Mortal Kombat 11 gore likely pushes YouTube to update violent game policy

YouTube’s policies have often had a negative effects on some of its creators and its stance on violence was no different. A handful of YouTubers and plenty of videos containing footage from violent video game were often automatically flagged as real-world violence were thus demonetized. Games like Mortal Kombat 11 were often subjected to this sort of punishment. To kombat combat this, YouTube has finally begun implementing protections to treat “scripted violence” in video games like other sorts of scripted content.

YouTube announced this change on its support page earlier today. It stated that YouTube knows about the difference between graphic content in the real world and the scripted kind in media and wanted to ensure that the platform was consistently applying its rules.

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“Starting on 12/2, scripted or simulated violent content found in video games will be treated the same as other types of scripted content,” read the post.

Mortal Kombat 11 controversy pushes YouTube to update violent game policy

This new rule change seems to only be forward-looking as the article points out that “future gaming uploads that include scripted or simulated violence may be approved instead of being age-restricted.” It also doesn’t seem like it will solve every problem that violent video games will face. The post also noted that while there will be “fewer restrictions” around gaming violence, the policy still aims to “still maintain our high bar to protect audiences from real-world violence.” YouTube is also open to age-restricting content if “gory imagery is the sole focus of the video.” That is vague language but it sounds like Fatality montages would still likely be hit with age-restriction.

While other violent games have likely been effected by this scrutiny, the aforementioned Mortal Kombat 11 is likely one of the bigger reasons YouTube is relaxing some of its policies and changing others. Mortal Kombat 11 is the fifth best-selling game of the year and has a sizable YouTube and Twitch audience because its competitive nature and name recognition. Violence and how core it is to the second-to-second gameplay has made it tricky for content creators to make videos about the game, as most have to go in and re-edit the game’s Krushing Blows, Fatal Blows, and Fatalities to dodge YouTube censors. It’s also why many tutorials are played against D’Vorah, the game’s bug-like fighter, because her turquoise blood seems to not get flagged.

Creators like Maximilian Dood, the platform’s biggest fighting game YouTuber, have even gone on about the subject, describing how tricky it is to put your livelihood in a game that won’t get you as much money. There are also multiple YouTubers who almost solely play NetherRealm’s games who have echoed Max’s sentiments. Series Co-Creator Ed Boon even chimed in on Twitter, saying that he hoped it was “good news for Streamers/YouTubers who feature M-rated video games.”