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Twitch bans Adults Only-rated games from streaming

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Streaming service Twitch says it will no longer allow games rated AO, or "Adults Only" by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, to be streamed on its platform. "Simply put, AO games are not welcome on Twitch," the company wrote on its official blog today.

"Previously, we made game-specific decisions about which games would and would not be available for broadcast — sometimes due to overtly sexual content, sometimes due to gratuitous violence," a post from the company reads. "This is unsustainable and unclear, generating only further confusion among Twitch broadcasters. We would like to make this policy as transparent as possible."

Twitch says it's updating its rules of conduct "to create a safe, welcoming, inclusive community platform where everyone can feel comfortable and have fun."

Very few titles rated by the ESRB are hit with an AO rating. The ratings board's website currently lists 26 titles rated AO — or temporarily rated AO, as in the case of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which was given that rating after sexually explicit material was uncovered in that game.

Twitch explicitly names three games that will be banned due to their AO rating: Manhunt 2Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy: Director's Cut and upcoming mass shooter game Hatred. The company also prohibits titles like Second Life, BMX XXX and Sakura Spirit from being streamed based on their content.

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