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The Unfriendly Side of German Game Development

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-so-good dept.

Games 176

As hysterical as American media and politicians can get over 'violent' videogames, the folks making games in Germany have it a whole lot worse. Tim Partlett (a developer at Crytek) shared his experience with the Quarter to Three forums, describing what it's like to be raided for making a videogame. He describes what it's like to be hated for your job, and laments the attitude of the nation towards his chosen line of work. From the article: "At the time of the (2002 Erfurt school) shooting, we were already in development of Far Cry ... We were just across the state border from Erfurt in northern Bavaria. Tensions in the region were high ... In 2004 the Bavarian authorities sent in the state troopers... When the small tech team appeared to inspect our computers, they were accompanied by over one hundred flak-jacketed riot police, all armed with Heckler and Koch sub-machine guns. It was a total overreaction... They arrived first thing in the morning, and kicked down our doors. They even raided the nearby private residences ... I was caught just outside the office ... We were all shepherded into our Mo-Cap room, and there we were forced to remain until questioned, prevented from leaving by dozens of armed guards."

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Interesting (5, Funny)

badenglishihave (944178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262140)

This explains why those villains in Far Cry all look like Germans.

Re:Interesting (-1, Troll)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262720)

"That's because you were taken in by the BBC! Filthy British lies! But did they ever say a bad word about Winston Churchill? CHURCHILL! With his cigars, and his brandy, and his ROTTEN paintings! ROTTEN! Hitler, there was a painter! He could paint an entire apartment in one afternoon! Two coats!"

Obligatory (4, Funny)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262156)

Für die Kinder, Kamerad!

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263372)

kamerad

So the question is (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262184)

When will the game developers leave Germany? And what will the next industry chased out of that poor deluded country be? Germany has a complex over the whole Third Reich thing - it's understandable, but let's face it, if you weren't involved or responsible somehow, you need to build a bridge and get over it. Any people could go that way given the right (wrong) circumstances.

Re:So the question is (0)

MuChild (656741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262330)

It's sad, the Germans, like us Americans, used to have a rep for making high quality, cutting-edge stuff. Now we just make middle managers.

So they have one little shooting and they freak out with police-state, authoritarian tactics that the average citizen won't object to. A slippery slope until everyone's wearing coded buttons again.

I, for one, welcome our safety-minded overlords.

Re:So the question is (1)

ebunga (95613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262792)

Wait, so shipping everyone off to college to get an MBA as they don't want to be a skilled factory worker is a bad thing? Who would have thought. Not everyone can be an office worker.

Re:So the question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263098)

And most office workers can be replaced with a few people who are willing to do the work.

Re:So the question is (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265934)

The world needs ditch diggers too, son. How 'bout a Fresca?

Re:So the question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262842)

Hail Safety Führer

So the question is-Aim for the head. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262426)

"Any people could go that way given the right (wrong) circumstances."

So when are geeks going to start snipering RIAA/MPAA/Steam people?

Re:So the question is-Aim for the head. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17264602)

Didn't you get that memo? I'll make sure you get a copy.

Bob number 1

Re:So the question is (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262440)

Iduno. I don't mind people being obsessed with the failures of their forebears if it prevents them from doing similarly fucked up things. Of course, jailing holocaust deniers seems like the wrong lesson learned.

But maybe if they paid the right kind of attention, they wouldn't truck w/ this militarization of their police force. Of course, ditto for us in the states.

Re:So the question is (2, Insightful)

MuChild (656741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262958)

That's the f*cked up thing, it's like they're so focused on becoming a social/political utopia that they don't notice the paradox of forcing people to be free and using a miltitarized police force to stop violence.

It's the same with us. Sigh

Re:So the question is (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264214)

It'd be funny if it wasn't true. Or, well, it'd be funny if it was history class, anyway.
Gotta love the irony of becoming the beast you are trying to slay.

Re:So the question is (1, Insightful)

iocat (572367) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264966)

Dude, you have no appreciation of the delta in personal freedom between the US and Europe. You think the US is bad? Europe basicaly is a police state -- sure, it's run by PC authortarians, but they're still total authortarians.

Re:So the question is (0, Flamebait)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263092)


Germany has a complex over the whole Third Reich thing - it's understandable, but let's face it, if you weren't involved or responsible somehow, you need to build a bridge and get over it.

Eh, the way I've always looked at it is the Germans are Nazi's about being Nazi's. They don't like to talk about it, but there HAS to be something about German culture that allowed the Nazi's to be so successfull. Now they've just re-assigned that same behaviour towards other forms of control.

