Last updated as of: 25 August, 2010
IMVU Submitted Virtual Goods Rating Policy
The purpose of this policy is to layout a framework for acceptable user generated content, or virtual goods, submitted and/or either sold or distributed via the IMVU catalog. This policy does not cover user behavior with or without goods, in any of IMVU's social mediums; please refer to the IMVU TOS for any use behavior specific guidelines.
For the purpose of this policy, a virtual good is considered: any product submitted to the IMVU catalog for distribution or sale by any party (IMVU or User) that can be used in any of IMVU's social channels, including, but not limited to: 3D objects, 2D objects, meshes, poses/animations, textures, sounds, services, interactive games, multi-state objects (3D & 2D), gadgets/widgets, streaming objects, compilations of objects (outfits, collections, etc), packaged experiences or any combination of the previous items (ex. A 3d object + pose + texture). Both virtual goods and product pages are held to the same standard.
IMVU is a large global community made up of users age 13 and up, including all races, nationalities, and backgrounds. Because of the diversity of our community IMVU needs a comprehensive virtual goods rating process in order to satisfy the needs of various users, be it age, culture, or local laws in order to provide the best possible user experience. Therefore IMVU's policy goals are to:
- Categorize virtual goods with the purpose of being submitted to IMVU's catalog for distribution into three easy to understand and segmented categories,
- Limit IMVU's business to the first two categories, General Audience (GA) and Access Pass Only (APO); with the APO category restricted to users that purchase an Access Pass.
- Provide direction for merchandising and coverage of the goods.
The key sections of this policy are:
- Ratings & Categories
- Music & Miscellaneous
Ratings & Categories
Categorizing content into three categories
IMVU employs a product rating system that seeks to identify those items which are acceptable to all users, versus those acceptable only to an adult audience. We also define items that are unacceptable at IMVU to any audience.
Our three rating categories are:
- General Audience (GA)
- Access Pass Only (AP)
- Unsuitable for IMVU (UFI)
IMVU's content policy strives to do its best in identifying clear guidelines between categories, but, as with any policy, it is impossible to do so without incurring some disagreement. Flexibility is necessary for any longstanding policy. We feel this policy will allow IMVU and the community to adapt to global cultures laws, and to accommodate our community's virtual goods needs as best as possible.
The rating names and definitions are as follows:
- General Audience (GA) - Goods available to all users. Users are required to be 13 years or older, as laid out in the IMVU TOS;
- Access Pass Only (APO) - Goods available only to users aged 18 years or older who have purchased the Access Pass product. The Access Pass is only available to users who are 18 years of age or older, regardless of parental permission;
- Unsuitable for IMVU (UFI) - Goods rated UFI will not be available anywhere on IMVU's website nor will they be usable in any IMVU social platform.
Clarification on ratings
IMVU's rating policy assigns a virtual good a rating based on how well it fits within the one or more of the various categories below. It is possible for an item to fit into multiple categories. Due to this issue if an item falls into any of the APO or UFI categories, then it will be classified as APO or UFI, as appropriate, regardless of other attributes.
Virtual Good categorization
||Access Pass Only
||Unsuitable for IMVU
|Suitable Content Categories
- Cartoon violence
- Body Modification
- Comic mischief
- Crude humor
- Fantasy Violence
- Mild Violence
- Alcohol Use and Reference
- Animated blood
- Blood & Gore
- Mature Humor
- Sexual Themes
- Tobacco Use and Reference
- Copyrighted/TM material
- Cruelty to Animals
- Discriminatory Products
- Drug Use and Reference
- Harm to Minors
- Hate Products
- Intense violence
- Malicious Content
- Nudity: aroused genitals
- Personal Data
- Sexual Violence
- Strong sexual content
- No copyrighted/TM material
- No copyrighted/TM material
Content sub-category definitions
General Audience (GA)
- Blood (GA) - Depictions of blood (non-animated).
