Monday, October 19, 2020

YouTube is Relaxing Their Restrictions on Video Game Violence

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Jessica Lamb
Jessica Lamb was born and raised in Fennville, Michigan. She attended Aquinas College where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Creative Writing. Since then, she has dedicated herself to spreading the word about all things nerd culture.

The winds of change are finally arriving at YouTube. For many years, YouTube has upheld a strict policy of restricting violent content in their videos. These restrictions often do not differentiate between fake violence in media and real-world violence. That’s about to change though with YouTube’s latest “policy enforcement update.”

YouTube’s newest policy changes are all about the site’s content moderation. Most of these changes are centering around new distinctions between real-world violence and “scripted or simulated violence.” The new changes identify video game violence as simulated violence. This is good news because it means games containing violence will suffer from far fewer restrictions than they previously have. In fact, many scenes of gaming violence will now be “approved instead of being age-restricted.”

Let’s be realistic, it’s pretty hard to make a lot of games without some confrontation and violence

This means that many gaming videos will no longer be age-restricted. Previously, content creators could lose out on large numbers of views simply because the game they played contained scenes of violence. Now, those creators will be able to post their content with fewer concerns over YouTube’s often over-bearing censorship and restrictions. YouTube’s policy change does not mean a free-for-all in violence though. Clips focusing on gory sections of games or where violence is the focus will remain age-restricted. These restrictions are very similar to ones already in place for scenes of violence in movies and other forms of media.

Meanwhile, YouTube’s advertising policy remains unaffected by these new policy changes. In fact, videos containing violent content will still remain far more restricted in their ability to sell commercials. Thus, these newest changes seem to provide far more opportunities to consumers than they do to creators. Regardless, the shift in policy is refreshing to see for gaming fans tired of over-the-top restrictions.

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