Twitch has announced that they are no longer allowing for the streaming of games that have an ESRB rating of Adult Only. However, they will allowed for the slightly more mellowed down Matured versions of the same titles. This will allow for games such as Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy and Grand Theft Auto: San Andres to still be viewed, so long as the correct copy is used.
Strangely enough, the only difference between the mature label and the adult only label on Grand Theft Auto: San Andres is nudity. It is apparently not intense violence, use of drugs, strong language, strong sexual content, or blood and gore that make something adult only. It is nudity. Even more shocking is the difference between the mature rating and the adult rating on the directors cut of Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy is that the mature rated game only has partial nudity.
In an attempt to make Twitch a more “safe, welcoming, inclusive community” they have essentially cut out the parts of the body seen when getting changed or looking around an art museum. Not surprisingly the responses to this announcement have pointed out some major flaws. While the ESRB rating system exists for a reason, it is somewhat strange that it frowns upon the human body, which is perfectly fine in private, more than it does acts which are illegal.
However, it will keep from the extremely controversial game, which was briefly pulled from Steam Greenlight, Hatred, from being streamed when it releases on Monday. This game does not contain nudity. Still, the Entertainment Software Rating Bored decided its intense violence, blood and gore and strong language was only suited for adults. With the rating being so rarely given it begs the question what does society actually want censorship at all and if so where is the line drawn? Additionally, would it not make more sense to simply put age restrictions on feeds rather than not allow them?