- Body Modifications (GA) - Any alterations to the avatar's physical form (ex. Robotic limbs, tattoos, piercings, etc).
- Cartoon Violence (GA) - Violent actions involving cartoon-like situations and characters. May include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted.
- Comic Mischief (GA) - Depictions or dialogue involving slapstick or suggestive humor.
- Crude Humor (GA) - Depictions or dialogue involving vulgar antics, including 'bathroom' humor.
- Edutainment (GA) - Content of product provides user with specific skills development or reinforcement learning within an entertainment setting. Skill development is an integral part of product.
- Fantasy Violence (GA) - Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life.
- Gaming (GA) - Users can play a game, including those of chance, without betting or wagering real or virtual currency.
- Informational (GA) - Overall content of product contains data, facts, resource information, reference materials or instructional text.
- Mild Violence (GA) - Virtual goods depicting characters in mild unsafe and/or violent situations. Also includes realistic weapons that are not used against other avatars or whose intent is not obvious or aggressive harm of other avatars.
Access Pass Only (APO)
- Alcohol Use and Reference (APO) - Reference to and/or images of alcoholic beverages. The consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- Animated Blood (APO) - Animations involving blood.
- Blood and Gore (APO) - Depictions of excess/gratuitous blood or the mutilation of body parts.
- Mature Humor (APO) - Depictions or dialogue involving "adult" humor, including sexual references.
- Nudity (APO) - Virutal goods depicting full or partial nudity, including but not limited to nude humans, nude avatars, skins, and/or products (transparent or otherwise) that cover less than the GA minimum coverage guidelines below. Depiction of uncovered female breasts and un-aroused male or female genitals are considered part of this category.
- Profanity (APO) - Obscene, lewd, or abusive language. IMVU classifies the following words, when used alone, as General Audience and as such they are NOT classified as profanity: Ass, Asshole, Bastard, Bitch, Damn, and/or Hell.
- Sexual Themes (APO) - Mild to moderate sexual references and/or depictions. Includes any sheer/transparent lingerie and undergarments even if they meet the coverage guidelines. Intimate avatar poses, including but not limited to avatar lap straddling, are considered Access Pass Only except in cases where they are sexually graphic and/or explicit in which case they should be considered UFI.
- Tobacco Use and Reference (APO) - Reference to and/or images of tobacco products. The consumption of tobacco products.
Unsuitable for IMVU (UFI)
- Copyright/TM violation (UFI) - To learn more about Trademark violations and IMVU's Copyright (DMCA) policy, click here.
- Cruelty to Animals (UFI) - Any act, depiction or suggestion of violence/sex toward animals.
- Discriminatory Content(UFI) - Anything that overtly harasses, degrades, intimidates or is hateful toward an individual or group of individuals on the basis of religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, nationality, lifestyle or disability.
- Drug Use and Reference (UFI) - Reference, consumption and/or images of any drugs, including that of paraphernalia.
- Harm to Minors (UFI) - Any act, depiction, or suggestion of violence, or sex, to/with minors (anyone under the age of 18).
- Hate Products (UFI) - Virtual goods which represent, promote, advertise, or in any way support, display or depict characterizations of hate-based organizations (ex. Neo-Nazi, KKK, gangs).
- Malicious Content (UFI) - Any virtual goods created to intentionally or otherwise malign or degrade another user.
- Nudity: aroused genitals (UFI) - Depictions of aroused genitalia and/or unrealistc or overly detailed genitals.
- Personal Data (UFI) - Anything that includes personal or identifying information about another, real-life person.
- Sexual Violence (UFI) - Any act, depiction, promotion, or suggestion of rape or other violent, non-consensual sexual acts.
- Strong Sexual Content (UFI) - Graphic references to and/or depictions of sexual acts including, but not limited to, penetration/intercourse, and/or oral sex with or without another avatar or any other object; additionally, this includes any overt sexual toys and/or aides.
- Suicide (UFI) - Any act, depiction, promotion, or suggestion of/to suicide.
