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Wolfenstein Being Recalled In Germany

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the ach-mein-leben dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 625

D1gital_Prob3 tips news that Activision's recently-released shooter, Wolfenstein, is being recalled in Germany due to the appearance of swastikas in the game. Such symbols are banned in Germany, and the German version of the game went through heavy editing to remove them. Apparently, they missed some. Activision said, "Although it is not a conspicuous element in the normal game ... we have decided to take this game immediately from the German market." Reader eldavojohn points out a review that has screenshot comparisons between the two versions of the game.

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Differences between versions (5, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29515943)

Here's a huge list of screenshots of differences between uncensored and german version [schnittberichte.com]

Some of the changes I found a little fun too, like the hand [schnittberichte.com].

It's also interesting that the game is 18+ and germans are still not allowed to see any blood.

Here's the texture they apparently forgot to modify [schnittberichte.com].

Seeing how many changes to the game and to the textures they've had to do, I'm not that surprised something that small slipped in.

The interesting thing now is if they're gonna remove that texture, remaster, repackage and send the new ones to all stores again, even more so because the game is over an month old now and the best sales are already gone.

Re:Differences between versions (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516095)

Beyond the obvious problems with censorship in general, this kind of "censorship" where superficial elements are removed while keeping the overall spirit and subject matter of the game (come on, who wouldn't figure out looking at those obfuscated Nazi banners what the REAL symbol is supposed to mean) is abous as ridiculous as Japanese censorship laws, where you can make the most perverted porn than any other country in the world, but must superficially pixelate certain parts.

If you are not willing to forgo censorship alltogether, at least do it "right". What's done here detracts from immersion while serving absolutely no purpose towards whatever your censorship laws are trying to serve (unless their purpose is to ruin immersion, that is)

Re:Differences between versions (2, Interesting)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516169)

I have to agree here. If a nazi-themed game runs afoul of German law, then simply don't sell the game there.

Re:Differences between versions (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516511)

I think the anti-Nazi laws made sense in the first decade or two after the end of WWII, and maybe an argument can be made right through the Cold War, but come on. Is there anybody out there who seriously still has a Thatcheristic fear that they'll be burning the Reichstag again?

Yes, there are some neo-Brown Shirt skin heads out there, and all the anti-Nazi symbolism laws in Germany and Austria haven't seemed to put much of a dent in them. Short of shooting anyone who looks remotely like a Hitler lover, I think the time has come and gone when the laws could be justified.

Re:Differences between versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516491)

The pixelization thing is probably the reason why some japanese porn gets so perverted. They need something extra to get the blood pumping since the good bits are pixelated out. Same as all other stupid vice laws and prohibitions the world over.

Re:Differences between versions (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516179)

The interesting thing now is if they're gonna remove that texture, remaster, repackage and send the new ones to all stores again, even more so because the game is over an month old now and the best sales are already gone.

They ought to simply say "We'll address that in the next patch." and leave it at that.

If German authorities want to get bitchy about it then Activision could simply point out publicly that the portion of the content being complained about is some ridiculously tiny fraction of the entire content in the game. e.g. "The content of the game when rendered in its entirety comprises some 60 billion pixels. The objectionable swastikas take up approximately 5000 pixels of that amount."

Re:Differences between versions (1)

liegeofmelkor (978577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516301)

I take it you've never had a conversation with a German bureaucrat. Come to think of it, neither have I... a conversation would imply a two-way exchange of information.

Re:Differences between versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516445)

>They ought to simply say "We'll address that in the next patch." and leave it at that.

The problem with that approach is that it ends up causing their distributors to lose the privilege of doing business in Germany at all, not just for that one product.
Not that I agree with the law on this. It's still accepted in much of Germany to be anti-semitic, so long as you don't actually harm someone, or use symbols of Nazi-ism.
Basically with the zealous laws they create a taboo culture that, of course, encourages people to bend. (You don't get punks before stupid rules, only after.)