Re:So the question is (4, Insightful)

TnkMkr (666446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264480)

Actually there is something in the Human condition that lends itself toward the Nazi like behavior. It comes from the pack mentality or the need to belong to a group. A highschool teacher actually did an experiment with his world history class, I read about it in college as part of a study of human group behavior. There was a formal paper written on the experiment but I could only find a link to this article.

http://www.vaniercollege.qc.ca/Auxiliary/Psycholog y/Frank/Thirdwave.html [vaniercollege.qc.ca]

Enjoy

Re:So the question is (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265150)

Jesus...

Thank you. That was one of the most rivitting things I've read from my days on Slashdot for a long time. I do question if it was really real, or simply a thought experiment in the form of a story, but either way, it does very well to prove a point. My question come from believing that any school, or community, would allow such a thing to take place. Obviously, the school had to be very progressive for other teachers to be okay with students skipping class and enacting a fascist order, but at the same time, the uncertainty of the teacher and other adults as to how far it should go would have scared the shit out of most progressive thinkers (as it obviously did, him).

It is hard to understand, but not impossible, how something like this could happen. There are elements of Lord of the Flies, here, how societies can become twisted without even realizing it. I just finished rewatching an anime... don't know if your into the genre... called, "Now and Then, Here and There", which depicts the lives of a number of children as they're confronted with and pulled into a manevolent fascist regime. Another example of how anyone can become "re-educated" into such an environment.

Anyway, this article totally obliterates the notion that there was something inherent in German culture that could allow this to happen. Really, the only thing that allowed it to happen was an intense sense of dissolution and desire for redemtion, a society hanging on for one charasmatic leader to answer the call. Any society could have fallen into the same trap under different conditions.

Once again, thanks.

Re:So the question is (1)

The Monster (227884) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264548)

there HAS to be something about German culture that allowed the Nazi's to be so successfull
The irony is that when the Inquisition was literally torturing Jews to death, the states of what eventually became Germany were the most hospitable to Jews. I think this is due to the fact that the Catholic/Protestant schism kept any one religious organization from gaining the political power that could empower an Inquisition.

I really do think that just about any country is capable of becoming a totalitarian dictatorship, given the proper conditioning. If Germans have any built-in cultural proclivity here, it's the value placed on order. That creates a certain amount of inertia to overcome before one questions the orders being given. "I was just following orders" wasn't just a lame excuse.

Re:So the question is (1)

KnuthKonrad (982937) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263772)

Germany has a complex over the whole Third Reich thing - it's understandable, but let's face it, if you weren't involved or responsible somehow, you need to build a bridge and get over it.

Problem is, whatever we do, we're wrong. If we try to keep out of armed conflicts like U.N. missions, we're told "get over it, you need to learn to kill again" (quote from an english officer regarding german forces in Afghanistan). If something happens like the article mentions, we're called "Nazis" again.

It's a game we can't win and I guess it still needs a few centuries (if ever) until this situation has vanished.

And perhaps, although this is an uncomfortable situation for us Germans, the world as a whole does benefit from always remembering the Holocaust. Nobody wants to be the "Next Nazis". If that's what it's good for, so be it.

Re:So the question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17264248)

Can't win? No, it's pretty simple in this case: Don't fight fascism with fascism.

Re:So the question is (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266170)

You're talking about two extremes. One is soldiers refusing to use their weapons (if that's what you mean), and the other is game developers being raided by a SWAT team. Both extremes are silly.

Re:So the question is (1)

Swimport (1034164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264564)

They even raided the nearby private residences

Germany has a complex over the whole Third Reich thing

Raiding your neighbors for what you've done sounds like the Third Reich. Nevermind getting raided by sub-machine gun totting gestapo for making video games involving gun violence.

Who did this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262198)

The State.

Why did they do it? Because the average person has no way to fight back the tyranny.

When will they do it again? Whenever they please.

To whom will they do it? Anyone -- even those who happily vote for them.

It's time to vote with the noose, I say, for criminal acts of tyranny [unanimocracy.com] .

Re:Who did this? (5, Funny)

vega80 (852274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263238)

When they came for the videogame developers, I did not speak out. Then they came for the violent videogames, I did not speak out. Then they came for the videogames with sex, I did not speak out. Now I have nothing to play but Nintendo videogames. Apologies to Martin Niemöller.

Like magic! (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264300)

When they came for the videogame developers, I did not speak out.Then they came for the violent videogames, I did not speak out.(..)Now I have nothing to play but Nintendo videogames.
Because the non-violent Mario games appear out of thin air. Well, if you've had some of them 1-up mushrooms, maybe.

It's the blood... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262244)

Having the bad guys spilling green blood all the time can make even the most harden German developer think he was working on a Star Trek game instead of something more cutting edge.

Another Obliatory.. (2, Funny)

me_mi_mo (1021169) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262328)

We Germans are not all smiles...

Re:Another Obliatory.. (2, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262526)

What do you expect from a nation whose language has no translation for the word "fluffy?"

Re:Another Obliatory.. (3, Informative)

BeeRockxs (782462) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262628)

Haha, very funny, the only thing that's wrong is that you're wrong. Try 'flauschig'.

