Google has announced changes in policy enforcement relating to real-world vs scripted or simulated violence in video games for YouTube. Before, violent video game videos on YouTube were age-restricted but now, they have released a statement that reads “Heads up for all Gaming Creators: 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. Starting on 12/2, scripted or simulated violent content found in video games will be treated the same as other types of scripted content.”
For Gaming Creators, this means that future gaming uploads that include scripted or simulated violence may be approved instead of being age-restricted as it was in the past before the new policy. Google says that there will be fewer restrictions for violence in gaming, but they still want to protect audiences from real-world violence.
A Google employee said “To clarify, we may still age-restrict gaming videos if violence is the sole focus – more graphic scenes like dismemberment, decapitations, showing of human corpses with these severe injuries may be age-restricted, while less graphic content may be approved.”
It is worth noting that while Google has changed the policy on videos, their advertising policy remains the same so violent videos will go unmonetized. Google’s advertiser-friendly content’s list of main topics that are not advertiser-friendly includes inappropriate language, violence, adult content, harmful or dangerous acts, hateful content, incendiary and demeaning, recreational drugs and drug-related content, tobacco-related content, firearms-related content, controversial issues and sensitive events, and adult themes in family content.
YouTube’s definition of violence is “content where the focal point is on blood, violence, or injury when presented without additional context, is not suitable for advertising. If you’re showing violent content in a news, educational, artistic, or documentary context, that additional context is important. Violence in the normal course of video gameplay is generally acceptable for advertising, but montages, where gratuitous violence is the focal point, is not.”