On June 15, global auction site eBay will be implementing a new “Adult Items Policy,” and it goes a lot harder on mature content than simply outlawing the sale of pornography.
The site’s new guidelines take a huge step towards banning (or greatly restricting) the sale of all kinds of sexual content, from art to dildos, but you, a reader of a mostly video game-related site, may be more interested in these particular rules:
The following items are not allowed:
- Adult items with content that is illegal
- Item that do not comply with our Illegal explicit content policy
- Sexually oriented materials, including items containing nudity and displays of sexual activitys [sic], are not allowed. This includes the following: Adult films and video games with a rating of X, XXX, R18, or unrated for an adults-only audience
- Sexually explicit anime, comics, books, films, animation, manga, hentai, yaoi
eBay is also removing the “adults only” category, which means “items in the [adult only video games category] are no longer permitted on eBay”. The site’s explanation for the crackdown says, “We want to make adult items available to those who wish to purchase them and can do so legally, while preventing those who do not wish to view or purchase these items from easily accessing them.”
This is incredibly shitty for artists and creators in this space, but there are also aspects of this that are alarming for games without an overt “adult” or sexual subject matter. Australia, for example, rates a lot of major video games R18, from Grand Theft Auto V to Disco Elysium. (I’ve contacted eBay to clarify how the new guidelines affect this and will update if I hear back.)
UPDATE: eBay Australia has its own version of the guidelines, which haven’t been changed (unlike the US rules above), and so the sale of games like GTAV has been and will remain unaffected.