It seems that YouTube is finally making some changes to how it treats its content providers, and with all of the recent controversy its easy to see why. In the past, any content (particularly video game content) that contained "scripted or simulated violence" would be slapped with an age restriction, which would make the video harder for people to watch.
"We've heard loud and clear that our policies need to differentiate between real world vs simulated violence, and we're updating our enforcement to reflect that," wrote the YouTube Gaming team in a Monday tweet. Now, due to the update to YouTube's policy, these types of videos have a better chance of being approved instead of getting hit by an age restriction.
This isn't the first time in 2019 that YouTube has changed its policies. It's well known that YouTube's policies toward real-world violence are strict, and in light of the new policy this will largely remain the case. The new policy revolves largely around simulated violence, but even then there are still degrees of restriction.
For example, if video games have particularly "violent or gory imagery", such as a compilation of gory kills, then YouTube may still age restrict it. "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," Google stated in a recent post on its new support blog. "So we want to make sure we're enforcing our violent or graphic content policies consistently."
YouTube's global head of gaming and virtual reality said that the YouTube Gaming team has spent a "tremendous amount of time on this", with the goal of ensuring that the Gaming Creator community is given full transparency around video content. With these new Community Guidelines, the gaming uploads of tomorrow will now face approval, rather than age-restricting.
This will be groundbreaking for streamers looking to expand their following, and will result in hopefully better content down the line with these newfound freedoms. With the growing relevance of content creators in our culture, it seems YouTube has found a way to give players better content, while still reducing their exposure to potentially shocking and disgusting content.
With Google blazing trails on the cloud-gaming front with the recent release of Google Stadia, it seems this decision might have been made with their new baby in mind.