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What is Yandere Simulator, and why has Twitch banned it?

"Was it the partial nudity, the slaughtering of schoolchildren, or something else entirely?"

Yandere Simulator, an in-development anime game in which you murder schoolchildren and take pictures of girls' pants, has been banned from Twitch - much to the annoyance of its legion of fans.

The one-man creator of Yandere Simulator, whose video updates on development regularly enjoy hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, confirmed the news in a tweet that included a list of games already banned by Twitch.

So, what is Yandere Simulator? It's been described as Hitman meets Japanese high school. You play a jealous anime schoolgirl who murders anyone who dares to capture the attention of her "crush". According to the developer's blog, a "yandere" is a girl who "loves a boy so much that she is willing to threaten, harm, or kill any other girl who seems interested in him".

It's the work of "YandereDev", of Temecula, California, who says he worked at a video game company for three years before going freelance.

Development began in April 2014. Since then, the creator has made test builds available for download and released a raft of progress updates that reveal the various ways you're able to murder your rivals. You can poison, electrocute, drown and stab, and gag, kidnap and torture rival schoolmates to drive them to commit suicide or murder.

The video, below, shows off some of the gameplay.

Yandere Simulator's schoolchildren violence might have sparked Twitch into action. Or, Twitch might have picked up on the fact you can take panty shots of under-age girls and send them to other in-game characters. Or, maybe Twitch noticed you can make your character run around in the nude, with odd-looking clouds just about covering up private parts.

According to Twitch's Rules of Content:

  • Content that exclusively focuses on extreme or gratuitous gore and violence is prohibited.

And:

  • Nudity can't be a core focus or feature of the game in question, and modded nudity is disallowed in its entirety. Occurrences of in-game nudity are permitted, so long as you do not make them a primary focus of your broadcast and only spend as much time as needed in the area to progress the game's story.

As you'd expect, Twitch's decision sparked a vociferous debate about whether it was right to ban Yandere Simulator (the r/games thread on Reddit linking to YandereDev's tweet has, at the time of publication, over 1200 comments). Some have questioned the decision, saying it's hypocritical of Twitch to ban Yandere Simulator when other games that contain violence, torture and nudity such as Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Witcher 3 are allowed. Others counter by saying it's no surprise Yandere Simulator was banned, given it features under-age schoolchildren.

What next for Yandere Simulator on Twitch? The developer, who had planned to stream the game's development, called on Twitch to explain its decision. He seems willing to make a change, too, if it will help:

Yandere Simulator fans, though, have called on the developer to refuse to budge.

In just under two years Yandere Simulator has generated a huge fanbase. Its YouTube channel has just shy of 400,000 subscribers, and video updates regularly enjoy over half a million views each. Some have seen over 1m views. The developer's Patreon pulls in over $4000 a month. The game itself has been downloaded 5m times.

The developer's best estimate is that Yandere Simulator will be finished in 2019. A Kickstarter is planned.

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