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YouTube Gaming launches 'simulated vs real-world' violence guidelines

In an effort to differentiate violent content in games, YouTube Gaming content creators are getting new guidelines that should keep them from being tagged as real-world violence.


There’s no doubt that many of YouTube’s policy and format changes over the years have left content creators running in circles when it comes to what they should or shouldn’t do to keep their channels in good standing. The rules about length, content types, and monetization have seemed to shift with the seasons, but YouTube Gaming is at least aiming to address one issue for gaming content creators regarding violent video game content. A new set of guidelines is finally about to set gaming apart from the YouTube guidelines for real-world violence.

YouTube Gaming announced the introduction of its new “simulated vs real-world violence’ guidelines on December 2, 2019 in a blog post on YouTube. The guidelines are set to treat violent content the same in games as it is treated with movies and TV shows and will therefore be judged differently when it comes to matters like age restriction. That said, videos that focus primarily on graphic and violent content can still face restriction.

YouTube Gaming's new rules should bring consistency to the rules that determine the presence of violence in gaming, movie, and TV videos.
YouTube Gaming's new rules should bring consistency to the rules that determine the presence of violence in gaming, movie, and TV videos.

YouTube stated that these guidelines will go into effect starting on December 2 for gaming content creators. It’s worth noting that these guidelines are not a replacement for advertiser-friendly guidelines, which are still considered to be their own thing. Even so, for content creators that make videos based around violent games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Mortal Kombat 11, and other such games where graphic content is common, it should be a welcome change.

YouTube still has a long way to go in ironing out their policies. It’s a wonder that video game content wasn’t already treated the same as TV shows and movies when it came to real-life vs simulated violence in the first place and it’s indicative of the little things the video platform hasn’t taken into account as it enforces strict ruling on various things like advertisement, monetization, and age restriction. That said, there’s no harm in steps forward. Where Mortal Kombat 11 videos and the like were getting flagged regularly before, now it should be easier for these videos to exist under YouTube Gaming’s new guidelines.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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