Re:Differences between versions (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516227)

Here's a huge list of screenshots of differences between uncensored and german version [schnittberichte.com]

Wow how did you ever find that link? Did you actually read the summary or something?

The interesting thing now is if they're gonna remove that texture, remaster, repackage and send the new ones to all stores again, even more so because the game is over an month old now and the best sales are already gone.

German law Strafgesetzbuch Section 86 [wikipedia.org]:

Dissemination of Means of Propaganda of Unconstitutional Organizations (1) Whoever domestically disseminates or produces, stocks, imports or exports or makes publicly accessible through data storage media for dissemination domestically or abroad, means of propaganda: 1. of a party which has been declared to be unconstitutional by the Federal Constitutional Court or a party or organization, as to which it has been determined, no longer subject to appeal, that it is a substitute organization of such a party; [...] 4. means of propaganda, the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organization, shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine. [...] (3) Subsection (1) shall not be applicable if the means of propaganda or the act serves to further civil enlightenment, to avert unconstitutional aims, to promote art or science, research or teaching, reporting about current historical events or similar purposes. [...] Section 86a StGB Use of Symbols of Unconstitutional Organizations (1) Whoever: 1. domestically distributes or publicly uses, in a meeting or in writings (Â 11 subsection (3)) disseminated by him, symbols of one of the parties or organizations indicated in Section 86 subsection (1), nos. 1, 2 and 4; or 2. produces, stocks, imports or exports objects which depict or contain such symbols for distribution or use domestically or abroad, in the manner indicated in number 1, shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine. (2) Symbols, within the meaning of subsection (1), shall be, in particular, flags, insignia, uniforms, slogans and forms of greeting. Symbols which are so similar as to be mistaken for those named in sentence 1 shall be deemed to be equivalent thereto.

Note: I do not agree with the German governments staunch policy against symbols [bbc.co.uk] but they're free to govern as they see fit (pending the EU's approval). If they want to keep selling the game in Germany, they might want to uphold German laws. I don't know how many gamers are in Germany but they have a population of about 82 million and I think that it's a safe bet some "texture, remaster, repackage" can be afforded for that market.

Re:Differences between versions (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516283)

Um... weren't some of the in-game maps on Wolfenstein shaped like swastikas? Even if they removed the textures that had swastikas on them, wouldn't that still count?

Re:Differences between versions (4, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516349)

Official notice. From this day forward, right angles are verboten. Enjoy your ellipses, damen und herren.

Re:Differences between versions (2, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516525)

You forgot to capitalize "Damen" and "Herren". Yeah I know I'm being nitpicky. ;-)

I find it interesting the EU States can ban images within a videogame, and the publisher MUST comply with that restriction. I wonder if the same could happen with a US State? Could California declare "no more swastikas" and force Activision to edit California editions of Wolfenstein, or would the U.S. overrule that decision? If yes, could the EU eventually overrule Germany's law?

Re:Differences between versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516653)

They did it with cars and the california emmisions standards (eventually the rest of the country caught up).

Re:Differences between versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516691)

U.S. Law would overrule it; specifically, the U.S. Constitution forbids the government from having laws like that. If California wanted a law to ban swastikas, the whole U.S. would have to amend the constitution first.

Re:Differences between versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516315)

Wow how did you ever find that link? Did you actually read the summary or something?

It wasn't there at first, and I found it from same place you probably did: the article ;)

Re:Differences between versions (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516293)

Here's the texture they apparently forgot to modify [schnittberichte.com]. Seeing how many changes to the game and to the textures they've had to do, I'm not that surprised something that small slipped in. The interesting thing now is if they're gonna remove that texture, remaster, repackage and send the new ones to all stores again, even more so because the game is over an month old now and the best sales are already gone.

Maybe they can also fix other mistakes. Shooter should not use MP40's magazine as handhold.