Re:Another Obliatory.. (2, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262972)

Thank you, kind sir. I was in danger of laughing, and it would be most unfortunate for me to find something humorous. Without your service in destroying my mirth, I could, even now, be in a good mood. I shudder to consider the consequences.

Re:Another Obliatory.. (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264350)

Well, I found it funny and you a killjoy. Should I now write a snide, sarcastic comment about that? Oh, wait...

Re:Another Obliatory.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263112)

Close, but it really means soft. It is the kind of word you use to describe girly-men or low grade carbon steel, not bunny rabbits.

Everything old is new again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263310)

Well, it's taken 60 years or so, but after reading the details of the raid, it's pretty clear that the German government has recaptured its old enthusiasms regarding violence towards their own population...

Good thing they weren't raiding a flower shop, they might have needed flame throwers!

The Nazi gene... (-1, Troll)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262346)

...is dominant. I know a Turkish girl who left Germany because she was literally ignored in shops. She'd queue up, and when she got to the front the store-keepers would just serve whoever was behind her. This happened frequently, in multiple shops (in Berlin).

Re:The Nazi gene... (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262614)

Leaving aside the idea that racism is somehow genetic rather than learned, what does it have to do with mistreatment of people based on their occupation?

Re:The Nazi gene... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262778)

Nothing. He just wanted to take the chance to remind people that he's an asshole.

Re:The Nazi gene... (1)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262838)

I don't think that "Turkish" is her occupation. Perhaps you don't know that "queuing up" means standing in line.

Re:The Nazi gene... (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262916)

I know that. I was asking what his comment had to do with the topic of the article, since his comment had to do with racism, while the article has to do with discrimination based on occupation.

Re:The Nazi gene... (1)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262954)

Gotcha. I couldn't figure out where her occupation had been mentioned, and all I could figure was that you thought she was a shopkeeper or something.

Re:The Nazi gene... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263000)

Look up "Armenian Genocide", there is no "Nazi Gene" specific to Germans.

Re:The Nazi gene... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263580)

You mean Armenians killing their neighbours (poor Turkish and Kurdish villagers) during WW1 and getting retaliated in return. Last time I looked up the dictionary, that was WAR not GENOCIDE. As for this idiotic comparison, I have yet to hear one German Jew who did the same before WW2. Actually, most of them fought for Germany in WW1 and they paid for it in WW2. Learn some REAL HISTORY dude!

Re:The Nazi gene... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264818)

We, the brave frenchmen, have genocided Armenians in 1921. Google must not be your friend, it seems.

Re:The Nazi gene... (2, Insightful)

infestedsenses (699259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263006)

Way to make a ridiculous populist generalization about some evil "Nazi gene" FUD (I can't believe you're being serious.. or are you?), and get this modded so high. If you're looking for some "Nazi mentality", I think this is a good display of how it works. Sad, really.

Re:The Nazi gene... (3, Insightful)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263042)

So based on anecdotal evidence you come to the conclusion that all Germans have a Nazi gene making them racists? You are aware that this statement itself is racist? Not to mention pointless. 5 mins on Google could provide half a dozen anecdotes of disgusting behaviour by just about any nationality.

Of course, if you were German your post itself would provide another anecdote on how Germans are racists. =)

Re:The Nazi gene... (1)

delire (809063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263114)

That does sound strange given that a huge proportion of the West Berlin's Kreuzberg are Turkish, in fact Berlin itself has a huge and strong Turkish community. Admittedly there is some tension between white German Berliners and German Turks in Kreuzberg in some suburbs; but there are far worse cities for a Turk elsewhere in the world than Berlin. This is due to the same kind of racism that it symptomatic of territorial anxiety mixed with nationalistic ambition found anywhere in the world.

Anyway, what does your supposed example of blanket racism have to do with Nazism in particular? Ask a black American in L.A if it's Germans that ignore them from behind a counter.

Re:The Nazi gene... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263164)

I stayed in Kreuzberg once a few years ago There was several feet high graffiti in the main street that read "Between a cop's head and a cop's nosebone there's always space for a cobblestone" (translated). The garbage truck had an armed police escort. At the end of the street was a fresh water hand pump, for the houses without running water. I don't think Berlin's Turkish community have the greatest quality of life imaginable.

Re:The Nazi gene... (1)

henni16 (586412) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263522)

At the end of the street was a fresh water hand pump, for the houses without running water.
That's 100% BS.
Not the existance of the pumps, but the "houses without running water".
Those hand pumps are somewhat famous relics(*) and are still maintained - actually, they have to by law.
Those pumps are deep wells and were/are a water supply system for dire emergencies. There has to be a pump for every 1500 people.