- Violence (UFI) - Virtual goods involving aggressive conflict. Includes but is not limited to realistic weapons used against other avatars or whose intent is obvious, aggressive harm of other avatars; any realistic weapons with blood or gore depicted on them or in their use; graphic and/or realistic-looking depictions of physical conflict, graphic violence, dismemberment, self-mutilation, homicide; anything depicting extremely grotesque images or acts.
- Wagering (UFI) - Any betting or wagering of real or virtual currency. This includes URLs or references that lead to gambling sites outside of IMVU.com. Payouts that are carried out outside of IMVU are also prohibited.
Rating assignment and determination
Under the current system, ratings are assigned by the content creator creating the product or by customer service upon review of a flagged product. Users have the ability to determine if their product is GA or APO, however please bear in mind that if a product originally rated as GA is flagged and found by IMVU customer service to be, as an example, APO, then it will be hidden and/or re-rated APO unless IMVU and the original creator can resolve the issue. Virtual Good Ratings only apply to a finished product submitted to the catalog (which include but is not limited to the product itself, the entire contents of the product info page, and the product catalog picture), and it is up to the final product submitter to comply with the rating policy, and address any concerns raised by IMVU or another user.
The final rating of a product depends upon all of the attributes of that product and what sub-categories those attributes fall into. So it is possible for a product to be both GA & AP at the same time, but only one rating in the end can be applied. If a product does apply to multiple sub-categories and thus has multiple ratings, then the most restrictive category will apply: If a product is both APO and GA, then the product will be rated APO, and if a product is UFI and APO and/or GA, then the product will be rated UFI.
Let's use two examples to illustrate this.
Example 1: Original object created using all GA parts from one Creator.
Using the graphic below as an example, Creator Bob takes 3 objects (A, B & C) in step 1 all of his own creation, assembles them into a final object (D) in Step 2, and then submits Object D to the catalog, Step 3. Since Object A is a seat node (GA), Object B is a chair mesh (GA), and Object C is a solid blue texture (GA), he rates his item as GA, since none of the individual items or the whole match any APO sub-categories.
Example 2: Object created using parts from 3 creators
Lets use the same graphic as above for this example. Creator Bob wants to create Object D (A bar scene), so he takes Suzy's Object A (A room; GA), Jack's Object B (A counter; GA), and Mark's Object C (A beer can labeled 'Beer'; APO). Both Suzy's and Jack's objects (A & B respectively) are rated GA. Mark's object (C) is rated APO (since it is Alcohol Use & Reference). After Bob assembles the parts into Object D, he then goes to submit the product. Bob knows his product contains an APO Object, and thus rates his product as APO since he did not alter Object C to make it GA. Thus the rating of Object C (APO) trumps the ratings of A & B (both GA) and the final product (a bar scene) is rated APO.
Poses as a product
A pose is a product, therefore it is subject to the same rules as any other product. Ex. If the pose is shaking hands, that's GA, if it sexual intercourse that's UFI.
As defined at the top of the document a pose, by itself, is a virtual good as any other. If a pose is combined with another object then it must adhere to the same rules as described in the "Rating assignment and determination " section. The final rating for the combined object is what matters.
For example, if you take a hand-shake pose and add it to a seat node on a couch, the pose is GA, the couch is GA, and therefore the final product Couch + Animation is GA. If you take a bed (GA) and add a sexual intercourse pose (UFI) than the final product Bed+Pose is UFI, the bed itself remains GA."
All products must have a product information page to merchandise the product, regardless of whether or not the product is hidden. Product information pages must also adhere to the rules laid out in this Virtual Goods Policy. For the purposes of clarity, everything on the product information page including but not limited to the product description, any image(s), keyword(s), and the product itself, are considered part of the product and thus affect a product's rating. Merchandising for a product includes, but is not limited to: the product name, description, category, icon, and tags. The main method for merchandising a product is the product information page.