While it's really just a game.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29515957)

Game companies don't give up a market like Germany for a game like Wolfenstein without being pressured. And the people applying the pressure made a mistake. I looked at all the screen shots. Activision did a DamnFine (tm) job of removing the smallest traces of the Nazi insignia (not just the swastikas) all over the game. And they missed a small seal, on a plaque on the wall I'd be too busy wasting Nazis to read.

Good job Activision! Shame the anti-Nazi folk couldn't give you a break on your Nazi-Killing-Bloodbath game, but governments are like blood, irony rich.

Re:While it's really just a game.... (5, Insightful)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516119)

Shame the anti-Nazi folk couldn't give you a break

I'm anti-Nazi. Everyone here is (hopefully) anti-Nazi. That doesn't mean we should censor their symbols out of existence or try to ignore history.

Re:While it's really just a game.... (4, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516297)

Ignoring history (or hiding from it) seems to be the basis of these laws. It strikes me as hugely contradictory to outlaw both denying the holocaust and displaying a swastika. It's an unfortunate historical relic - Deal with it...

Re:While it's really just a game.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516599)

you should probably rethink that statement some, nazi socialism is as valad a government platform as any other, its the hitler nazism you need to hope everyone is against. Blanket statemens like all nazis are wrong is just small thinking, not my cup of tea mind you but just cause someones a nazi doesnt meen their a skinhead aryan out to kill all the jews.

censorship (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29515977)

Apparently this [schnittberichte.com] is the reason that it has to be pulled from the market. I don't know about you but I find the rationale for this type of censorship to be utterly absurd. So much for free speech.....

Re:censorship (4, Insightful)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516183)

Its even more absurd considering the fact that the game is all about KILLING the nazis..

AFAIK there is no option to play as a nazi in this game (unlike, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory).

Re:censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516597)

I have something even more absurd for you: recently some people in Southern Germany got sued for using stickers with crossed out swastikas.

cb

Re:censorship (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516239)

No kidding. Seems like Germans would have learned a thing or two about the negative aspects of authoritarianism. Censorship, even well intentioned, can easily turn into repression. Freedom of expression protects everyone.

Re:censorship (4, Informative)

DarkDust (239124) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516575)

The law was done by the Allied Control Council and was then taken over into our "Grundgesetz" (constitution). So you can blame your politicians for our censorship, in a sense ;-) Still, most of us Germans regard the law to be a non-issue. It's meant to keep right-winged people from glorifying the Nazis. Normally, it's only an issue if you're right-winged or a game maker placing your game in WWII.

Re:censorship (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516585)

>>>Seems like [the World] would have learned a thing or two about the negative aspects of authoritarianism...

Fixed. And yet still we have stupid laws being passed that restrict freedom of speech, not just in Germany, but also throughout the EU, the US, Australia, and other supposedly "liberal" countries.

Re:censorship (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516247)

the rationale for this type of censorship ... is to expand government in terms of both power and revenue. Same as the rationale for every other type of censorship.

You're not in the business of government, are you?

Re:censorship (4, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516291)

Yeah, it's almost like Germany never ratified the United States Bill of Rights...

Re:censorship (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516423)

Free Speech is an inalienable right, not something doled out to you by a friendly Governmental overlord. Nice try though.

Re:censorship (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516609)

I'm sorry, but when the supreme law of the land is the GOVERNMENT and not PEOPLE (or gasp a "god") then the ULTIMATE authority that gives you that "Right" is the Government.

This is the problem with people who think that "society" has rights that can intrude on the rights of a mere citizen.

We are a people of laws, but the supreme law of the land is given to the states, or to the people, not to the FEDS. The US government is already totalitarian. We're just the frogs in the pot and haven't noticed the heat.

Any government regulation that requires extortion(threat of and by force) to work is by definition totalitarian.

Re:censorship (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516625)

May I ask what your religious belief is? If atheist, agnostic or similar, may I then ask where this right originates from and who determines the limits of that free speech?

