YouTube revises guidelines to distinguish between real-world and video game violence

YouTube revises guidelines to distinguish between real-world and video game violence

YouTube has refined its violence policies to cater to gaming creators on the platform.

The platform detailed the updates in a new blog post, explaining that "scripted or simulated violence" - such as fighting scenes in video games or movies - will be treated the same as other variations of scripted content.

This means that creators will not have videos age-restricted if it features video game violence. YouTube may still age-restrict content if it's particularly gory or heavily tuned towards violence in a game, but the restrictions will be relaxed substantially to benefit gaming YouTubers.

The new update will come into play from December 12th. While the revised guidelines benefit creators, the update doesn't affect YouTube's separate advertiser-friendly guidelines. Advertisers still reserve the right to decide where their ads appear even if content falls within the platform's rules.

Show me the money

Following a $170m fine from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for violating child privacy laws, YouTube is in the process of refining how it monetises and promotes certain types of content.

As part of the reformation, every creator on the platform must declare whether their content is child-friendly or not. YouTube will also use machine-learning to further identify content targeted at kids. 

The platform may also stop serving personalised adverts alongside content that is aimed at children. It warns that this may result in a decrease in revenue for some creators, particularly those with a strong focus on content for young audiences.


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.