All product merchandising needs to adhere to the same rules as the product category and rating the product has been assigned to. This means that any GA product can only have a product name, icon, product page, and tags that adhere to the GA rating and categories. Similarly, APO items must only contain content that is suitable to GA or APO. No product page, regardless if it is GA or APO, may contain any UFI content.
A product page for a simple chair, which is rated GA, is acceptable if: it is titled "Chair"; its catalog icon is a picture of the chair; and the description said "This is a chair for sitting on." This product page would be GA and acceptable.
A product page for a simple chair, which is rated GA, is unacceptable if: it is titled "Chair"; its catalog icon is a picture of the chair; the description says "This is a chair for smoking crack-cocaine."; and the tags are 'chair, blue, crack-cocaine'. This product page and tags would be UFI (For Drug Reference), and thus, the product and product page would be UFI.
Obvious intent and combination of products
Items submitted to the catalog are subject to penalty whether or not the violation is evident in the product description, provided images, or in combination with other items, if they violate this policy. Combination products, those that are broken into pieces and distributed as such, with the intent for re-assembly, as well as those with "hidden features", may be found to violate the IMVU TOS or this policy unless all of the following statements are true:
- There is clear, legitimate, and normal use of each individual product that does not violate the TOS or this policy.
- The primary or normal use of the individual product does not violate the TOS.
- The provided product description and images do not suggest violations of the TOS or this policy, and the hidden features do not violate the TOS or this policy.
- Each individual product is properly rated.
- The whole constructed product does not violate the TOS or this policy.
While the combination of items by a 3rd party is outside any the original creator's control, if the combination of products implies obvious intent, all parties will be held responsible.
For example: Someone creates a ten foot statue of a phallus and then proceeds to chop it up into 5 unassuming blocks. Each block is submitted as an individual product which is rated General Audience. However, when all of the individual block products are put together, they become a phallus (the original product). The resulting combination of products is unsuitable for General Audience and so the intent is obvious. Therefore the individual products in this case will be reviewed and re-rated and the creator will be held accountable under the TOS.
While certain words have been identified above as NOT being APO, combination of words can cause an APO rating. Furthermore, all combinations of words must adhere to the IMVU TOS.
Clarification on 'Product' problems vs. 'Product description' problems
A product can be found guilty of violating the General Audience rating for several reasons. If a virtual good contains any of the elements listed in the APO/UFI section above, that product will be marked as not General Audience regardless of any other attribute.
However, even if the actual product meets the General Audience criteria, it can still be marked as not fit for General Audience for reasons including but not limited to: inappropriate content in the product's catalog image, product's name and/or product's description.
For example, when selling a skin tone, it is *NOT OK* to show a picture of a naked avatar and still mark that product as General Audience. Instead, you must use the minimum coverage guidelines below to display an avatar wearing enough to not be inappropriate but also show your product.
Similarly a product page may not show a GA item and then market it with language not suitable for General Audience.
The Female Bikini Top and the Female Bikini Bottom by IMVU should help you appropriately display products such as skin tones.
At IMVU we subscribe to the rule that coverage is as important as the type of product created. Whether you are creating a 3D object (mesh, finished object, animation, etc.) to be used with an avatar, or a 2D (sticker), any depictions of an avatar, human, animal, etc., must adhere to the same coverage guidelines and ratings categories.
The images below define the minimum content coverage for General Audience for both female and male avatars. Any article of clothing (lingerie, underwear, shirts, beachwear, etc.) must adhere to the coverage guideline. If the item is going to be classified as GA, it must also be 100% opaque (i.e. NOT sheer or transparent).
General Audience items MUST cover the areas in red below. Additionally, GA clothing items must cover the red areas shown below in a manner that is commonly acceptable to IMVU's GA audience (i.e. no 'pasties')
Click here to get the minimum coverage skin products - FREE
IMVU also supplies the textures so you can easily verify that your product meets the minimum coverage guidelines. Below are the links to the skin PSD and compressed JPG files. You can use these textures in the Previewer to test your product in advance of submitting it to the IMVU catalog.