Re:censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516647)

Seems like Germany alienated it. There goes your "inalienable right."

Re:censorship (1)

DarkDust (239124) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516475)

Well, it's an old thing in games here in Germany. Basically, the law forbids to show "anti-constitutional" symbols (unless it's in a historic, educational and/or satiric context). According to the German Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] this law was made by the Allied Control Council during their move to forbid the NSDAP and its symbols. It was then taken over into our "Grundgesetz" (think constitution) and AFAIK you need more than a normal majority to change a "Grundgesetz" law which would make it very hard to change the law. Especially since a lot of people here in Germany still are afraid that right-winged people might ever gain too much ground again. We want to keep right-winged people to from glorifying the Nazi time and we want to keep them from using their symbols, if possible. The english Wikipedia also has an article [wikipedia.org] regarding that issue.

Re:censorship (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516623)

We want to keep right-winged people to from glorifying the Nazi time and we want to keep them from using their symbols, if possible.

In other words you want to restrict their freedom of political expression because you find their ideals abhorrent. You can justify it any way that you wish but it's still censorship. Personally I find the notion of censoring a Nazi to be as offensive as his political goals if not more so -- because we ought to know better.

Re:censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516685)

This is not censorship, it preemptive compliance to a perceived risk. No one ever forced the company to remove any swastikas or blood and gore. They did it because they wanted to avoid a public discussion.

It's often said that it's not allowed to depict these things in Germany, which is definitely not true. You'll find plenty of these in movies without them being banned either as this falls under the freedom of art, and the same is true for games as well. The publisher simply chooses not to show these things because they don't want to even risk getting criticized by overambitious politicians (and often to get a more favorable age rating in order to increase sales)

Bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516037)

This game was already a huge flop. I don't think they really needed this, LOL.

Trotskydoom (5, Insightful)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516043)

So just release a modified version of Wolfenstein that focuses on commies rather than nazis called "Trotskydoom" wherein the objective is to blow away all of the Bolsheviks that are confiscating food from the farmers to impose the famine of 1921 on rural Russians. I mean, come on, there isn't anywhere in the world the hammer and sickle are outlawed and the commies killed far more than the nazis did so it should be even more fun than Wolfenstein!

Re:Trotskydoom (5, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516129)

The nazis are loved by nobody. The commies, especially Trotsky, are still worshipped and respected in some parts of the world. And not only ignorant parts, either - highly educated people believe in it! That makes it pretty much a no-go as far as video game villains go. You need someone who nobody sympathizes with, like aliens or nazis or corporations.

Re:Trotskydoom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516365)

Hey, I'm the CEO of a Nazi corporation on Mars, you insensitive clod!

Re:Trotskydoom (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516397)

Trotsky got big enough to be revered and loved (and immortalized as Snowball in Animal Farm), but never big enough to foul things up and be hated like Lenin. He even had the good sense to get assassinated while still popular and published.

What boggles me is that Mao isn't universally hated... Or why Lenin's body hasn't been vandalized...

I'm with you - If I make a video game, I'm shooting evil aliens. I think I'll call it District 9. ;-)

Re:Trotskydoom (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516665)

Lenin actually wanted Trotsky to succeed him. It was Stalin that Lenin distrusted and wanted kept from the top spot, but after Lenin's stroke, Stalin was the one with the charisma and sheer will to rule who managed to get his hands on the Bolshevik machine. It helped that Stalin managed to get his hands on Lenin's will and make sure no one saw what Lenin really thought of him.

Re:Trotskydoom (2, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516509)

Not true:

Freedom Fighters, originally titled Freedom: The Battle For Liberty Island, is a 2003 third-person shooter video game available for the Playstation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox and Microsoft Windows that is set in an alternate history. The player takes the role of Christopher Stone, a plumber-turned American Resistance movement leader who fights against the Red Army that invades and occupies New York City.