(*) Some of them are at least from the 19th century. But IIRC the main reasons for their (continued) existance are probably WWII and the Cold War when West-Berlin was an "island" and a 100% self-supply infrastructure was built in case of a second blockade:
power plants, water and waste treatment, several inner-city airports etc;
for example, there still is a storage in use below the city that is able to hold 1 billion liters of natural gas

Re:The Nazi gene... (1)

delire (809063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263556)

Methinks you're talking bollocks. Kreuzberg is one of the most well-tended suburbs in Berlin. Those hand water pumps are antiques, scattered throughout the parks and streets because it's always been nice to get a free drink and wash the snow of your boots and bike tires in the winter. The only houses that don't have running water are likely to be squats. Graffiti like the kind you describe is everywhere in the world, especially that which antagonises the Police. Garbage trucks don't have police escorts except on the very unusual circumstance of May Day [wikipedia.org] .Of all the cities I've lived in Berlin has to be one of the safest and sanest. Berlin makes Paris, London or New York look both panicked and pathologically paranoid.

Re:The Nazi gene... (1)

TheSpinningBrain (998202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263218)

Well, it's not to say that Germans don't have racism. After all, even in the US, we have racism against the illegal aliens coming in and taking jobs, not even speaking English. Well, it's sort of similar in Germany. Turkish people come in, they don't all speak the language, either. After all, since Turkey's not in the EU, they're not as financially well off. Just remember when you bash Germans for racism that we were turning boats full of fleeing Jews back to Nazi Germany, where they were probably executed.

Re:The Nazi gene... (5, Informative)

henni16 (586412) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263232)

She'd queue up, and when she got to the front the store-keepers would just serve whoever was behind her. This happened frequently, in multiple shops (in Berlin).

Shenannigans.
I live in Berlin, have Turkish friends and have never seen or heard of something like that.
And the media and lawyers would be all over cases like that.
Did she shop at Nazis'R'Us or where?

Berlin is the largest Turkish city outside of Turkey.
Among the 3.4 million people (~14% foreigners) there are alone 120000 Turkish people registered as living in Berlin.
And those are only the ones without German passports. You can add several tens of thousands for 2nd or 3rd generation immigrant children or people who already obtained citizenship.

Chances aren't bad that the person in line behind you is also Turkish or of Turkish origin.
Depending on the district, that chance will be well above 50%.

Re:The Nazi gene... (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263712)

normal friday night..
few too many bier..
Döner KEBAB overflow -> core dumped.

Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17264452)

Shenannigans.


Then explain this phrase:

"Keine Türken."

Nobody (3, Funny)

MoOsEb0y (2177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262434)

expects a Spanish^H^H^H^H^H^H^HGerman inquisition!

quake (1)

ciscon (107483) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262452)

remember when they outlawed quake? well we all know why... hitler played a lot of id games growing up - they don't want that to happen again.

Re:quake (1)

BeeRockxs (782462) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262680)

It didn't get outlawed, shops were just not allowed to advertise it and sell it to minors. Big difference there.

Re:quake (0, Troll)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264382)

Also, you had to go 'round the back and buy it there, but only if you knew the secret handshake; if you took it out of the paper bag before you got home you risked getting anal probed.

I liked Austria's better (5, Funny)

Palshife (60519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262464)

And this is how we develop games in Germany, Herr Jones. *punch*

Over one hundred flak-jacketed riot police (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262512)

They were probably worried about those jumping mutants with those fucking arms that seem to reach out forever. I hate those!

Let Me Get This Straight.... (3, Interesting)

darkonc (47285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263518)

A flaming, violent neo-nazi who scrawls 'Heil Hitler' in his jail cell gets royally blitzed and kicks in the head of some poor schmuck, and you blame his run amok on the fact that he played a wrestling game?.

So what happens the next time The Summer Olympics come to Germany?

Re:Let Me Get This Straight.... (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264442)

So what happens the next time The Summer Olympics come to Germany?

They'll disqualify people for allowing their likeness in a computer game. Even if that computer game is about eating gravy.

In Fascist Germany (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262672)

In Fascist Germany game plays you

Its Bavaria (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262698)

Note that this happened in Bavaria, by far the most conservative German state. I like to compare them to Texas, to give americans a better idea ;)

Bavaria is also the state leading the current initiative to make the laws regarding violent games more stringent, while other states are taking a much more sensible position.

Re:Its Bavaria (5, Insightful)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262862)

Which is odd, because Texas is a hotbed of game development. I'd imagine either New York or California are far more likely to ban violent games before Texas. Perhaps conservatism isn't to blame in this case?

Re:Its Bavaria (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264118)

What is conservative in America is not the same as what is conservative in Germany. They've been around a lot longer, they have whole lists of different things to conserve we haven't even gotten to yet.

Re:Its Bavaria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17264210)

Which is odd, because Texas is a hotbed of game development.

