanation for the policy change on one of its support pages.
YouTube hinted it was working on a new policy on video game policy late last month when CEO Susan Wojcicki said the company was trying to find companies who would be willing to advertise against more "edgy" content. In that respect, it's worth noting that the company hasn't changed its guidelines on advertiser-friendly content. Videos that show gratuitous amounts of violence will still go largely unmonetized.