Re:Trotskydoom (1)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516523)

I mean, come on, there isn't anywhere in the world the hammer and sickle are outlawed and the commies killed far more than the nazis did so it should be even more fun than Wolfenstein!

Except The Republic of Hungary, Latvia, and Lithuania [wikipedia.org]. Well, the exception is that it can be used for educational and artistic reasons, and I'm sure they can get away with it for artistic reasons in this case. :-)

Re:Trotskydoom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516565)

I believe in Lithuania both nazi and commie symbols are banned.

Am I the Only One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516045)

who notices the absurdity of this?

The pics shown in the examples are a veritable gorefest and that is OK, but the invisible-to-my-eye Swastikas are not?

Krazy Krauts!

Re:Am I the Only One (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516073)

but the invisible-to-my-eye Swastikas are not?

Don't you know that human beings are so impressionable that all they need is to see a small swastika and they will instantly volunteer to help load the boxcars? Clearly we need a benevolent government to protect us from such evil.

so long ago (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516053)

It's been over 60 years, Germany. You don't have to worry about symbolism bringing back the Nazi party; most of them are dead. Your reasons for denying the existence of history are over now. It's time to give free speech a try.

Re:so long ago (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516335)

Your reasons for denying the existence of history are over now.

German denial of history has nothing on the Japanese. Bataan death march, what? Rape of Nanking, what? Death railway, what? Those weren't in my history books......

Re:so long ago (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516409)

It is a criminal offence in Germany to say that less than 6 million people died in the Holocaust but it is perfectly fine to deny the Nazi's existed.

Re:so long ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516487)

I don't think people get over it very well. Try making a game that involves you controlling a rebelling black slave killing white plantation owners and sell it in the south. I bet it would get censored.

Re:so long ago (1)

bsharp8256 (1372285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516607)

No, it wouldn't be censored. There would probably be massive boycotts and maybe even demonstrations, but no censorship.

Re:so long ago (1)

KitsuneSoftware (999119) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516621)

Would that the Nazis were all dead. Last year, I boarded the wrong train while on holiday in Germany, and ended up in a small town called "Bad Kissingen" where I found a swastika graffiti'd across part of the train station wall.

Re:so long ago (3, Interesting)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516657)

I agree that denying access to free speech is not the answer. There is enough collective German guilt still around to keep neo-Nazis in check for quite a while.

It's been over 60 years, Germany. You don't have to worry about symbolism bringing back the Nazi party; most of them are dead.

That's not quite true, though. Yes, most original Nazis are dead, but with their death also comes a greater tendency to forget the dangerous tendencies that got things started.

For example, the NPD [wikipedia.org] (National Democratic Party) has had representatives in the national government for years now (and it receives 5-10% of the vote in some regions). They are widely portrayed as being associated with Nazi ideals, and though I think the media is a little overboard about such things, I start to wonder when their official party statements are concerned about "alliances of Jews and Negroes" threatening to take over the world (from the Wikipedia article):

In November 2008, shortly after the 2008 United States Presidential Election, the NPD published a document entitled "Africa conquers the White House" which stated that the election of Barack Obama as the first African-American President of the United States was the result of "the American alliance of Jews and Negroes" and that Obama aimed to destroy the United States' "white identity." The NPD claimed that "A non-white America is a declaration of war on all people who believe an organically grown social order based on language and culture, history and heritage to be the essence of humanity" and that "Barack Obama hides this declaration of war behind his pushy sunshine smile." The NPD also stated that the extensive support for Obama in Germany "resembles an African tropical disease."

Do I think this is a reason to suppress speech? No. But I do think Nazi symbols could exacerbate some of the right-wing, who does seem to adhere to tenets similar to the rhetoric of the early Nazi Party.

Once again... (1)

celibate for life (1639541) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516057)

...the fact that it went through censorship makes the game even more noteworthy. I may give it a try, the uncensored version of course, looks delightfully gory.

