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Twitch changes its rules of conduct to forbid topless and "sexually suggestive" streaming

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Twitch

You may have the body of a Greek god, all rippling muscle and taut sinew, but no matter how good you look in a Speedo (or out of one), Twitch would very much appreciate it if you'd keep yourself covered up while you're streaming on its service. In fact, it's gone so far as to insist on it, with an update to its rules of conduct mandating that all streamers dress "appropriately."

"Nerds are sexy, and you're all magnificent, beautiful creatures, but let's try and keep this about the games, shall we?" the "Dress... appropriately" section of the Twitch Rules of Conduct states. "Wearing no clothing or sexually suggestive clothing—including lingerie, swimsuits, pasties, and undergarments—is prohibited, as well as any full nude torsos, which applies to both male and female broadcasters. You may have a great six-pack, but that's better shared on the beach during a 2-on-2 volleyball game blasting 'Playing with the Boys.'"

If you happen to be broadcasting from an "unbearably hot" location, the solution is simple. "Just crop the webcam to your face," the rule states. "Problem solved."

Was this actually a problem? I'm much more of a reader than a watcher, but I've never heard of this being an issue prior to now. I can't say I'd be surprised if it was—sex sells, after all—but did it really need to be spelled out in the rules? Or is this tightening of the terms merely an inevitable outcome of Twitch's recent acquisition by mega-conglomerate Amazon?

Whatever the motivation, Twitch seemed inclined to play down the significance of the change. A PR rep told Polygon, "We wanted to clarify the ages-old question of dress code," and added, "It's not what I would call breaking news since most of it is common sense."

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.