Female Minimum Coverage Skintone PSD
Male Minimum Coverage Skintone PSD
There are ways of getting around this "minimum coverage" approach so please do not consider the absence of red or orange a ticket to a General Audience rating. Your products, product catalog images, product descriptions, product names and avatar pictures must adhere to all of the criteria listed above.
Testing Minimum Coverage
An animation has been added to the messenger to help test for minimum coverage. If you want to use this animation, please type *use 2111 in the messenger. Please remember to wear the minimum coverage skin as well as your product that you want to test and then use the animation.
While a product that contains any aroused body part is Unsuitable for IMVU (UFI), un-aroused genitalia is permitted for Access Pass Only products. However, un-aroused genitalia of inappropriate size is not permitted. The bright green portion of the image below shows the relative size that is acceptable for un-aroused genitalia.
Music & Miscellaneous
The following information pertains to music-related products.
Music Length for non-IMVU Music Mix Service Products
Any virtual good that includes any embedded audio not from the IMVU Music Mix Service (includes, but not limited to: music, sound effects, voice), will be automatically adjusted to only play a maximum of 20 seconds of the source file. Any audio from the IMVU Music Mix Service will be the full-length of the source file.
Any product that contains any audio (including but not limited to: music, sound effects, voice) that is not part of IMVU's Music Mix Service, must contain the following disclaimer prominently placed within the product description OR on the product information page without any alterations and must be legible:
This product contains audio that is not part of IMVU's Music Mix Service and thus may be limited to a maximum of 20 seconds of audio only.
Any users creating a mix in the IMVU Music Mix Service may not identify the specific content of the mix in the title or description. Specific content includes, but isn't limited to, the titles of songs, specific artist's names, and/or the order of play for songs in the mix. Let's illustrate this with an example.
Example: Jane wants to create a mix containing music from the artist named Bob. The mix will contain two songs in the following order: 1- Bob's Theme; 2-Bob's Bedtime. The right and wrong ways to create the mix would be:
Right: A mix called "Jane's Musizak".
Wrong 1: A mix called "Songs by Bob"
Wrong 2: A mix called "1-Bob's Theme; Song 2-Bob's Bedtime"
Photosensitive Epilepsy (PSE)
Products submitted to the catalog should not have characteristics that may trigger a PSE episode for users who suffer from such symptoms. Items that have the following characteristics are considered violations of the VGP:
Flashing images should not flicker faster than three times per second
Flashing images should not be displayed for a total duration of more than two seconds
Flashing images must have at least a two second pause between each series of flashes
Flashing images should not have high luminosity (bright or neon colors)
Flashing images should not involve bright colors alternating with dark, or light bars against a dark background
Flashing images should not have intense red flashing with any other color
Stripes, whirls and concentric circles should not take up more than 25% of the image
If you are concerned about PSE, you may wish to use the Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT) to assess PSE risks in your content prior to submitting it to the catalog. PEAT can be downloaded here
. IMVU does not endorse or promote this tool and only provides information about this tool for your convenience. IMVU does not make any representations or warranties regarding such tool.
Terms of Service violations
In addition to the restrictions set forth by the sub-category definitions, products submitted to the catalog must adhere to the general IMVU Terms of Service.
IMVU prohibits the submission of Copyright and Trademark violations to the IMVU catalog. To learn more, please read the Copyright and Trademark Infringements section of the Terms of Service.
Final Rating Assignment
In all cases of content ratings, IMVU maintains the right to be the final arbitrator of an item's content rating and any action taken to support that rating or punishment involved in a policy violation.
Changes to the Policy
IMVU reserves the right to change any portion of the Virtual Goods Rating Policy to fit new requirements to its business (ex. Changing laws) at its discretion. IMVU also reserves the right to create sub-policies for specific countries where required. All changes will be posted on the IMVU Site.