Instead of Empowering a Symbol... (-1, Troll)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516059)

Why don't the Germans work toward preventing fascism from taking over Democracy. It's harder than it seems, witness the USA's own GW Bush and the powers under the Patriot Act and Patriot Act II.

The Japanese Rising Sun flag has no such power,so why don't they give it a rest.

Re:Instead of Empowering a Symbol... (1, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516117)

Witness the USA's own B Obama and the renewed, continuing, supported powers under the Patriot Act and patriot Act II. There, fixed that for ya.

Re:Instead of Empowering a Symbol... (2, Informative)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516237)

someone mod this guy troll. Spare us the clichéd rant against Bush. You'd have to be pretty ignorant of history to label Bush a fascist compared to guys like Hitler. Spare us the kool aid induced hyperbole. The guy is no longer in office. Take the 20 bumper stickers of your car and give it a rest already.

You Mean Like When Those Xmas Creches Attack? (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516281)

Symbols do empower. And the weak and narrow-minded get all threatened-like. Swastikas, Crosses, Pentagrams, Joker-Faces -- none have power inherently, except that which the Already Scared and Uncertain impart to them.

Deja Vu (1)

MakinBacon (1476701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516075)

Didn't this happen to the first Wolfenstein also?

Re:Deja Vu (1)

yogibaer (757010) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516339)

Yep, both previous versions went on the "Index" -which basically allows personal posession, but not distribution in Germany. A court ordered all copies of Wolfenstein 3D in Germany to be confiscated in 1994 (german wikipedia: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfenstein_3D [wikipedia.org]). Confiscation hit the PC and the later ATARI Jaguar Version as well. (Which, of course, made it one of the hottest game of the season) The Prequel "Spear of Destiny" got a "R" equivalent rating, but was not forbidden. Castle Wolfenstein (1981) was one of the first computer games on the "Index" and distribution was also forbidden in Germany. (German Wikipedia: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Wolfenstein [wikipedia.org]. Again: personal posession, was not, hottest game of the season and a star of the early disk swapping networks around the Apple II. Aah, those good old Crackin' Days )

Re:Deja Vu (1)

yogibaer (757010) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516537)

There is also a Website about the procedure called "Gesetzlicher Jugnedmedienschutz" (Which very oughly translates in to "legal protection of minors from Media". The "Bundespruefstelle" (again very roughly translated: Federal Monitoring Authority) publishes the various lists with media which are deemed as containing youth endangering and/or criminal content. http://www.bundespruefstelle.de/bmfsfj/generator/bpjm/jugendmedienschutz.html [bundespruefstelle.de] (german only)

Geez (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516097)

I wonder what actually happens to a German person if they ever catch a glimpse of a swastika. I assume it's something terrible, if their government goes to such great lengths to protect them from setting eyes on the symbol, even in fictional game. Does it flip some sort of switch that makes them slobbering monsters? I wonder... Somebody should try flashing swastikas at Germans and recording their horrendous transformations for science.

Re:Geez (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516497)

Does it flip some sort of switch that makes them slobbering monsters?

This might explain my ex-girlfriend from Bavaria. She must have played a game of Wolfenstein right before we met. Damn you ID!

Socially progressive... (2, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516101)

Stuff like this is one reason out of many I'm very wary of social progressives. Germany is a socially progressive state, and I don't think it's at all a coincidence that such censorship exists. Of course the social progressives are going to come out of the woodwork to justify it by scaring people up about the possibility of Nazis arising again and so on and so forth, but I guess sacrificing freedom in order to protect it is just a necessity to them. Individual freedom is on the down-and-out world-wide in the name of social consensus and thus niche groups (including nerds and gamers) suffer the most.

Re:Socially progressive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516309)

You do realize that this was originally imposed upon Germany by the Allies at the end of World War II, right? It has since stuck even though the threat of a Nazi resurgence has now passed because it has become a part of the political status quo. It's not really specifically a left-wing thing.

