People in Germany May Start Seeing Nazi Imagery in Some Video Games

People in Germany May Start Seeing Nazi Imagery in Some Video Games

Secker said the general ban on symbols of unconstitutional organizations nonetheless remained in place.

The country, which has been previously infamous for heavy censorship of video games reaching their citizens from across borders, faces innumerable issues in reinforcing these laws as the industry globalizes to a further degree each year; this change in the USK's practice doesn't necessarily indicate a victory against censorship as a whole, rather continued evidence of the worldwide debate of video games as a medium of art dipping further towards the affirmative.

'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'.

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The decision puts videogames on the same footing as films and other cultural goods, solving a longstanding dilemma for game publishers: Either to scrub their historical games of all Nazi symbols or make a separate, sanitized version for the German market. It is a crime to give the Hitler salute or fly the Nazi flag with its swastika in the center.

"Through the change in the interpretation of the law, games that critically look at current affairs can for the first time be given a USK age rating", said Secker in a statement. With the ban lifted, games such as the popular Wolfenstein series-in which players wage war in an alternative universe against Nazi forces-will now join the list of media that can display swastikas, goose-stepping SS officers and Hitler in Germany.

Other games to undergo censorship in Germany for their use of Nazi symbols include "Call of Duty: Black Ops", "South Park: The Stick of Truth" and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". 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. "We have long campaigned for games to finally be permitted to play an equal role in social justice, without exception", he said when talking about the fight for this change. This will go down well with the gaming community, as Germany's strict stance on the topic has drawn plenty of criticism in the past.

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