Games may show Nazi symbolism in Germany after approval

Aug

9

2018

USK, the German organization that assesses games, films and books and gives age ratings, has decided that games may now contain Nazi symbols. This is only allowed after approval and when it is in service of ‘art or science’.

With the decision of the USK, games are actually equated with films and books. In Germany it was already allowed to show Nazi symbolism such as swastikas, provided that this is not illegal and is not used as propaganda. The USK will check per game if Nazi symbols are allowed.

The organization representing the German gaming industry says that it is pleased with the decision . For a long time the organization has been calling for the equal treatment of games and films. In recent years, many games in Germany have been censored because of the strict rules surrounding the display of Nazi symbols. A recent example is Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, in which not only do swastikas look different, but the appearance of Hitler was also adjusted.

The censorship of Nazi symbols took place in Germany since 1998. The German Supreme Court then ruled that Wolfenstein 3D was in violation of the constitution by showing Nazi symbols. Since then, games have not been considered for an exception to be allowed to show them under the guise of art or culture.

Germany has strict rules regarding censorship of games, not only when it comes to Nazi symbolism. The representation of violence and blood in games must also often be adjusted. Half-Life appeared for the first time uncensored in Germany after twenty years .

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