Re:Socially progressive... (1)

kinnell (607819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516547)

You do realize that this was originally imposed upon Germany by the Allies at the end of World War II, right? It has since stuck even though the threat of a Nazi resurgence has now passed because it has become a part of the political status quo. It's not really specifically a left-wing thing.

...and no sane german politician is going to propose a bill to legalise the swastika, so this will remain law for quite some time.

Re:Socially progressive... (1, Insightful)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516419)

Umm, the reason it exists is because as you may have heard Germany had a little bit of bother with nationalism around the 1930's and 1940's. It has nothing to do with social progressives and all to do with that early to mid 20th century problem.

Regardless of whether the German government is left, right or liberal that law would still exist.

Re:Socially progressive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516545)

Stuff like this is one reason out of many I'm very wary of social progressives. Germany is a socially progressive state, and I don't think it's at all a coincidence that such censorship exists.

You are invited to come to my country, Venezuela, so you can see "social progressive" in all its splendor.

Censorship macht frei (0, Flamebait)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516103)

I'm glad so many American soldiers died in World War II to bring true prosperity and freedom to the German people... bwahha. Sorry, couldn't keep a straight face. My nuts to Angela Merkel and her repressive fascist government. If I were a German, I'd keep a Nazi flag in my window for the sole purpose of causing trouble, not because I agree with it or anything. Freedom of speech is for EVERYBODY, not just upper middle class suburbanites without a single contrarian opinion or brain in their heads. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/dogs-nazi-salute-lands-owner-in-jail-for-five-months-766438.html [independent.co.uk] Heil-ing dog owner gets five years in jail. What a waste of taxpayer money. What are the chances of this dude being LESS Nazi-loving when he gets out of jail? Now he's a persecuted minority.

Hey Germany (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516105)

The Swastika didn't kill anyone.
A bunch of jackasses did. Why don't you just outlaw people planning to kill other people?

Do you think not having a Swastika will prevent a dictator or demagogue from choosing a different symbol to hide behind?

Re:Hey Germany (2, Informative)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516405)

The Swastika didn't kill anyone.
A bunch of jackasses did. Why don't you just outlaw people planning to kill other people?

Do you think not having a Swastika will prevent a dictator or demagogue from choosing a different symbol to hide behind?

Especially since it's a historically sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Mithraism. Actually, reading about the Swastika [wikipedia.org] here and how popular of a symbol it was before the rise and all of the Nazi Party, I'm shocked that you don't see it more often in Western nations.

Swastika (5, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516113)

If it's so bad, why the hell do they censor it when the point of the game is to lay waste to everything it stands for?

Of course, rationality is far too much to expect from a censorship board.

Re:Swastika (0, Flamebait)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516257)

As the German tour guide on a Family Guy episode quipped, "it didn't happen" I think they'd rather bury the embarrassing past. Of course, this reeks of 1984 Newspeak. If it is hate crime legislation, then it should only be limited tothe intersection of hate and crimes, neither of which is happening. So I have to conclude that its the Newspeak deal.

Well, ok.... (4, Funny)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516121)

As long as the game doesn't include a map to Poland, we should be ok.

Oblig.. (1)

kazade84 (1078337) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516209)

Don't mention the war. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it. So it's all forgotten now and let's hear no more about it. So that's two egg mayonnaise, a prawn Goebbels, a Herman Goering and four Colditz salads....no, wait a minute...I got confused because everyone keeps mentioning the war. -- Basil Fawlty

Thank goodness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516139)

for free speech. Oh, wait. Never mind. Comment withdrawn.

Regenerative censoring shielding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516153)

You can create a metaphasic interplexing censoring shield by having the entire game online, and allowing third-party linking of individual textures. A given texture that is controversial will be linked to on Slashdot and made unavailable.

