Friday, 19 October, 2018

Germany lifts ban on swastika, Hitler mustache in Wolfenstein video game

Germany cuts back on its prohibitive stance for video games with Nazi imagery Germany Lifts Ban on Swastikas in Video Games
Pablo Mccormick | 10 August, 2018, 19:40

The Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) said Thursday that games including banned symbols could now be given a rating in Germany if the use of the symbols is considered "socially adequate".

In Germany, the swastikas were replaced with triangle symbols and Hitler's moustache was removed.

"This has always been the case for films and with regards to the freedom of the arts, this is now rightly also the case with computer and video games", she said. This has been the case for other forms of media, such as film, for years now.

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The uncensored and German censored versions of Hitler and the Nazi flag.

When games like that make it to Germany, they usually have to be very careful of Nazi imagery.

The move followed a heated debate in Germany and around the world late previous year following the censorship of the video game "Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus,"which takes place in an alternate universe that depicts a Nazi victory in the Second World War and features an aging Adolf Hitler".

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Most prominently, the focus has previously been on disallowing the use of symbols that echo Germany's dark past during the reign of national socialism, but games that feature visuals of symbols such as the swastika will now be simply subject to the same level of rating as others of its kind before being approved for the public. Screen shots taken from Censored Gaming YouTube video.

The 1998 decision was recently challenged in a case surrounding Web-based game Bundesfighter II Turbo, a politically themed satirical fighting game. That decision laid the groundwork for a similar ruling by Germany's Supreme Youth Protection Authority of the Federal States, which in turn led to USK's newly announced policy.

Felix Falk, managing director of the German Games Industry Association, has welcomed the move, and believes that games will finally be able to "play an equal role in social discourse". "Many games produced by creative, dedicated developers address sensitive topics such as the Nazi era in Germany, and they do so in a responsible way that encourages reflection and critical thinking".

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