Actually the game industry is mostly in Austin, a city that has been described as "a hippie encampment in the middle of Texas." However, there have been few blockbuster games to come out of Austin lately so the IGDA chapter there has been worried Austin is losing its touch. And, yes, there are developers in Dallas, but they're mostly second-rate. Even John "The Hair" Romero left Dallas and moved out to California where he is pretending he can make an MMO after making the shitiest FPS ever and blowing the money that should have saved Looking Glass.

Posting anonymous because some people become bitter about crap like this.

Re:Its Bavaria (1)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265324)

Hippie oasis are not, The People's Republic of Austin is still Texas.

Re:Its Bavaria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17265682)

> Hippie oasis are not, The People's Republic of Austin is still Texas

Hmm, all of my friends from austin assure me that it is absolutely not texas in any way other than they're stuck having to comply with texas state laws. Other than that, there appears to be almost nothing in common with the rest of that state. Well, that and the bad weather, death penalties, and a few other bad things.

Re:Its Bavaria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262892)

Right, bad ol' conservative Bavaria, as opposed to liberal, tolerant Prussia where they had to build that wall to keep all the people from running away.

Re:Its Bavaria (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262920)

And ID and most other shooting game companies are based in Texas. What's your fucking POINT?

Re:Its Bavaria (4, Interesting)

henni16 (586412) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264302)

Conservative means here:
  • "law-and-order" hardliners, secretary of the interior is the biggest police and surveillance state supporter there is
  • "War on drugs", "War on terror", "Zero tolerance", "Glass.Parling.Lot" would really fly in Bavaria
  • the same party has had absolute majority in parliament since Bavaria was founded (hello cronyism and corruption)
  • that party is the most right-wing party in Germany (except for Neo-Nazi parties); actual slogan "To our right there mustn't be room for another party!"
  • "christian values" as in "Think of the children!" and "video games make our children violent"
  • The way to "solve" a social or criminal problem is: real solutions might cost money; instead we'll use more laws, harder punishment, prohibition of every morally bad thing we don't want to see. If the problems aren't visible, they are gone.
    To paraphrase a _leftie_ politican on the video game issue: "They support a ban of violent video games in case a game triggers some whacko kid to finally go out and kill someone. We would like to prevent the kid from becoming whacko in the first place."
  • Example: media reports about school children showing each other pornos and viloent video clips on their cellphones. Bavarian solution for the problem: ban cell phones at school
  • "traditional values": beer, sausage, Lederhosen isn't typical for Germany, it's typical for Bavaria
  • some common things with Texas might be
    • a "the rest of you states suck, we're better; in fact, we're basically independent"-mentality
    • conservative=>dislike of immigrants (Mexican border..)
    • gun nuts - lots of "traditional" hunting and gun clubs; the yearly "shooting fair" is the social highlight in every little town
    • "shoot first, ask questions later"


What the AC refers to is that many people in Bavaria will think of what happend as a good course of action.
And that there won't be problems abusing state power for such a useless thing.
And that the main reason for those actions - including the use of riot police - is getting pictures that show "We aren't like those soft leftie cowards, we're HARD on that issue. Don't mess with Texa..eh.. us! We're taking ACTION, something is done about it, don't worry, we'll keep you and your children save."

And also: "If we make enough noise about that school shooter playing Counterstrike, everybody will ignore the fact that he was in a gun club and that that was the reason that he was good at shooting and had access to the guns he used in the first place. Everybody shut up about that! Or someone might ask questions about stuff like why we want to further loosen gun control laws or lower the minimum age requirement for childrens to start using firearms!"

Re:Its Bavaria (1)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263008)

Uh, Texas is the hub of the video game industry in the US. Texas is pretty damn socially liberal. I think a better comparison is something more like Alabama.

The real tragedy is that German federal law doesn't offer up any support to such a blatant violation of free speech. Then again, German concept of 'free speech' is a lot shakier then the American version. World War II really left the poor bastards a little gun shy when it comes to anything that kinda-sorta-might imply violence.

Re:Its Bavaria (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263198)


Texas is pretty damn socially liberal.

We ARE talking about the state that wants to make it legal for the blind to hunt, right?

I'm not sure I'd call Texas "liberal", but maybe it is compared to some of the other southern states. If you're looking for an extremely conservative state, I'd probbably pick Utah.

Re:Its Bavaria (1)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263432)

People are mangling Republican and conservative, socially liberal and economically liberal, and "liberal" is in "democrats" and liberal is in classical sense of liberalism.

Letting the blind hunt, while a fucking stupid idea, would be a form of INCREASED social liberty. It would allow one more non-violent behavior (err, providing the blind guy doesn't shoot anyone) to be allowed in society. I am not saying that Texas is the most socially conservative state in the Union by any stretch, but that are nowhere near the worse offender. They sure a shit don't have fucking swat teams raiding the plentiful video game offices in Austin.

