Germany Lifts Ban on Nazi Imagery From Video Games

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We’ve learned via The Telegraph that the German video-game rating board USK has lifted the ban on Nazi images in video games.

Prior to change, video games sold in Germany could not feature “anti-constitutional” symbols. This includes the Nazi swastika, even in a historical context such as games taking place during WW2. However, this ban did not apply to film. Works of art such as film, and material for research purposes were also excepted from the ban.

This ban also went as far as to have Adolf Hitler’s appearance and name changed in various games. For example in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, the swastika was changed to a triangular symbol.

Hitler’s toothbrush mustache is removed, and he is also refereed to as Chancellor instead of Fuhrer- as though he was a different person entirely. The German version of Hearts of Iron 4 also changed his name and covered his face in shadow.

Similar editing can also be seen in the PSP version of Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Along with removals of Swastikas, Hitler’s name was changed to Fuhrer. He was also given dark aviator sunglasses, and a coat to cover his uniform. However, this may also be due in part to Japan’s video game rating board CERO, which has regulations against real people appearing in fictional media.

USK managing director Elisabeth Secker stated:

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, this has long 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

The Telegraph states “USK will perform its new task responsibly, she added.”

What do you all think? Is this a step in the right direction for video-games in Germany? Sound off in the comments below!

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Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.