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YouTube lightens up about videogame violence

YouTube’s ever-changing content and advertising guidelines have taken creators on numerous rides over the past several years, but the latest changes sound like they’ll offer a bit more freedom to folks who focus on violent titles. Starting today, YouTube’s community guidelines will treat videogame violence the same as other scripted violence – though there have been no changes to the existing, separate guidelines for what’s ‘advertiser-friendly.’

In short, YouTube says that these changes will make videogame violence more likely to be approved, and less likely to be age-restricted. The exception is if you’ve got a video that’s exclusively about gore and violence, so your compilation of Mortal Kombat fatalities or gnarly headshots in FPS games are still likely to be age-restricted.

The revised guidelines are basically in line with the existing advertiser-friendly recommendations, which say that “violence in the normal course of video gameplay is generally acceptable for advertising, but montages where gratuitous violence is the focal point is not” – though that standard has been somewhat erratically enforced.