Re:Its Bavaria (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263620)

Ok, I can accept that definition of "liberal", (though I'd really call it more libertarian). So how about a Texas law banning gay sex [sodomylaws.org] , that was only struck down by the US Supreme Court 4 years ago? Is that liberal by your definition?

In the context of the United States, Texas was only one of four states that sodomy laws against gays hadn't been struck down by state courts, or repealed by the legislature. There's plenty of states ready to legalize marijuana. Nevada almost passed a referendum to allow its sale in the open. I don't believe Texas is among those states. Massachusets has legalized gay marriage, New Jersey is likely to do so quite soon. How's Texas doing on that front?

Those are the things I'd look at to define liberties, and sorry, but I just can't see calling Texas liberal, at least within the context of the United States. Sure, Texas isn't as crazy reactionary as Bavaria.. but then Bavaria is probbably the craziest part of Germany.

Re:Its Bavaria (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263954)

People are mangling Republican and conservative, socially liberal and economically liberal, and "liberal" is in "democrats" and liberal is in classical sense of liberalism.

The people who are mangling it are the ones who, while discussing United States politics, use liberal to mean "classically liberal". Words and meanings change.

Re:Its Bavaria (1)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264742)

"Liberal" as in a democrat has absolutely no meaning. It is a mish-mash of ideas with no coherent ideological basis. The same goes with "conservative" as in Republican. A "liberal" democrat can be in favor of censoring violent video games and still be called a "liberal". A "conservative" republican can advocate an expansionist military policy.

How about we stop mangling words? If you want to talk about democrats, call them democrats. If you want to talk about republicans, call them republicans. Use the word "liberal" and "conservative" where it actually makes sense. If someone is socially liberal, that has an absolutely meaning that isn't mangled into the mish-mash "liberal" as in democrat means. While the brain dead voting American public might have their heads explode when they hear the words "socially liberal", the dictionary doesn't get confused.

Re:Its Bavaria (1)

henni16 (586412) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263786)

I'd probbably pick Utah.

That's probably closer to Bavaria than Texas due to the religious fundie factor.
It's not a coincidene that the pope is from Bavaria..

Re:Its Bavaria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263056)

Texas is conservative, this is fascist.

Re:Its Bavaria (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263366)

I would not say most conservative, more along the lines of being the worst Hicks of western europe. Even for Austrians which are very close to Bavaria in many aspects (But fortunately not in their boneheadedness and idiocy) Bavaria slowly becomes a joke and a part we also are ashamed of. Sorry to say that northern friends but currently you guys are a sick joke, even for us.

Re:Its Bavaria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263854)

Note that this happened in Bavaria, by far the most conservative German state. I like to compare them to Texas, to give americans a better idea ;)

They have lots of Mexicans and have a predilection for rodeo also? I never quite imagined Oktoberfest to consist of eating nachos (the greatest culinary advancement in the history of mankind) and drinking Corona while watching men hogtying sheep.

Una más cerveza, por favor.

Es wird bier genannt, schweinhund.

And what's a Heckler versus a Rail Gun? (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263282)

Oh.. You mean a real sub machine gun!
"PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR AND STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD!"
done!

(I really wanted to put that quote in all caps, then the lameness filter prevented me unless I added more text)

Violent games are a root cause of real violence. (1)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263588)

Or so the Germans would have us believe...!

Lessons Not Learned. (4, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263632)

I swear, there has to be a Godwin's law joke in here somewhere. I mean come on. A fucking German riot squad raiding computer geeks busy making video games. How fascistic could you possibly get?

The EU has a problem. I know that the EU is all scared from World War II and what not, but they need to get over it. Violently repressing anything that might encourage violence really is not an effective method of keeping the fascist away. Further, this isn't just a problem with one little backward German providence. Many European nations have anti-free speech laws preventing various forms of 'blasphemy', racism, and ideology. This isn't an effective way to confront these forces.

The silly talk in Germany and the EU about more stringent rules against video games is going to accomplish only one thing; giving the US more German programmers and designers. Didn't Germany learn a lesson about the stupidity of driving perfectly intelligent people to the US during World War II? The Americans will happily take them in, make some product that can't be made in Germany due to fears of this Gestapo bull shit, and make a buck off of it.

This raid should be a cry for MORE free speech laws to prevent backwards providence from pulling this bullshit, not a cry to clamp down and regulate speech further. Is Germany, with its negative population growth, TRYING to drive out the few remaining young and technically minded people they have left?

No, you didn't learn any lessons... (2, Insightful)

thecountryofmike (744040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264386)

The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. It's a land where hate speech is just dandy, and inciting violence is protected, by hiding behind the 'free speech' defense. Unless it's demonstrating against the government, which these days gets you cordoned off into 'free speech zones'.