I'd love to see the other German edits (2, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516165)

Will they replace all the swastikas with walkie-talkie's? I always maintained in the bunker with Hitler and Eva, Hitler shot first. Did that get changed, too? And is the blood still green?

Re:I'd love to see the other German edits (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516255)

I always maintained in the bunker with Hitler and Eva, Hitler shot first.

<tinfoil hat>Dude, Hitler's still alive. I thought everybody knew that? He's living a peaceful life as a painter somewhere in South America.</tinfoil hat>

Do they censor the "real" swastika as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516223)

It is after all, in its "right" rotation, an ancient symbol for well-being that existed thousands of years before the nazis, who depict it in a 45 degree angle.

Do they "moral panic" over the real ones as well, despite their positive meaning?

Dixie Flag (-1, Troll)

zamboni1138 (308944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516225)

And yet here in the US we still allow the Dixie Flag to be flown. Once you have lost the war you should not be able to continue using your flag.

Re:Dixie Flag (0)

archangel9 (1499897) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516499)

slavery =/= genocide.

Not everyone that few Dixie was a slave owner. Personally, I fly the Gadsden [wikipedia.org].

Everyone that wore a Swastika had Nazi ideals, or at least claimed to agree with them to get cool uniforms.

Re:Dixie Flag (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516501)

"And yet here in the US we still allow the Dixie Flag to be flown. Once you have lost the war you should not be able to continue using your flag."

Yep - and we can burn our official flag, too. Although nobody does it anymore - once it was declared legal the act lost all of its shock value.

Re:Dixie Flag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516507)

I don't know. I'd much rather idiotic bigotry be obvious than hidden. Someone with the "Stars and Bars" flying proudly makes it that much easier for me to know that I ought to avoid them.

U.S. Flag: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516577)

The same should apply to U.S. fiascoes in Iraq and Afghan-Pakistan wars.

Yours In Zelenodolsk,
K. Trout

If they not wearing symbols of the nazi's... (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516259)

why in the world would I try to kill them? Damn Germans, still the same insensitive clods they were back in '37-'45.

Germany needs to get over it already! (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516317)

It's freaking history. The U.S. didn't respond to the history of the civil war by banning any and all rebel markings. The symbols of Germany's history will always exist. Making it so that people don't see it as often changes nothing. But the existence of law that outlaws particular symbols or words are harmful. The next step is outlawing thoughts and feelings.

Head asplode (1)

TheBilgeRat (1629569) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516333)

Does anyone else find it interesting that Germans would want to play a game where the main goal is to waste Germans, regardless of their terrible ideological stance? I find it odd that it's just the swastikas they are objecting to...But then, it's just a game, right?

On a side note (don't have a linky), I had a friend stationed in Germany that talked about the pet ownership laws. Depending on the breed of dog, there are building codes for the exact size of dog house required for the breed, which are part of the licensing and inspection process. Guess the moral of the story is the Germans sure like their laws.

Don't mention the war ! (4, Funny)

BigJim.fr (40893) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516403)

Basil Fawlty: Is something wrong ?
4th German: Will you please stop talking about the war ?
Basil Fawlty: Me ? You started it !
4th German: We did not start it.
Basil Fawlty: Yes you did, you invaded Poland.

The paradox is evident... (1)

agorist_apostle (1491899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516421)

Germany wants to ban Nazi symbols...so then people will forget what they look like...in another generation or two, the symbolism of swastikas could conceivably be forgotten and a whole new generation of young, impressionable Germans will be reintroduced to cliched, over-the-top shooters featuring plenty of Nazi regalia because no one will known what it looks like or be able to recognize it, therefore no one will know to ban it.

Comparison Shots (1)

DrWho520 (655973) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516569)

Just wanted to thank eldavojohn for the review link. Apparently the site is blocked due to adult/pornographic content on my work network. Which is always a nice message to see pop up in your browser...

Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516655)

Retards. Hiding the past doesn't make the it go away. It can only make it more appealing to the weak minded.

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