In a questionable move that we’re sure won’t go down too well with gamers, Twitch has actually banned all footage of adults only video games from their service.
In other words, if a game has anything more than an M rating, the game cannot be broadcast in a Twitch livestream. This includes such popular games as Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and Manhunt 2, as well as various less popular and indie titles.
So what do we think of the idea? Well to be honest, we’re not a fan of it. And there are a few distinct reasons for this:
1. Video games are going to get more and more ‘edgy’ as the medium becomes more popular. Remember, a lot of what was considered ‘obscene’ or ‘offensive’ in the 90s or 00s is now seen as rather tame, and that’s only going to get more and more the case as time goes on. By banning games with a certain rating, Twitch is losing out on the popularity than games with said rating might bring, especially if they’re part of an extremely popular franchise like the GTA one.
2. It’s overkill to ban a whole rating worth of video games from a service just to be more ‘family friendly’ or ‘mainstream’. Wouldn’t the easiest answer be just to add an age gate before videos of certain games and make the viewer enter their date of birth to continue?
Actually, doesn’t that already happen? We swear we something similar on one of these live streaming services. Why change it?
3. Wasn’t at least one of the mentioned games only hit with an age rating because of a hidden mini game that was supposedly cut before the release date? Shouldn’t that just be ignored as far as age ratings go?
But yes, Twitch has banned video games of AO rating games. It won’t apply to those only rated as such elsewhere (so no censorship because of the overly harsh German or Chinese censors then), but we think it’s still a questionable move that has no real positive effects for the service.