Germany, and these other countries (which of course you don't name, or can't spell, or just haven't heard of before) all have lower crime rates than the US. Their people are more aware of fascistic behaviour. And they make a distiction between free speech and hate speech.



Somehow you concluded:

Many European nations have anti-free speech laws preventing various forms of 'blasphemy', racism, and ideology. This isn't an effective way to confront these forces.


Clearly, you've lost your mind. You're mixing blasphemy, RACISM, and ideology?!?! Western European countries with hate speech laws are clearly different than religious theocracies with laws against blasphemy and ideology. These hate speech (or 'anti-free speech', doubleplusgood) laws you conflate with fascism aren't the only thing controlling crime, but they don't hurt. And yet you 'conclude' that they're ineffective! Guess I'll just have to take your word for it, right?


Oh, and another thing. Intelligent people were driven to the US during WWII because there was a fucking war going on. Bombs weren't landing all over the fucking US during WWII!



.....................
Having said that, the cops clearly overreacted, and whatever reason they were there for, should have handled it professionally and proportionately...it's a video game company, for crying out loud, not the Hell's Angels headquarters.

Re:No, you didn't learn any lessons... (1)

pilkul (667659) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264560)

These hate speech (or 'anti-free speech', doubleplusgood) laws you conflate with fascism aren't the only thing controlling crime, but they don't hurt. And yet you 'conclude' that they're ineffective! Guess I'll just have to take your word for it, right?

What is the number one point Ahmadinejad made at his Holocaust denier conference? That countries like Germany ban denying the Holocaust, and that as a result it's impossible to objectively examine the facts. Hate-speech rules do nothing but empower racists, who'll use them to paint themselves as heroic martyrs fighting for truth in the face of government oppression.

Re:No, you didn't learn any lessons... (1)

smurfsurf (892933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265706)

> That countries like Germany ban denying the Holocaust, and that as a result it's
> impossible to objectively examine the facts.

That is simply complete bullocks. You are very free to examine the facts. Proclaiming "there was no holocaust and these were really just douches" is not examinig the facts, it is denying the facts.

Re:No, you didn't learn any lessons... (3, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264880)

Western European countries with hate speech laws are clearly different than religious theocracies with laws against blasphemy and ideology. These hate speech (or 'anti-free speech', doubleplusgood) laws you conflate with fascism aren't the only thing controlling crime, but they don't hurt. And yet you 'conclude' that they're ineffective! Guess I'll just have to take your word for it, right?
Anti-hate speech laws don't make hate speeches magically disappear. The idea that you can ban an idea and some how make it disappear is insane. The Soviets tried and failed to do this for a solid 50 years with methods far more brutal and absolute then anything a European nation has tired, and they still had their ideology overthrown.

The only thing anti-hate speech laws manages to do is make debate illegal and drives any sort of discussion of the topic underground. Instead of being able to confront the racism head and exposing it is a crock of shit in the open, you pave the way for those ideas to go underground where they can't be confronted out in the open. People who are disposed to believe such racist non-sense are not magically converted to good citizens when they see police breaking down doors and throwing people in jail. When a government needs to use violence to suppress an idea, people are going to question what exactly it is about that idea that the government fears so much.

The holocaust deniers are a perfect example of this foolishness. Making it illegal to deny the holocaust just means that these ass holes can't stand up in public and take their licks. I would rather see this shit get sorted out in the open where people can respond, rather then have little underground groups that stew in their hate (rightfully) convinced that the government is out to get them.

Further, you keep trying to argue that you can some how have "free speech" while at the same time making "hate speech" illegal. Free speech means free speech. You are damn right that anti-hate speech laws are anti-free speech laws. If you can't express an idea, no matter how repugnant, then it isn't free speech. What exactly do you think the point of free speech is in the first place? To protect the common consensus as to what is and is not acceptable to talk about? The point of free speech is to protect all speech, even the speech that the vast majority loathes.

If you need a reason as to why free speech should be protected in its entirety, simply RTFA. A form of speech that is considered socially deviant by the majority of Germans just had a a few dozen police is riot gear get raided. If the majority consider this form of speech to be socially unacceptable. Does that mean that the raid was a-okay? This isn't an abstract slippery slope argument. Fucking police stormed a video game companies office.

The US might have a stupidly high incarceration rate due to our stupid prohibition laws, but you can bet your ass that we don't have police in SWAT gear kicking in the doors of video game companies for making games that might be considered too violent by the moral majority. Free speech needs uncompromising protection for this very reason.

Re:No, you didn't learn any lessons... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265014)

Clearly, you've lost your mind. You're mixing blasphemy, RACISM, and ideology?!?! Western European countries with hate speech laws are clearly different than religious theocracies with laws against blasphemy and ideology. These hate speech (or 'anti-free speech', doubleplusgood) laws you conflate with fascism aren't the only thing controlling crime, but they don't hurt. And yet you 'conclude' that they're ineffective! Guess I'll just have to take your word for it, right?

