Video Game Censorship in Germany

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Bpjm.gif

Artist:

Year: 1982-Present

Date of Action:

Region: Europe

Location: Germany

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Violence

Medium: Electronic Media

Confronting Bodies:

Description of Artwork: {{{description_of_content}}}

The Incident: The government of Germany has installed a ratings system for video games regulated by the USK (Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle). This system is similar to the system in the United States and other parts of the world, with ratings for ages 6, 12, 16, and 18, with sale restrictions in place for those rated USK 18. However, Germany's Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (Bundesprüfstelle für Jugendgefährdende Medien, or BPjM) has the ability to review video games and place bans on their sale and advertisement, pending potential edits by the developers. Video games in Germany cannot display red blood, and limits on their allowance of graphic content has led to severe edits to certain games. Due to Germany's censorship on representations of World War II, many games from that era have received heavy edits, including the removal of swastikas.

Results of Incident: Some of the video games that received edits are: Contra (human characters turned into robots) Command & Conquer: Generals (dead civilians turned into robots, suicide bombers turned into a moving bomb) Team Fortress 2 (gory bits turned into cartoonish objects) Call of Duty: Black Ops (removal of certain scenes, changes to Nazi symbols)


Some of the video games that have been banned are: Manhunt (1 and 2) Dead Rising (1 and 2) Mortal Kombat (2011) Wolfenstein 3D

Source: http://www.usk.de/en/ ; http://www.bundespruefstelle.de/bpjm/information-in-english.html ; http://www.gamepolitics.com/2008/08/04/german-video-game-laws-explained#.UZogPo48ynk ; http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/04/17/culturally-censored-games ; http://thehande.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/video-game-censorship-uk-and-germany-make-games-suck-for-the-rest-of-europe/ ; http://www.destructoid.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-getting-stupid-german-censorship-185566.phtml