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YouTube is changing how it moderates violent video game content

If showcasing gore isn’t the main reason for the video, violent video game content will no longer get restricted

Captain Price, in military gear with a helmet cam, holding an assault rifle in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Infinity Ward/Activision

YouTube will no longer restrict violent video game content starting today, as announced in a new Google support post.

This means that “future gaming uploads that include scripted or simulated violence may be approved instead of being age-restricted” and that “there will be fewer restrictions for violence in gaming.” Google will continue to protect viewers from real-world violence, though. Likewise, if the video solely centers on gory content, like “dismemberment, decapitations, [or] showing of human corpses with severe injuries,” it’ll still likely get age-restricted.

While this change will help creators uploading videos of Call of Duty and Gears of War gameplay avoid getting age-restricted, this change has no effect on the advertiser-friendly guidelines, which means that gratuitous depictions of violence in video games still may face limited or no ads, depending on the situation.

“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 videos games — so we want to make sure we’re enforcing our violent or graphic content policies consistently,” a YouTube representative said in the company’s support post.

Last year, even a White House video depicting violence in video games was restricted, making it so any YouTube viewers using Restricted Mode, a setting typically used in schools and libraries, couldn’t view it. Because the focus of that particular video is to showcase gore in video games, it likely still won’t be unrestricted.

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