There's no evidence that hate speech laws do anything constructive. Despite the higher violence, the US doesn't have a serious problem with hate crime.

Oh, and another thing. Intelligent people were driven to the US during WWII because there was a fucking war going on. Bombs weren't landing all over the fucking US during WWII!

The surge of immigrants preceded the begining of the Second World War. To give a high profile example, Albert Einstein was granted a "guest professorship" position at Princeton University (in December 1932) a month prior to Adolf Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany, and never returned to Germany. Jewish professors were out of German academic jobs in early 1933.

Re:Lessons Not Learned. (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264478)

The EU has a problem. I know that the EU is all scared from World War II and what not, but they need to get over it.
I'd just like to point out that the European countries, though united in the European Union, are very different. Unlike the US, we don't have a unified history that goes back more than a handful of decades, so the cultures in Europe are vastly different (by Western European standards).
You are, however, right that I am not allowed to point and laugh at Jews or Gypsies as much as I would like to in public places. Thank gods that my best friend is a Jew and my gf is a gypsy, otherwise I'd never have any fun.

Re:Lessons Not Learned. (1)

bockelboy (824282) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264836)

I still think the EU (and Russia) has a long way before they "get over it" with respect to WWII, like the GP suggested.

I've visited mass graves in St. Petersburg. I've talked to people who lost family in the war. There's still a lot of emotion tied up into that war.

To too many (but not all, hopefully) US citizens, WWII was the "great adventure" that their grandfather or great-grandfather went on, and came back with a lot of stories about.

To many people in Europe/Russia, WWII was something that may have closely affected the town that they grew up in. Emotional wounds don't just get up and heal because we are in the Computer Age.

WWII for Denmark: The Quick Edt (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264996)

Heh, true. However, WWII can be described thusly for Denmark:

* OMG! Poland has been invaded by the Germans!
* OMG! We were invaded! We had, like 39 fatalities! (Note: We lost almost ten times that in camps. still neglible numbers affected)
* Wow, our own Swastika for the Danish Volunteer Nazi troops* [nyud.net] ? OMGTHX! (Scroll down to see the customized swastika on the Schalburg Cross; it reads "Fidelity, Our Honour"; banners here [wikipedia.org] and here [wikipedia.org]
(I'd like to point out that there estimates for the absolute maximum number of soldiers sent out through that corps is 1000, though)
* OMG! UK and US totally helped us get out of this again! W00t!
* Uh... We were totally against it all along! We love the Allies! We even baked you a cake!
... So really, no big, deep wounds in the general populace. And yes, I am oversimplifying a complex issue. If you want, you can read more here [wikipedia.org] . 2 of the abovementioned 39 are even depicted.


*: Uncoralled link here: . [bizland.com]

Re:WWII for Denmark: The Quick Edt (1)

smurfsurf (892933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265724)

I never thought digg existed back then ;-)

You are forgeting something.... (1)

Gallium101 (1009127) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264856)

The EU has history. Lots of it. It acts both as an inspiration and a millstone round our necks. Due to this history, and political leaders write lots and lots of laws throughout the history of the continent which all seem like a great idea at the time. As a result of this, most EU countries have a huge "hangover" of legislation, such as monarchs not allowed to marry catholics, no insulting of God and its ok to shoot a Scotsman in the back with a bow and arrow in Cardiff. While these were great ideas when religious warfare was rife, when the country is run by bunch of porridge eating taliban and if you are at war with said nation, they are not relevant for modern times. (The examples are an exaggeration, but you get the point.) As a result you still have these anti-free speech laws, great idea if your trying to destroy an ideology that just committed genocide. You have your blasphemy laws to get all those all those bloody prodistants/catholics/jews/etc. You also have these racist and sexist laws from times gone by. The point you have missed is that we also have laws that override these relics, the EU bill of human rights for example. There are those who will use these relics for political purposes ( a good example in Britain is the use of a law designed to get Nepolioinic war veterans off the streets to remove animal rights protesters.), but if you use the court system, it will override them. Don't judge the past by the standards of today. For we have our own standards and they have theirs.

Nothing to do with fasicm, it's thinkofthechildren (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17265644)

Completely irrelevant. It has nothing to do with facism whatsoever. And by the reports in the press about the nilly-willy use of paramiliteric units in the US, you should be living in facist land yourself, if you use that as a measurement. http://reason.com/files/58eba09a914d0927da75a44c92 8e9325.jpg [reason.com]

This is the same old sad thinkofthechildren thing you have in the US.

Counter Terrorists Win (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265920)

As any old CSer will tell you, HK MP5, weapon of choice.

For a second there..... (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266014)

.... I was wondering if the next edition of Ticket To Ride [ticket2ridegame.com] was being attacked..
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